Apple is the new open source villain

Apple is the new open source villain

Summary: The company perceived as most threatening is always the one that is growing bigger most rapidly.

TOPICS: Microsoft

I wouldn't be so unequivocal in that headline except for the source.

It's an in-depth analysis from Florian Mueller, whose FOSSPatents remains fiercely opposed to all software patents. It's something of a follow-up to a May piece in which he considered the idea of a Fair Troll.

Microsoft is not yet a fair troll, Mueller writes. But it's better than some.

"The idea of a 'fair troll' is about not using patents at all against those who commit to purely defensive use as well." Microsoft is only fair to those who, like it, believe in software patents, he said.

That being said, the news here is that Mueller no longer things Microsoft to be acting as a troll at all:

After all those years -– and 5-6 years is a really long time in IT –- it’s time to face the facts. At least so far, Microsoft doesn't use its patents in a destructive way. They don't just sit on their patents without doing nothing, but they're a cooperative right holder who doesn't use them to shut out competition.

What someone like Florian Mueller thinks, or doesn't think, won't keep Steve Ballmer up at night, any more than what I say should keep you up at night. (Get your sleep, now.)

But the fact that Mueller's opinion has evolved, based on evidence, is important. It's part of a more general shift in attitudes, which is also causing open source advocates to take a far more jaundiced view of Apple, which passed Microsoft in market cap a few months back and now holds a $16 billion lead.

In his latest Mueller even quotes Richard Stallman against Apple. Translating from the Spanish paper, El Mundo, he quotes Stallman thus:

Apple is more evil and much more restrictive than Microsoft because it even limits our right to run applications.

All this is evidence of an important trend. The company perceived as most threatening is always the one that is growing bigger most rapidly. Reading comments here, Apple is often joined on the "public enemies" list by Google, whose record on the issue is rather benign.

So should Steve Jobs wear his reputation for open source villainy as a badge of honor? And does this mean open source villainy is mostly a mass endorsement of antitrust action?

Topic: Microsoft

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  • Apple is not antitrust

    It is Google and open source that needs to be investigated for the lies they're spreading. They label others as villains because they can't compete or innovate. That's what losers do.

    So yes, Steve Jobs should wear his reputation for open source villainy as a badge of honor because he's a winner.
    • Where did anti-trust enter this discussion?


      Read the article again. This is about patents, not about anti-trust. This is about a company chipping away at our long held freedoms.

      Are you just defending the hive? Trying to deflect criticism of a company to which you have an unhealthy emotional attachment?
      • Huh? What chipping? i

        Look I like the way Apple does business for the most part. I like the control cause as a return for that control I get a system I know was made to work and work well. It does not do everything but that is not what I purchased the device in question to do "everything" I bought it because it does a certain set of things very easily very quickly and with a minimum of fuss.

        Now "IF" you don't like the way Apple does things you can go elsewhere. Linux and Open Source and or MS. So your freedoms should be fine. That is one way for anyone to protest Apple is buy going elsewhere with their money.
        Get it? You are free to do so:P

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • Lies, damn lies, stats and open source

        The four levels of lies in the software industry.
      • RE: Apple is the new open source villain

        @LBiege (comment below or above me):

        You forgot another level of deceit: Windows Security.

        And by the way... if for open source you mean (support for) open source, you're right. Else, there cannot be a lie if you can download the source.
      • For crying out loud

        the very idea that you think a COMPANY which has no power to fine you, no power to arrest you, no power to try you in a court, no power to convict you in a court, no power to imprison you is chipping away at your freedom shows just that human ignorance has no upper bound.
      • RE: Apple is the new open source villain

        @honeymonster Microsoft and Intel threatened our freedoms by their use of illegal tactics and deals to thwart the competition.

        Apple has never done that. They build a better product to attract customers, and for a lot of them, a closely guarded ecosystem makes a better product.

        After all, in real life we like to have laws, and a decent level of enforcement.

        On the other hand, open source has become a communist-like agenda, where universal compliance is the goal, profits are a sin, individuals must sacrifice (programming) for the good of the majority, owning your original ideas and product designs is despised, cloning existing or past technologies is a priority, real innovation is scarce, the rules are strict and dictated from a central group, the use of govenment intervention to achieve their goals is accepted, and if some company is not participating in the open source movement they are attacked in the media, so much for our freedoms.

        We like our choices, and make them in full concience. Leave Apple and other private competitors alone! As long as they are not trying to use illegal tactics to derail your "open" dogma.

        When you force Apple to change in your image, you are killing our freedom to choose.
      • Interesting.

        Mr. Quinn: You like the control because Apple is the one controlling, yet do not like the control when companies other than Apple is doing the controlling?

        The "benefits" of which you speak really do not exist (as your Internet is full of articles pertaining to numerous issues and shortcomings associated with Apple and their products), so your statement should be rethought.

        Tim Cook
      • Not as simple as choosing another provider Jim

        @Pagan Jim

        We are not just talking about choosing someone other than Apple... this point would ONLY be relevant if the article was simply a criticism of the Apple ecosystem (only ONE of the defined criticisms). Even then, the example of controlling the Apps which can <i>allowably</i> is as much a commentary on the ripple effects where companies are led by the nose when companies financial revenue is tied to being able to access a mobile platform with mass appeal; when getting a window into the so-called "with-it" sector of the population can make-or-break an independent developer, or a small business owner/start-up.

        As to the rest, one of the key reasons Apple is shaping up as the latest FOSS villain has more to do with their aggressive patent trolling of late (and this is not just an anti-FOSS villainy, as their slapping of HTC recently demonstrates)... a whole issue which makes the suggestion of looking to another OS/software provider completely irrelevant.
      • RE: Apple is the new open source villain

        Apple is the<a href=""><font color="light&amp;height"> about it</font></a> is bank that <a href=""><font color="light&amp;height">website</font></a> attacked from the <a href=""><font color="light&amp;height">site support</font></a> from any soldier <a href=""><font color="light&amp;height">site</font></a> to the light <a href=""><font color="light&amp;height">home page</font></a> is great new
    • RE: Apple is the new open source villain

      @iPad-awan - I think there should be regulations for ALL large corporations, with said regulations held.

      Price wars, patent trolling, and other issues that basically snuff out competition... Real winners don't resort to chicanery.
    • RE: Apple is the new open source villain

      I think you are forgetting Apple suing left and right over some very "normal" things (Oh, the iPhone re-arranges the icons when an App is deleted, let's sue HTC!). I don't have any quibble with Apple doing a superior product, but I really despise the litigation for things that were even mainstream before Apple entered the picture.
      Roque Mocan
      • RE: Apple is the new open source villain

        @Roque Mocan [b]...I really despise the litigation for things that were even mainstream before Apple entered the picture. [/b] Completely agree! There is WAY too much sue/ countersue going on in the industry and all it is doing is stifling innovation and screwing the customers.
  • Errrr....

    @James Quinn

    It's funny you say that, but if you look up Secunia reports on Mac OS X, you'll see that 'control' does not lead to better security and ultimately better performance.

    To each their own, but what iPad-awan has said is just simply blind. In what way does open source lie? How, pray tell, do you see this reality through those askew goggles you wear?

    Actually, if not for open source, iOS nor Mac OS X would exist as you know them nowadays- so kindly 'shunt off'. Read up on it some more before you troll/flame. Mac OS X is a derivative based on FreeBSD, and currently the most exploitable OS because of Apple's poor management. Does the current version of FreeBSD suffer from the same exploits? Hah! Hardly.

    So... You were saying something about innovation?
    • RE: Apple is the new open source villain

      You may also want to throw in statistics as to how many (percentage wise if you wish) Mac OSX computers have been affected by these exploits.
      We'll be waiting.
      • I'm guessing

        @MG537 <br><br>that number is proportionate to the number of mac users who would not even <i>know</i> if they have been affected by the exploits.<br><br>Your point is similar to someone running Windows w/o anti-virus software and claiming "I have yet to get a virus on my machine" (excluding scamware). A successful hack isn't one that simply roots a machine, but also gets away with it.<br><br>What's that saying?..."the greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing the world he didn't exist."
      • RE: Apple is the new open source villain


        "What's that saying?...'the greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing the world he didn't exist.'"

        Yup. A lot of malware these days uses a lot of tricks to hide itself.

        Most people who have malware probably don't know it.

        There's been a big increase in the past few years of malware that uses the computers of users silently, rather than the noisy and CPU eating malware of the past.

        A user might not know he's sending spam until his ISP calls him or cuts off his internet.

        And the only real way to detect it is to have another computer sniff the packets, or to scan the hard drives with a bootable CD with detection software.

        I would not be surprised if someday we discover there are Linux/Mac users out there with malware on their machines and they didn't know about it.
    • RE: Apple is the new open source villain

      @CommonOddity - agreed 100%.

      Pity Apple didn't buy BeOS either, back when they had a chance (1998 or so... it was far better than any open source of the time... still is, technically speaking and pertaining to being ground-up SMP and multimedia...)

      Afterthought: Using both OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.4 and Windows 7 64-bit on my Macs; both have advantages. And disadvantages. I like both. I dislike both.
      • RE: Apple is the new open source villain

        Here is some real world information,
    • Did my previous post say ANYTHING about security?

      I think not. I've yet to read of any actual attack made on a single Macintosh and or any real damage done to said Mac. Now another poster claims that many a mac user would not know they had or were being effected which kind of makes my "It just works and works well" point but to be honest I'd know for I've had years of dealing with computer support issues what with being in repair and support for 27 years now. My mac is as fast as it was the day I first set it up no unexplained slow downs I never "install" anything I am not fully aware of. I've never given out my administrator password and I keep up with regular patches. Still my main point to your response is I said NOTHING about security. In the end I feel I am fairly secure but just in case name me the malware out there that I should fear. NOT theoretical mind you but a real out in the wild piece of destructive malware please.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn