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The Linux Kernel and associated code bases with it have been in development by the open source community for decades. Then, Apple came along and extended it utilizing so much free quality code for free, and now they sell their OS. Is this fully ethical of Apple?

Surely, if you're going to go ahead and take advantage of Open Source software by extending it to sell more computers, then you can't really charge for it, right?

It seems like Apple is taking advantage of the good will of open source programmers who've gone out of their way to take the Open Source movement further.

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closed as not constructive by DragonLord, 8088, digitxp, Journeyman Geek, Col Aug 24 '11 at 6:17

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This looks like a rant in disguise; see the FAQ for more details. Voting to close. –  DragonLord Aug 24 '11 at 6:12
No linux in MacOS as journeyman geek pointed out. –  Col Aug 24 '11 at 6:16
yup. Voted to close as well , but eh, there's just so much fud in here i needed to answer. –  Journeyman Geek Aug 24 '11 at 6:17
You know what's unethical? Trying to suggest that there's something wrong with using people's code in precisely the ways the authors of that code specifically chose to allow them to do. When people open source their code, they pick the license that matches the objectives they have for their code. They picked the GPL license because they wanted their code to be used and now you blame Apple for doing just that?! Crazy, man. –  David Schwartz Aug 29 '11 at 18:27
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2 Answers

Apple is based off Mach and freeBSD – both of which are BSD licenced. Apple can close off the kernel, but don't – they have released it as Darwin. The parts that are propriety are usermode bits – such as Quartz and various APIs they developed themselves.

WebKit was Apple's fork of KHTML (GPL licenced IIRC), and they open sourced it, and it's replaced KHTML in many contexts, and powers Google Chrome.

Apple is doing nothing morally or ethically wrong – in fact they've done more than they have to, with respect to the open source projects they are involved in.

Here's Apple's website for their open source projects:


Here's the source code corresponding to each release of OS X, iOS and the developer tools:


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i thought i read somewhere that the kernel is now closed source, i could be wrong –  osirisgothra May 5 at 10:37
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You can download the all the open source parts from the Apple's website free of charge. You aren't paying for the BSD software, you are paying for the proprietary code Apple has written.

Thats the beauty of open source: its free and open. Apple can take it and do what they want with it, as long as they comply with the license. Which they do.

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