Apple responds to developers, alters open source licence

Apple Computer has made two changes to its new open source license agreement after developers complained that it was too restrictive. Apple has eliminated a clause in its Apple Public Source License barring developers from shipping software derived from the code to countries that US government targets for export restrictions, and loosened a provision that allowed Apple to terminate a license if the developer sued Apple for infringement of intellectual property rights.

Apple Computer has made two changes to its new open source license agreement after developers complained that it was too restrictive.

Apple has eliminated a clause in its Apple Public Source License that barred developers from shipping software derived from the code to certain countries which the US government has targeted for export restrictions, said Ken Bereskin, a technology marketing director for Apple's operating system business.

The company also loosened a provision that previously allowed Apple to terminate a license if the developer sued Apple for infringement of intellectual property rights. Now, Apple can only suspend the developer's rights under the license agreement until the dispute is legally resolved, according to Bereskin.

Apple made the changes in response to developer feedback, including discussion forums such as www.slashdot.org, Bereskin said. For the most part, though, developers are happy with the license agreement, he added.

Last month, Apple announced that it was releasing to developers source code for a few key components of its Mac OS X Server operating system.

Since the open source release, dubbed Darwin, has been available, there have been more than 160,000 downloads of source code components and more than 20,000 developers have registered on Apple's Darwin Web site, Bereskin said.

Apple's goals are to attract more applications to the Macintosh platform, spread the company's technology to other platforms and improve Apple code by allowing developers to add capabilities and detect bugs, he said.

Some of the results of the project are bearing fruit. For example, Apple's NetInfo technology is now available on the Linux operating system and Sassafras Software has built AppleTalk networking into its KeyServer product, Bereskin added.

Apple Computer Inc., based in Cupertino, California, can be reached at +1-408-996-1010 or on the Web at http://www.apple.com/.

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