Canonical opening up, what about Apple?

Free Software 7 Comments »

Storm, the Python-based ORM used by Launchpad, has been released under a free license. In a bug report comment, our benevolent dictator stated that “We are all actively working on making Launchpad open source.”. I hope that this is just the first step, and that we’ll see more components being re-licensed soon. I don’t understand how keeping Launchpad proprietary will make Canonical more money, but I’ve decided to trust their judgment and their business plan.


I’m not sure if I should trust Apple that much though. They have purchased CUPS, the printing system used in Ubuntu and many other unix-like systems. Apple has licensed CUPS for MacOS X for several years now, and many people have questions on the reasons for the buy-out. I’ve been wondering whether Apple has some fears around the freshly released GPLv3. Apple has manufactured printers in the past (I’m not sure if they still do), and they probably own a significant amount of patents regarding to printing.

I don’t have anything to base it on, but perhaps they anticipated CUPS being released under the GPLv3, which might have an affect on the value of their patents if they ship CUPS in MacOS. Buying out CUPS means that they can keep the software under the older license, which does not cover patents. Maybe, it’s nothing like that at all. Perhaps we’ll see CUPS getting even better, and be able to get great commercial support for CUPS directly from Apple. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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