ask for APSL? for real this time?

Cees de Groot cg at
Thu Jan 8 00:22:41 UTC 2004

Lex Spoon <squeak-dev at> said:
>I have already posted what I thought was unclear:  Who did you ask, what
>exactly did you ask them, and what exactly did they say?

I asked the product manager for open source at Apple, I asked whether
they would consider either relicensing under APSL or adapting SqueakL,
the answer to the first was a resounding 'no', and the answer to the
second was that they were not going to change the indemnification clause
because "there's just not enough value to justify the effort required
to validate that". 

>I simply find
>it hard to believe that your experience was so final that it would not
>even be worth a phone call from Alan.
Alan would need to call Apple, Disney, and a slew of other persons. You
present this as a simple matter, but it isn't. If Alan would call Apple
and get them to rewrite SqueakL, that'd be a start. The real work would
come after that. 

>As it stands, Squeak is only available to certain countries of the
>world, and it incurs a hefty liability on anyone who merely
>*distributes* Squeak.  These are things that will bother both open
>source zealots, and also companies with conservative legal staff.
It didn't bother Disney, and talk about conservative legal staff... It
doesn't bother me, either - first of all, I don't export to funny
countries anyway; second, if I create a derivative work and redistribute
it, I think it is completely normal that unhappy people first sue me.
Furthermore, it is a simple matter of an appropriate license if I want
to cover that ('you are licensed to use this software only if you agree
to indemnify and hold harmless Apple...'). Finally, I could not imagine
in any way that this clause would actually be invoked - every time you do
business you need to assess risks; the chance that this clause would cost
me money, in my eyes, is so remote that I simply do not care about it.

I can imagine Debian being unhappy about this clause - after all,
they're not in the business of taking risks and making money out of
that. Every company is, and I think that most companies's will decide that
this clause isn't worth the trouble (and in fact, a number of companies
have decided that already - large ones, small ones).

Cees de Groot          <cg at>
tric, the new way           helpdesk/ticketing software, VoIP/CTI, 
                            web applications, custom development

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