Jump to content

Why Apple won't release old Operating Systems for free


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1
RacerX

RacerX

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 73 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN
I couldn't help but notice the amount of "exchanging" of older Apple operating systems going on around here, and the resentment towards Apple for not making these systems "free" (like the pre-Mac OS 7.6 operating systems are).

The simple fact of the matter is that Apple can't offer these systems for free. They just don't have the rights to do this.

Lets look at a couple examples of barriers that Apple faces...

Rhapsody
Rhapsody (like NEXTSTEP and OPENSTEP before it) uses a licensed version of BSD. This is to say, Rhapsody is using a pre-4.4BSD Lite version of BSD (where the restricted parts were removed). This limitation was one of the reasons that Apple created Darwin.

Darwin started out as the Rhapsody 5.2 kernel and then had all of the 4.3BSD and 4.4BSD (encumbered) elements removed and replaced with 4.4BSD Lite elements from FreeBSD (Rhapsody had already started using elements from OpenBSD and NetBSD). This is part of the reason why Apple could give away Darwin when it couldn't give away Rhapsody.

Also Rhapsody uses Display Postscript, which while it was co-developed by NeXT, is a product licensed to Apple by Adobe. Because Apple doesn't own this technology, they are not at liberty to give it away (same with NEXTSTEP and OPENSTEP). And Adobe was planning on charging so much for Display Postscript per copy of Mac OS X that Apple decided to create Display PDF as a license free replacement.

A/UX
While A/UX may use System 6 and 7 as it's Macintosh application environment, the underlying system is based on System V Release 2.2 with elements from System V Release 3 and 4 and some elements from 4.3BSD. Anyone who has been following the SCO vs IBM case knows that System V is not a free OS and can not be given away.

If Apple were to attempt to give away copies of A/UX, they would be responsible for paying the license fees for each copy distributed based on their original license agreement (which would be several hundred dollars per copy).


When is an OS dead?
From Apple's point of view, any OS that can still be used to perform tasks that compete with their current OS is considered competition. This includes NEXTSTEP, OPENSTEP, A/UX, Mac OS 8/9 and Rhapsody.

Even though Apple no longer sells NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP, they have given Black Hole Inc permission to sell them... with restrictions. If you buy a copy of NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP with the developer tools, you can not use those tools to make software that you charge for (but you can make freeware or donationware). The main reason for this is that NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP are still very good platforms for Enterprise Objects and WebObjects.

Similarly, Rhapsody (specially the Server versions) competes directly with the current version of Mac OS X Server in the area of web serving, file serving and netboot serving. And Mac OS X Server came with a copy of WebObjects 4.0.1 which (before Apple made WebObjects free) competed with WebObjects 5.

So in Apple's eyes NEXTSTEP, OPENSTEP and Rhapsody are all still very much alive.



Anyways, this is why Apple doesn't give these systems away for free... and why Apple doesn't like people sharing them with each other.

Just thought you guys might want to know the reason for Apple's position on these types of things. :D

#2
domino

domino

    Retired

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,958 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:/tmp
Well put RacerX . Here is how I see it. I have a pantry full of parishable goods i've had for quite some time now. I don't want to give them away because I used my own money and no one deserves to use them. Instead, I just store them just in case I ever need them one of these days. At least I didn't waste my money just giving them away to people that can use them.

#3
RacerX

RacerX

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 73 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Here is how I see it. I have a pantry full of parishable goods i've had for quite some time now. I don't want to give them away because I used my own money and no one deserves to use them. Instead, I just store them just in case I ever need them one of these days. At least I didn't waste my money just giving them away to people that can use them.

Well, how you should actually look at it is like this...

Lets say that the internet didn't exist and the only way to transfer software was on CDs that cost $100 a disk. You have this great software on your computer that you would like to share with anyone who wants it.

Is it worth $100 (per person) to you to give away that software for free?

The license restrictions that Apple is under is that they have to pay for every copy distributed... even if they give it away.

The cost of 4.4BSD and Display Postscript pushes the cost of Rhapsody well over $100. Should Apple pay over $100 for you to have a copy of Rhapsody for free?

The cost of System V in A/UX is also over $100. Should Apple pay over $100 for you to have a copy of A/UX for free?

The way you seem to be looking at it, Apple has already paid for that software, when in reality they have to pay for each copy they distribute (whether they charge for it or not).

NEXTSTEP, OPENSTEP and A/UX were all around $800 when sold new. Those prices paid for the licensed technology in each of those systems. Rhapsody was sold for around $500 when it was new (Apple wanted to sell it for $900)... that $500 didn't actually cover all the license fees.

Another way to look at it (using your pantry of perishable goods) is what if the only people who could use them are thousands of miles away. Is it worth the shipping cost (to you) to give those unused goods away for free?

________________________



Also, on the subject of ethics... does anyone here shoplift?

I ask because in reality there is no ethical difference between downloading a warez copy of Mac OS X off the net and shoplifting a boxed copy from your local Apple Store (other than the risk of getting caught).

It is a slippery-slope when you start justifying things for your convenience. The best way to look at things is to ask yourself how you would feel if you were on the other end of things. Would people stealing from you seem ethical to you?

So if it is okay with you for people to steal from you, then I can see where you are coming from. Otherwise, if you think it is wrong when things are stolen from you, then stealing means you have a double standard.

Personally, I tend to follow Kant's views of ethics and morals.

#4
Patrix

Patrix

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 34 posts
Just a small nitpick, RacerX: copyright infringment and stealing are different. I'm not condoning either of them, but they are not the same. You can't equate making a copy of software (or music, text, etc) to taking away a physical object.

Downloading Rhapsody etc is a copyright infringment issue, not a theft issue.

#5
domino

domino

    Retired

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,958 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:/tmp
I don't want this thread turning into one of "those" ethics threads. I understand the amount of energy and resources it take to develop a product. What I just can't grasp is the amount of greediness in the industry that they shelve a product that can still be productive to a few individuals. What good are those products on the shelves? I think it can be more useful donated with limited distribution restrictions to educational institutions. Most people tend to highlight individual morales and don't bother to mention morales of the corporate institution. I'm not pointing fingers at Apple because they also have restrictions on distribution rights.

PS. Please excuse my grammar. It's late and I got a bit of alcohol in my system. Getting hard to distinguish the "there, their, moral, morale, etc. :P

I also wanted to add. Now that B. Gates, Clinton, Bush Sr. are out of office, they have been doing wonders in helping out the needs of parts of the world. So ya, the things you can do in office are very limited. If that makes any sense at all?

#6
gwprod12

gwprod12

    InsanelyMac Deity

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,326 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle, Washington
It all renders down into one simple argument. The copyright holder has the right, for whatever reason, to not distribute the work, whether it be for free or for profit.

On the other hand, since there is no profit to be made from this work, it gives the copyright holder less incentive to sue you for infringing.

Copyright infringement isnt stealing, as it is not depriving it's owner of possession, and in this circumstance, is not causing the owner to lose money. So stop thinking this is a moral issue. It's not. So pirate away.

#7
bwhsh8r

bwhsh8r

    InsanelyMac Deity

  • Gurus
  • 2,085 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Machine

I couldn't help but notice the amount of "exchanging" of older Apple operating systems going on around here, and the resentment towards Apple for not making these systems "free" (like the pre-Mac OS 7.6 operating systems are).

The simple fact of the matter is that Apple can't offer these systems for free. They just don't have the rights to do this.

Lets look at a couple examples of barriers that Apple faces...

Rhapsody
Rhapsody (like NEXTSTEP and OPENSTEP before it) uses a licensed version of BSD. This is to say, Rhapsody is using a pre-4.4BSD Lite version of BSD (where the restricted parts were removed). This limitation was one of the reasons that Apple created Darwin.

Darwin started out as the Rhapsody 5.2 kernel and then had all of the 4.3BSD and 4.4BSD (encumbered) elements removed and replaced with 4.4BSD Lite elements from FreeBSD (Rhapsody had already started using elements from OpenBSD and NetBSD). This is part of the reason why Apple could give away Darwin when it couldn't give away Rhapsody.

Also Rhapsody uses Display Postscript, which while it was co-developed by NeXT, is a product licensed to Apple by Adobe. Because Apple doesn't own this technology, they are not at liberty to give it away (same with NEXTSTEP and OPENSTEP). And Adobe was planning on charging so much for Display Postscript per copy of Mac OS X that Apple decided to create Display PDF as a license free replacement.

A/UX
While A/UX may use System 6 and 7 as it's Macintosh application environment, the underlying system is based on System V Release 2.2 with elements from System V Release 3 and 4 and some elements from 4.3BSD. Anyone who has been following the SCO vs IBM case knows that System V is not a free OS and can not be given away.

If Apple were to attempt to give away copies of A/UX, they would be responsible for paying the license fees for each copy distributed based on their original license agreement (which would be several hundred dollars per copy).
When is an OS dead?
From Apple's point of view, any OS that can still be used to perform tasks that compete with their current OS is considered competition. This includes NEXTSTEP, OPENSTEP, A/UX, Mac OS 8/9 and Rhapsody.

Even though Apple no longer sells NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP, they have given Black Hole Inc permission to sell them... with restrictions. If you buy a copy of NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP with the developer tools, you can not use those tools to make software that you charge for (but you can make freeware or donationware). The main reason for this is that NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP are still very good platforms for Enterprise Objects and WebObjects.

Similarly, Rhapsody (specially the Server versions) competes directly with the current version of Mac OS X Server in the area of web serving, file serving and netboot serving. And Mac OS X Server came with a copy of WebObjects 4.0.1 which (before Apple made WebObjects free) competed with WebObjects 5.

So in Apple's eyes NEXTSTEP, OPENSTEP and Rhapsody are all still very much alive.
Anyways, this is why Apple doesn't give these systems away for free... and why Apple doesn't like people sharing them with each other.

Just thought you guys might want to know the reason for Apple's position on these types of things. :blink:


I know that stuff... and that is all true, and i dont understand why people say that they should give this stuff away free, as tehre is stuff from other proprietary companys...


max

#8
Rhapsody Guru

Rhapsody Guru

    InsanelyMac Geek

  • Gurus
  • 239 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere over the rainbow...
This is very hard for me to address. Actually, as a software collector, I, unfortunately, tend to lean to both sides of the argument. When the medium of an obsoleted OS is readily avalible for sale, I will most certainly purchace it. However, if it is out in this so-called oblivion with absolutely no means of purchasing a copy for ourselfs, I dont see why we have to follow such stupid rules. That's my take on it.

Guru

#9
A Nonny Moose

A Nonny Moose

    Proud PPC User

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,421 posts
  • Gender:Male

is not causing the owner to lose money.


Yes it does. It deprives the owner of that new sale (since the old OS is seen as a competitor to the new, shiny current OS).

#10
adm_kenshin

adm_kenshin

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Location:Musk

Yes it does. It deprives the owner of that new sale (since the old OS is seen as a competitor to the new, shiny current OS).


Only if the buyer would have actually bought the new OS if he couldn't pirate the old, which is hardly the case for a software collector.

#11
fireshark

fireshark

    Your Mom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 489 posts
So everytime Apple sells a copy of Mac OS they are losing money because the current version is a competitor to a future version, which users may not buy?

#12
sHARD>>

sHARD>>

    All we are is dust in the wind...

  • Retired
  • 976 posts
  • Gender:Male

So everytime Apple sells a copy of Mac OS they are losing money because the current version is a competitor to a future version, which users may not buy?


I'm not sure where that fits into this discussion, but actually, yes. If Apple made the world's most perfect OS ever, then they would harm chances of getting upgrade cash in the future. It's already the world's most perfect OS, so you only need to buy one copy, ever. Realistically this means that the next upgrade cycle needs at least some good upgrades, or everyone will either keep what they already have, or possibly get a second-hand copy of the older OS for cheap. It's kind of hard to explain, but yes, making something that is very good right now causes competition with future upgrades.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

© 2014 InsanelyMac  |   News  |   Forum  |   Downloads  |   OSx86 Wiki  |   Mac Netbook  |   PHP hosting by CatN  |   Designed by Ed Gain  |   Logo by irfan  |   Privacy Policy