Can I develop an OS based of Darwin without infringing copyright laws?

Subhom Mitra December 30, 2011
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iOS is based on Darwin, which is open source. My question is that if I design a new OS based on Darwin (say Nano) and strike a deal with, say Samsung, to release smartphones with the Nano OS, will I be infringing any copyrights or breaking any laws?

 

  1. Hamza
    May 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    ive checked and you're alright

  2. Naf456
    April 4, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Maybe. The license states that you can commercially use Darwin source code as long as you state where the code is from and what licence it covers on the Product your shipping it with.The reason why I know this is because- I want to build my os using the XNU, ie Darwin.

  3. Eli Y
    January 7, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Just go with Linux

  4. Anonymous
    December 30, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Ask itunes or apple and perhaps they will guide you even better, making a private OS is difficult unless you have a great idea, if you want to protect yourself then first contact the company and tell your aim, if they say okay thats great then for sure will say lets protect you from PACMAN

  5. Anonymous
    December 30, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Well US Law gennerally would favor the large company... If you do start making money off of a Darwin clone, Apple will probably sue you. Look at their record, They are suing companies like HTC for infringement over the Android OS because it is linux based and mobile, none of the code, besides the linux base :) , is even close to the same. So if you took their stuff, and that is how they would flip it, a judge would almost instantly rule in their favorite and that is if you can afford to go that far, I couldn't.

    It would be VERY hard to try to get anything working from Apple has given away. Mainly because you would have to do quiet a bit of reverse engineering, really to the point of going from scratch or starting with BSD would be easier...

    The reason you done see alot of true iOS clones running around is because the Darwin Source is just that, the base of the OSes, mainly just BSD with parts of NeXTStep... (NeXT was the company Jobs started after he left Apple, and then was bought by Apple when he returned)  It has none of the parts at all that make OSX and iOS what they are, They are the frontend running on top of Darwin.  

    All that Said, Have fun. It would be hard but not impossible.

    • Subhom Mitra
      February 20, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks Richard. Will take your advice into account and thanks for your insight!

  6. Mike
    December 30, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I'm not into development but I'm not sure it's worth to use Darwin as the base for a new operating system.

    As far as I know the Darwin sources released by Apple are only components/parts based on or made as open source. It's not an actual working operating system that just needs to be compiled. 
    Parts of Mac OS X are closed source (as is most of iOS) ~ probably the crucial once. Otherwise people wouldn't have to hack Mac OS X into OSx86 versions but would compile the whole thing from scratch.

    As far as legal things go ~ good luck. You never really know you are infringing some patent until you get a lawsuit.

  7. Mike
    December 30, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I'm not into development but I'm not sure it's worth to use Darwin as the base for a new operating system.

    As far as I know the Darwin sources released by Apple are only components/parts based on or made as open source. It's not an actual working operating system that just needs to be compiled. 
    Parts of Mac OS X are closed source (as is most of iOS) ~ probably the crucial once. Otherwise people wouldn't have to hack Mac OS X into OSx86 versions but would compile the whole thing from scratch.

    As far as legal things go ~ good luck. You never really know you are infringing some patent until you get a lawsuit.

    • Subhom Mitra
      February 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      All right Mike, Thanks for the info!

  8. FIDELIS
    December 30, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Hello, Darwin is not only considered open source but it is also considered as a software with Free software license.  According to Wikipedia, a free software license  "grants recipients extensive rights to modify and redistribute, which would otherwise be prohibited by copyright law"

    This is the definition of Free Software License:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software_license

    This is the description of Darwin according to Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_%28operating_system%29

    This is the definition of Open source according to Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source

    I am not a lawyer or anything like that, but I would say that as long as your new operating system doesn't use any patented software or anything based in any copyrighted operating system you should be ok.  Of course, it would have to be seen if wikipedia definitions can hold water in court.  This is just my opinion.

    • Subhom Mitra
      February 20, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks for replying! 

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