Apple has acquired the rights to the open source Unix printing system which is used in Mac OS X and several of the most common Linux and Unix distributions.
The Common Unix Printing System (Cups) was created by developer Michael Sweet, and is distributed under the General Public Licence (GPL) through Sweet's Easy Software Products brand.
Cups is used to manage printing tasks in Unix-like environments. The components are used in operating systems including Red Hat, Ubuntu, SuSE, HP-UX and FreeBSD.
Sweet revealed in an article posted to the official Cups website that he and Apple agreed to a deal in February in which Sweet would take a position at Apple and turn the rights over to the company.
Developers wanting to use Cups will not have to go through Apple just yet, however.
The software will continue to be developed and released under its current GPL2/Lesser GPL2 licensing system, meaning that the software will still be freely available to developers.
Apple has added a clause to the licensing agreement exempting OS X and Darwin-based Cups software from code-sharing requirements.
Developers will still be able to use the Cups name and logo for all direct ports of the software, but will need to contact Apple for permission to use the logo and name in products derived from Cups code.
Apple drinks to Cups deal
By Shaun Nichols on Jul 16, 2007 2:40PM