Apple Ousts Coder for Being Too Young

AmbitiousLemon

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Nov 28, 2001
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down in Fraggle Rock
I came aross this article at wired.com.
Finlay Dobbie was a frequent contributor to Darwin -- the open-source core of Mac OS X -- until the company discovered he was a minor.
Citing its policy that members of its developer programs be at least 18 years old, Apple disabled Dobbie's Apple Developer Connection account, making it impossible for him to download developer tools or further participate in Darwin.
"Apple's response is very short-sighted and sad," he said. "They've forgotten their roots."
i guess the reason they did this is that they felt that the legal issues of a minor contributing to the open source project were too hairy. since he is not 18 he can not enter a legal contract which means he could later decide that he wants to keep the rights to parts of darwin he contributed which would put apple in a very difficult situation. still it seems apple could simply get his parents to cosign any legal documents and thereby bypass any hairy legal issues.
 

Beej

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2002
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Buffy's bedroom
Apple has to keep itself safe in that sue-happy place we call America.

It's a shame. But you're right, you'd think Apple would let a guardian sign for (with) him.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
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VA
I think the key thing here is that since all contracts with a minor are viodable, it also includes non-disclosure clauses. He'd be the perfect 'mole', able to spill what ever he learned as a developer and not be able to be prosecuted.

Apple's paranoia over secrecy is showing.....
 

big

macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2002
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Originally posted by dukestreet
I think the key thing here is that since all contracts with a minor are viodable, it also includes non-disclosure clauses. He'd be the perfect 'mole', able to spill what ever he learned as a developer and not be able to be prosecuted.

Apple's paranoia over secrecy is showing.....
that ones a little X-filey, Seems like the kid still would have an awesome future once he matures. How many people can put that on their resume?
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
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Originally posted by big


that ones a little X-filey, Seems like the kid still would have an awesome future once he matures. How many people can put that on their resume?
he will get a real paying job in the valley asap

i have heard about employees younger than 15, which is not legal, working in the industry...it is about money and if the person, however young they are have a special skill, they will get hired one way or another

i knew someone younger than the above mentioned article who worked for big blue

before i was a techie, i got my BA in HR and i saw how companies can circumvent many of the laws...in employment law, nothing is written in stone (the supreme court recently upheld a company's decision not to pay an illegal immigrant $64,000 dollars that they owed him despite criticism of the court from the bush administration)

remember that bill gates was only 14 when he started the company which would eventually become microsoft (five years later) and in that first year, while bill was in junior high, he made $50,000 with his friend paul allen

unlike other areas of the world, silicon valley was built largely on young minds...twenty somethings bill hewlett, david packard, and larry ellison; teens shawn fanning, steve wozniak, steve jobs, bill gates, paul allen, mike dell, and many others are the foundation the industry is built upon

and unlike many other industries, many if not most of these luminaries listed above did not have college degrees and years of experience before they started their ventures

the woz, whose brain launched apple, did not finish college until after his work at apple and thus his entrance into the world of teaching (for less money)

apple really might have a different issue than just age because the minor is working as a developer for free and that does enter a different type of legal contract than some kid the same age working at a pizza joint like i did at that age