Apple & FreeBSD relationship

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Thu Mar 10 17:13:12 UTC 2011

> To: freebsd-questions at
> From: "Julian H. Stacey" <jhs at>
> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:36:29 +0100
> Subject: Re: Apple & FreeBSD relationship 
> Aside, On Disclaimers::
>  Chuck Swiger wrote:
> 	> Hi--
> 	>
> 	> #include <std/disclaimer.h>
> 	>
> 	> It wouldn't be considered appropriate for Apple employees or 
> 	> contractors (well, outside of the folks working in investor relations, 
> 	> perhaps) to try to persuade someone to invest in a particular company 
> 	> because of which open source projects Apple might be contributing 
> 	> towards.  In another context, someone from Apple who was familiar with 
> 	> those contributions might be free to discuss them, but they would 
> 	> generally be expected to not identify their affiliation with Apple to 
> 	> avoid unduly influencing other people or creating a real or perceived 
> 	> conflict of interest.
>  To not declare affiliation for fear it might tilt perception of 
>  recipient, would be misguided.  A disclaimer such as
>   "I work for XYZ. I do not speak for XYZ."
>   would suffice.  One declares affiliations to be fair to recipients & 
>   safeguard oneself. Recipients are informed, can draw their own 
>   conclusions, & not roast one for undeclared interest :-).  Examples:
>   onflicts-of-interest/
>    Section 6:
>    "PROVIDED ...................... there is full
>    transparency about any such interests."

Sorry,  Julian, but Chuck had it _legally_ correctly, for the U.S.A..

As soon as someone so much as mentions 'investing' in a company, a whole
bunch of rather draconian laws kick in about the offering of "investment 
advice" by someone affiliated with the investment entity.  This has become
very much of a 'hot button' issue in recent years, with a lot of new,
*very*strict* laws being enacted, in part because of some of the recent
major investment scandals, like "Enron", "AIG", etc..

Secondly, there is a matter of the 'company policy' of his employer with
regard to employees giving 'investment advice' -- even if it is 'on their
own time' -- about the company.  Even if it isn't against the law, it 
could easily get him fired, instantly.

Almost all publicly held companies (at least in the USA) have an 'investor
relations' department, and those are the _only_ employees, other than the 
CEO, who are authorized give out investment-related information. Further,
everything they _do_ give out has been (a) approved by senior management,
and (b) 'vetted' by the legal department.

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