The reason should be obvious if you know what Mac Themes Project is about. In the project, a number of Mac enthusiasts have made a free editor for creating custom appearances for MacOS 8.5 and up. Basically, they support a feature that is available in the OS but that Apple hasn't bothered to support properly. The project is completely non-commercial, done only for the good of Mac-kind.
Apple's lawyers claim that they have reverse engineered Apple's code in some illegal way, infringing on Apple's rights, but regardless of whether that is right or wrong, Apple is doing wrong, very wrong.
The signal from Apple is that you are not allowed to do fancy things with a Mac. You are not allowed to show off with how great your Mac is. You are not allowed to do things that Apple didn't finish. We are not allowed to have fun when developing for the Mac, we are not allowed to use our computers they way we want. We are not allowed to give Apple free PR.
In the past, I once made a demo, showing off another great MacOS feature (not as great as MTP, but still). For some reason, I asked Apple about it before distributing, and got a flat "no". The result was that that demo never was distributed at all.
This is bad for Apple and the Mac community. Enthusiasts, skilled programmers with the ambition to do great things and thereby potential for creating "killer applications" are scared away, and their skills make other platforms prosper.
What should Apple do then? The answer is so horribly obvious. When they find that some hacker is infringing on their rights, they should write a kind letter, with thanks for the good intentions in providing software for the Mac and maybe about the quality and orginality, informing about the legal aspects, and help the person doing the infringment to write a simple letter asking for permission, and then quickly grant that permission with any limitations needed to protect Apple's rights.
Apple is not doing this. The only reason I can see is massive stupidity somewhere in the organization, where legal rights are put above customer relations and development of future technology. Stop killing your future, Apple! Stop hurting your friends!
Copyright ©2001 Ingemar Ragnemalm.