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The white man bought all the land from the natives too, when they first arrived in North America. For peanuts. The natives had no concept of what they were doing because they didn't understand the importance of what they were giving away (and economic transactions of the sort were a newfangled thing for them). High school history classes. As my teacher said, "And you might think that these guys got ripped off. Well, they did."

A legal transaction can still be considered stealing, and I think it's very easy to say that Xerox didn't realize what they were giving away. Now the thing is, when transacting with an entity like Xerox, it probably can't be considered criminal. :)

Xerox wasn't using any of that stuff to its potential; the million bucks they made off it by way of their Apple investment was the best they were going to get. And unlike the Indians they didn't even have to get "kicked off the land" to get it! When Xerox shared their ideas, they still had those ideas and could continue to use them much as before.

No, if you want to redeem the claim that Apple "stole" from Xerox you can't really do it based on the ideas that came out of those meetings.

The one thing Apple did that was vaguely disreputable is: they then hired away many of the key Xerox people. You can't say they "stole" the ideas but they did "steal" the employees. Not in the sense that it was illegal - employees have free will and freedom of contract and there was no non-compete clause - but that this went beyond what Xerox reasonably expected to come out of the transaction, so you can see how Xerox might have been miffed.

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