So you steal stuff by paying for it?
His point was that they bought John and now John doesn't contribute anymore. Presumably because he spends all his time on proprietary code.
I don't know if that's true, but his argument, as framed, is that Apple took FreeBSD's most valuable asset and didn't give back after that. That's woudln't be 'paying for it', though John would have been well-rewarded for his efforts.
It's not true. He couldn't even get Jordan's name right, much less his involvement and commitment to FreeBSD at the time he was picked up by Apple. It's a huge disservice to the FreeBSD project to suggest that one single person, such as Jordan, mattered as much as OP suggests.
You mean Jordan Hubbard, not John. And he might have been one of the founders of the FreeBSD project, but he was far from a prolific committer. His role around the time he was asked to join Apple was concerned more with advocacy.
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.