Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Nov 2010 17:10 UTC
Apple Do you like VLC on your iPhone or iPad? You don't yet have it installed, but want to? Well, then you'd better be quick about it, as some VLC contributors are unhappy with the fact that VLC is distributed through Apple's App Store, violating the GPL the video player is licensed under. At least, that's what some think.
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RE[3]: Pull
by Neolander on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 07:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Pull"
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It would be a shame. The binary-distribution controversy only applies to a very small, almost insignificant, few that want to uphold the GPL, no matter what the cost to the apps distribution and reputation. In the real world, most people would download the app from the App store from those machines, as needed. They just can't use iTunes for unlimited distribution. Again...only an insignificant few would care about this. But, if they want to press it...go ahead. Apple will just drop the apps and users will get something else.

That's a very complicated matter.

One one hand, as you said, this is going to cause very bad PR for VLC, VideoLAN, and the GPL. This means more people using WTFPL/MIT/BSD-style licensing on the web, which is not necessarily good news.

On the other hand... This is serious legal matters. One of the four basic principles of GPL (free redistribution) is hurted. If we just ignore the thing, it's violating the law AND those basic moral principles. This will be remembered, and exhibited from the abyss in the worst situation possible.

I think that either way, we're stuck. It could have been better if no one had noticed the issue, but now that it has happened... Well... There's no way back.

In my opinion, the concept of the App Store itself is a monster, and now that it's hurting things I like I'm going to hate it even more ;)

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