Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 28th May 2010 22:57 UTC, submitted by Panajev
GNU, GPL, Open Source "The Free Software Foundation is up in arms over Apple's iTunes Store Terms of Service, suggesting that these terms fundamentally conflict with the terms of the GNU Public License. The foundation has warned Apple that a version of GNU Go distributed by the App Store makes Apple liable to comply with GPL terms that allow free sharing of code, but warned that its 'Usage Rules' violate those terms. The fallout could potentially affect any app that uses GPLed code."
Thread beginning with comment 427076
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Something Apple should do
by mrhasbean on Fri 28th May 2010 23:58 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

Is remove DRM from any free apps on the App Store so that you can just email a copy to friends or upload it to your own web site. By all means put the app through the approval process to make sure it's not going to smoke someone's phone and make it's initial download only through the app store, but then make it freely available for mass distribution through any media. IMO this would be a win-win and anyone wanting to redistribute it would have to then abide by the appropriate licences too.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Something Apple should do
by darknexus on Sat 29th May 2010 00:08 in reply to "Something Apple should do"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Agreed, and that would be an effective way out of this issue with the FSF too. As best I understand it, the FSF is upset that anyone who downloads a GPL-based app from the store cannot redistribute the according binary as the GPL says they should. The DRM does, in fact, violate that term of the GPL and so do Apple's terms of service. With a quick exception clause in those, and the removal of DRM for all free apps, the situation is close to neutralized. There may also be paid apps with GPL'd code in them too however, and the same would have to be done to those and I guarantee you Apple would never do such a thing. They'd probably never do it for free apps either, because if they did they wouldn't be able to do their oh-so-important download stat tracking on those distributed outside of the stor, plus the app store lock-in would be effectively removed. Apple would never do such a thing, from sheer stubbornness if for no other reason. They're too fond of their store lock-in to ever let it go and, while I suspect it will hurt them more than help them in the long run, they do not see things that way.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Something Apple should do
by Karitku on Sat 29th May 2010 15:03 in reply to "Something Apple should do"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

And open flood gates to piracy? Actually only people that FSF should blame is those that submit programs to Apple iTunes Store. They are ones who actually break GPL, and possibly Apple terms also, in this case since they agreed on both terms. Most likely Apple will just remove any GPL stuff to fix problem.

Reply Parent Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

And open flood gates to piracy? Actually only people that FSF should blame is those that submit programs to Apple iTunes Store. They are ones who actually break GPL, and possibly Apple terms also, in this case since they agreed on both terms. Most likely Apple will just remove any GPL stuff to fix problem.


You should read the GPL text in full. Because it does cover the distribution process very thoroughly. And removing all GPL licensed software from the AppStore will be the easiest way of doing things.

Reply Parent Score: 3