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."
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Developer's Responsibility
by yoursecretninja on Tue 1st Jun 2010 03:43 UTC
yoursecretninja
Member since:
2006-01-02

Since Apple cannot reasonably know what code a developer has or has not used in their application, it seems to me the responsibility for this misuse of GPL-licensed code should rest with the developers. In fact, Apple should pull the offending products from the store for not only being in violation of the GPL, but also for being in violation of Apple's developer contract, which in section 5.1 states:

"You represent and warrant that: ... (b) none of the Licensed Applications, or Apple’s or end-users’ permitted uses of those Licensed Applications, violate or infringe any patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property or contractual rights of any other person, firm, corporation or other entity; "

What that says, in part, is that Apple's permitted use (e.g. distribution via the App Store via their policies) must not infringe the intellectual property of others AND it is up to the developer to ensure this.

Developers using GPL code in their binary applications, which Apple distributes and does not allow customers to redistribute is a violation of the license on the DEVELOPERs' part. I'm an iPhone dev and have never used GPL-licensed code in my products as this has always been my understanding of the contact.

Edited 2010-06-01 03:48 UTC

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