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.
Thread beginning with comment 448070
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[4]: No violation
by fewt on Mon 1st Nov 2010 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No violation"
fewt
Member since:
2010-06-09

"You can copy the app by syncing it to itunes, and then to another device. This is such a non-issue that it is pathetic.


...to a maximum of five devices, which is a limitation not allowed by the GPL. Ergo, GPL violation.
"

It is not a violation of the GPL version 2, as it doesn't define that under GPL v2 you are promised unlimited copies, only that you "may" copy.

"3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)"

"6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License."

If VLC was GPL v3, I would probably agree with you.

Edited 2010-11-01 21:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: No violation
by apoclypse on Mon 1st Nov 2010 22:06 in reply to "RE[4]: No violation"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

So, basically Thom posted like 5 times that we are all idiots and he doesn't seem all to sure himself. That's some top notch reporting there.

As far as I know the GPL2 does not state that binaries must remain unrestricted, in fact that's the reason version 3 exists in the first place, to prevent DRM on gpl'ed binaries among other things. Is VLC gpl3? If it is then Thom you are right, we are all idiots, otherwise STFU and stop berating people for bringing up valid points when you are just as "informed" as we are.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: No violation
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 1st Nov 2010 22:20 in reply to "RE[5]: No violation"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

As far as I know the GPL2 does not state that binaries must remain unrestricted


It does. Relevant section posted about ten times now.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: No violation
by TechGeek on Mon 1st Nov 2010 22:08 in reply to "RE[4]: No violation"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Do you not get the whole "no other restrictions" part? It doesn't matter what Apple does or doesn't allow you to copy. What matters is that there is a Terms of Service that places restrictions on the software. Apple can change them at ANY time and for any reason. This is why the clause is in the GPL. As long as they reserve the right to control the platform, then it will violate that part of the GPL. Remember, the GPL is meant to provide the same freedom with software that you have with the hardware you own. Obviously Apple isn't giving that freedom out with their products.

EDIT: Edit for making an incorrect statement.

Edited 2010-11-01 22:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: No violation
by fewt on Mon 1st Nov 2010 22:16 in reply to "RE[5]: No violation"
fewt Member since:
2010-06-09

Do you not get the whole "no other restrictions" part? It doesn't matter what Apple does or doesn't allow you to copy. What matters is that there is a Terms of Service that places restrictions on the software. Apple can change them at ANY time and for any reason. This is why the clause is in the GPL. As long as they reserve the right to control the platform, then it will violate that part of the GPL. Remember, the GPL is meant to provide the same freedom with software that you have with the hardware you own. Obviously Apple isn't giving that freedom out with their products.

EDIT: Edit for making an incorrect statement.


Apple only exposes a mechanism for software distribution. They did not create the software, therefore their terms aren't relevant in regard to the GPL.

"6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License."

This applies to the company that packaged VLC, not the delivery engine.

Blaming the Apple app store for imposing restrictions would be no different than claiming that the Ubuntu software store violated the GPL because there isn't a link to download the source code for each app available, or that the package wasn't retained on the file system after installation.

The counter argument to all of this crap is that by removing the app from the app store the authors of VLC would effectively be restricting distribution which could (and probably would) be a violation of the GPL v2.

Think about that..

Edited 2010-11-01 22:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2