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[5]: No violation
by TechGeek on Mon 1st Nov 2010 22:08 UTC 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

RE[7]: No violation
by lemur2 on Mon 1st Nov 2010 23:54 in reply to "RE[6]: No violation"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

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,


... but their is.

Ubuntu provides a "Sources" repository as well as a binary repository.

http://repogen.simplylinux.ch/

Each repository is in a pair ... Main and Main Sources, Security and Security Sources, Updates and Updates Sources.

Binary repositories, as well as the corresponding source repositories.

So much for that assertion. Shot down in flames.

Edited 2010-11-01 23:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: No violation
by TechGeek on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 02:21 in reply to "RE[6]: No violation"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

You're wrong. Its as simple as that. Apple is the distributor. Therefore they are subject to the GPL. Ubuntu becomes liable to the GPL when the distribute their distro. If they were to keep it totally in house, there would be no restrictions on what they could do with it. The GPL ONLY covers distribution.

And even IF you were right, then it would be Applidium violating the GPL, and they would be forced to remove it. Either way, the app should be removed due to Apple's restrictive terms.

As for the authors, as long as they are all in agreement, the GPL doesn't apply to them. They have the right to do what ever they want with their software.

Reply Parent Score: 2