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 448200
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[6]: No worries
by fewt on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 11:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No worries"
Member since:

No You!:

Excerpt from this link (emphasis mine):

-'Along the same lines, we'll be talking about GPLv2 specifically in this blog post, since that's the license at issue, but this analysis would apply to all versions of the GNU GPL and AGPL. Section 6 of GPLv2 says:

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.

(Emphasis added.) This last sentence is a crucial part of the strong copyleft in the GPL and AGPL: it prevents distributors from using separate legal agreements, like Terms of Service or NDAs, to take away the freedoms that the license is supposed to grant. This is the license condition that Apple is violating when it distributes GPL-covered software through the App Store.'

So yes, Thom was right.

You can't cite a blog and claim it as fact. The FSF can speculate all it wants about how their license should be used, however as we found out with Tivo it is not as black and white as they want you to believe. Without case-law to back up the article it is meaningless.

For example:

"Another major change consists of a new form attacking a user's freedom that we've seen in the past few years. It's called tivoisation. This is the practice of designing a machine so that if the user installs a modified version of a program, the machine refuses to run it.

It's named after the first product I heard of which did this, which is called the Tivo. The Tivo contains Free Software released under version two, and they provide the source code, so the user of the Tivo can modify the program and compile it, and install the modified version in his machine, whereupon the machine won't run at all because it notices that this is a modified version. This means that in some nominal sense, the user has freedom number one, but really, in practical terms it has been taken away, it has been turned into a sham. And this happens systematically, and it makes a systematic threat to users' freedom. So we've decided to block this, and the way we block it is as part of the conditions for distributing binaries, we say that if you distribute in, or for use in, a certain product, then you must provide whatever the user needs in order to install her own modified version and have them function the same way, unless her changes in the code change the function. But the point is that it's not just the user has to be able to install it and has to be able to run, but it has to be able to do the same job, despite having been modified."

Though Stallman was speaking of hardware devices restricting use, it can absolutely apply to software. The Tivo platform refusing to run modified GPL code is no different than the iPhone refusing to run a version copied from another device due to DRM. Different mechanism, with the same net effect.

Edited 2010-11-02 11:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: No worries
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 11:52 in reply to "RE[6]: No worries"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Right. Some random dude on the internet knows better how the GPL works than the guy and organisation that wrote it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[8]: No worries
by fewt on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 12:06 in reply to "RE[7]: No worries"
fewt Member since:

Right. Some random dude on the internet knows better how the GPL works than the guy and organisation that wrote it.

Does David know that you are this much of a dick towards people using his site?

I was quoting Richard Stallman, and as much as I disagree with many things that he says, I'll take his word over the opinion of an FSF blogger (who has no legal background) any-day. If you can't provide case-law to make your case then you should just quit talking. Behaving like a 12 year old isn't going to win you any friends.

Reply Parent Score: -1