Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Sat 8th Jan 2011 19:28 UTC, submitted by sjvn
GNU, GPL, Open Source Some people swore to me that just because the free-software General Public License (GPL) clashes with the Apple App Store's Terms of Service (ToS), didn't mean that Apple would actually pull down GPLed apps. Well, Apple just did. Remi Denis-Courmont, a Linux developer of the popular VLC media player, has just announced that Apple had pulled the popular GPLed VLC media player from its App Store.
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That isn't quite right
by sigzero on Sat 8th Jan 2011 19:53 UTC
sigzero
Member since:
2006-01-03

They requested Apple to (a) change the policies of the store or (b) remove the software from it, and they got exactly that. Then they complained.

Reply Score: 3

RE: That isn't quite right
by antoniofonseca on Sat 8th Jan 2011 20:29 in reply to "That isn't quite right"
antoniofonseca Member since:
2011-01-08

"This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object." -- The Joker

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: That isn't quite right
by vivainio on Sat 8th Jan 2011 21:25 in reply to "That isn't quite right"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

They requested Apple to (a) change the policies of the store or (b) remove the software from it, and they got exactly that. Then they complained.


People complaining are different from people who were asking for these things.

I see the path Apple took (pulling the app) as the only sensible one. The app shouldn't have been pushed to the app store in the first place.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: That isn't quite right
by tetek on Sat 8th Jan 2011 21:28 in reply to "That isn't quite right"
tetek Member since:
2010-10-04

Yeah, I hope they are happy. GPL lawyers/prosecutors are.

So situation looks like this:
- few of open source advocates says "it's all apple fault cause they didn't change the TOS"
- apple won't change TOS just for few apps
- common people can't use VLC on iDevices

I think that the main lost is for "The People" - average Joe.
It should not work like this. I'm pretty sure that creator(s) of GPL hadn't this in mind when they wanted to create a free software for everyone.

In this case a company ported for free a free software. No one had any $ from it. You could download a source code. No one was being hurt... Everybody benefit from it.

I thought that Open Source was about freedom of software and that open source software was FOR people. Not the other way. GPL shoudn't be used as muzzle.
Above the law there is always common good. It should be. Especially that the case was just to put the foot down.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: That isn't quite right
by vivainio on Sat 8th Jan 2011 21:44 in reply to "RE: That isn't quite right"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


I think that the main lost is for "The People" - average Joe.


Nah, the people losing are the ones buying Apple products (as they have less software at their disposal). And, by proxy, Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: That isn't quite right
by Neolander on Sat 8th Jan 2011 21:52 in reply to "RE: That isn't quite right"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I thought that Open Source was about freedom of software and that open source software was FOR people. Not the other way. GPL shoudn't be used as muzzle.
Above the law there is always common good. It should be. Especially that the case was just to put the foot down.

Sorry, but the goal of GPL is in my opinion not to defend "people" as a whole. The closest thing to that would be public domain, AFAIK, and GPL is very far away from public domain.

The GPL's primary goal, the way I see it, is to promote collaboration in software development and distribution. You use or redistribute my software, alright, but then you contribute back by sharing your modifications with the rest of the world and letting users share my software the way they want. This way, we and the rest of the community of software developers as a whole benefit from our effort, as the amount of publicly accessible open-source work grows.

On the other side of the coin, the App Store's TOS are the exact opposite of the GPL. Among them, you can find that...
-Software developers are forbidden from distributing their software (source included) outside of the App Store. So every software on the App Store which is not closed source is illegal and it's Apple's right to remove it whenever they want.
-Software users cannot freely share the product they have bought. So when the App Store will close its doors, all work which was published on it will be definitely lost. It's generally-speaking a very bad idea to depend on a single mode of distribution.

No way both ideologies might ever agree.

Reply Parent Score: 15

RE[2]: That isn't quite right
by bassbeast on Sun 9th Jan 2011 03:09 in reply to "RE: That isn't quite right"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I'm pretty sure that creator(s) of GPL hadn't this in mind when they wanted to create a free software for everyone

Actually that is EXACTLY what they had in mind! The WHOLE POINT of the GPL is that you get the same freedom the developer has and Apple doesn't allow that. If Apple was allowed to skirt the GPL simply because they are popular then you might as well just toss the GPL for BSD and let any corp just make the apps proprietary.

As much as I don't agree with RMS on...well pretty much anything, since I am a Windows guy who sees nothing wrong with proprietary software, I do have to respect the license if I want to use the developer's hard work. If I want a piece of GPL code I have to share, if not then I don't use it, PERIOD. Being allowed to just "skip" the GPL because they are Apple would be NO different that just taking someone's app that I had NO rights to and selling it.

If I don't have the license then I'm infringing PERIOD and Apple was infringing by not allowing the GPL license to be upheld. It is academic. This also give an advantage to those that DO follow the GPL or allow it like Android, as they now have access to all those GPL apps that Apple does not. Now we know in the end it won't make a difference, because an iFanboy would buy a brick in a box if it came from Steve, but this at least sets a precedent on what to expect from Apple. I can't wait to see how well the Mac users react when Steve locks them into their own "app store" walled garden.

Reply Parent Score: 13

RE[2]: That isn't quite right
by JAlexoid on Sun 9th Jan 2011 06:12 in reply to "RE: That isn't quite right"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I'm pretty sure that creator(s) of GPL hadn't this in mind when they wanted to create a free software for everyone.


Really? Richard Stallman is, thankfully, still alive and well, so we can ask him... We don't need to resort to anything paranormal...

And based on his comments, presentations and articles that is this is exactly what he wanted.

PS: The FSF, where the GPL was created and where RMS is The Big Kahuna, have already made a statement on the issue. And it ain't pro-Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: That isn't quite right
by ubunho on Sun 9th Jan 2011 10:58 in reply to "RE: That isn't quite right"
ubunho Member since:
2011-01-09

I'm pretty sure that creator(s) of GPL hadn't this in mind when they wanted to create a free software for everyone.


I'm pretty sure that the GPL was specifically written by Stallman and friends for exactly this kind of situation. If you're happy to give up a couple of freedoms just so you can have an easy life; you deserve all the trouble you're going to get.

How is the GPL being used as a muzzle here? Go to the VLC homepage, notice that there's a link to the iOS version of VLC? Guess what, you can download iOS VLC from that page to as many idevices as you want without having to create multiple accounts.

Here's the link:

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-ios.html

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: That isn't quite right
by shmerl on Mon 10th Jan 2011 08:13 in reply to "RE: That isn't quite right"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Why not? Don't install VLC from appstore. Install it directly. That's it.

Reply Parent Score: 1