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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RE[2]: That isn't quite right
by Neolander on Sat 8th Jan 2011 21:52 UTC 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[3]: That isn't quite right
by tetek on Sat 8th Jan 2011 22:00 in reply to "RE[2]: That isn't quite right"
tetek Member since:
2010-10-04

-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.


Only the second statement is correct. Quoted above is not. I just checked developer agreement and there isn't anything about code. There is only notice about distributing application - you can't distribute it i.e. in cydia.

Reply Parent Score: 2

matto1990 Member since:
2009-04-18

The code was contributed back. The developers of the iOS app was also open source. The only problem is the DRM that apple ships with the market apps. That's all. I don't see why it has to be pulled for such a small technicality.

Reply Parent Score: 1

mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Software developers are forbidden from distributing their software (source included) outside of the App Store


Why do you people continue to perpetuate this lie? From the Apple developer site - under the "Distribute your App" section: (https://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/distribute.html)

Ad Hoc Distribution
Share your application with up to 100 other iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch users with Ad Hoc distribution. Share your application through email, or by posting it to a web site or server.

Yes, there is a LIMIT on it, but it is NOT "forbidden". And as far as source code is concerned I can share whatever I like - there are tutorial and code snippet sites that do precisely that. Do you see them being shut down?

This GPL thing was predictable, and shows the absolute moronic attitude of some people who are part of the FOSS movement. Apple did the only thing they could, because changing their TOS would allow all sorts of other things they don't want, and they're not about to do that. So the f'tards at VLC got what they deserved, and now they lose out. I just feel for the dev who spent his time only to have VLC screw him over - they were the ones who whinged when the essence of GPL was not being inhibited.

I liked having VLC on my iPhone, but it's not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination, and wouldn't be for the vast majority of normal users either. In fact for me it goes the other way, my feeling is if they want to be that stupid and f@({ people over they can shove their product where the sun don't shine. I've yet to find a video that I can't play on the Mac with something else anyway...

Reply Parent Score: -1

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

So the f'tards at VLC got what they deserved, and now they lose out. I just feel for the dev who spent his time only to have VLC screw him over - they were the ones who whinged when the essence of GPL was not being inhibited.


Well, the only dev "losing out" is the guy who wasted his time doing the port.

Reply Parent Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

they were the ones who whinged when the essence of GPL was not being inhibited.

What the ...(I will not resort to profanity) is wrong with people!
FSF legal counsel said that GPL and Apple's TOS were incompatible and yet, people like you think you have more legal understanding than layers that wrote and edited the GPL or people that actually write the "essence" of the document into the document.
Thankfully we still have the people behind GPL alive and well, but their stance somehow leaves people "who know better" undeterred!

Don't cross RMS, he has two katanas! http://xkcd.com/225/

Reply Parent Score: 7

FellowConspirator Member since:
2007-12-13

If you purchase an enterprise license, there's no limit to the number. We use an open-source iPad where I work that is available to everyone in the company for ad hoc distribution and is not available through the App Store.

Reply Parent Score: 1