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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Please Explain
by John Blink on Sun 9th Jan 2011 01:54 UTC
John Blink
Member since:
2005-10-11

I read the article, can someone explain in simple point form what happened?

Also am I legally allowed to continue to use Applidium's VLC on my phone?

Please ignore what I write below, no need to answer it. Just a rant. But please answer my question above, I would liked to understand what has happened here.

------------------

I am "the people" who likes to use free software, and I am at a disadvantage here.

Also my rant below is created from my lack of knowledge on the GPL / Apple ToS matter,

quote "...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"

Yes of course the evil corp. pulled the app not a developer. Thus we conclude Apple doesn't like GPL.

Also who cares what apple's ToS says?! I have seen GPL'd applications in most versions of Windows! and OSX. Quick remove them! Lets not enhance the peoples user experience with our free apps, but lets keep them for ourselves, but yeah they're "free"!!!

It is free, give it to me. Keeping the program away from me would break GPL, would it not? (again I have no idea what the GPL says).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Please Explain
by JAlexoid on Sun 9th Jan 2011 06:40 in reply to "Please Explain"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I read the article, can someone explain in simple point form what happened?


Some legalese licensing confusion happened and based on a lot of points Apple decided not to get mired in a GPL dispute. Apple just washed their hands of the whole thing and they did right.

Also am I legally allowed to continue to use Applidium's VLC on my phone?


Yau are allowed, it's further distribution through AppStore that is not.

Also who cares what apple's ToS says?! I have seen GPL'd applications in most versions of Windows! and OSX. Quick remove them! Lets not enhance the peoples user experience with our free apps, but lets keep them for ourselves, but yeah they're "free"!!!


Apple's iDevices and AppStore ToS has additional requirements and places additional constraints. Wondows and MacOSX do not. Simple as that. You can get VLC app for Windows or MacOSX by any means you like: download it from their web site, your friend can burn it onto a CD or give it on a Flash drive. In iOS the only way you, a user, can get an app is through AppStore(without jailbreaking).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Please Explain
by Drumhellar on Sun 9th Jan 2011 07:03 in reply to "Please Explain"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

It's incredibly easy to find the GPL, and that is probably something you should do before ranting about it.

Here is a link to GPL v2, which is what VLC is released under:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html

Read it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Please Explain
by mintar on Sun 9th Jan 2011 10:10 in reply to "Please Explain"
mintar Member since:
2008-09-26

Also who cares what apple's ToS says?! I have seen GPL'd applications in most versions of Windows! and OSX. Quick remove them! Lets not enhance the peoples user experience with our free apps, but lets keep them for ourselves, but yeah they're "free"!!!


The difference between Windows/OSX and iOS is this: Under Windows, you have the freedom to modify and run any GPL'd program, and you can even redistribute it as you like (provided you also share the code). Under iOS, you can not: you need Apple's approval to do that. So this is a freedom that is taken away from you by Apple on purpose, and this clashes with the GPL.

It's not the case that Apple's TOS were somehow god-given, and that the GPL was intentionally designed to shut Apple out. On the contrary, the GPL was designed to stop people from ripping the developers off, and Apple chose their TOS in full knowledge that they are not compatible with the GPL.

Some people put a lot of hard work into VLC without being paid. They only did it on the condition that the result of their work is also distributed freely, because they don't want to get ripped off. The code is still theirs, and if you want to use or redistribute it, you have to respect their terms.

If you want to use free software on your device, then convince Apple to open their devices, or buy something else, like an Android phone.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Please Explain
by John Blink on Sun 9th Jan 2011 23:12 in reply to "RE: Please Explain"
John Blink Member since:
2005-10-11

Apple chose their TOS in full knowledge that they are not compatible with the GPL.

Some people put a lot of hard work into VLC without being paid. They only did it on the condition that the result of their work is also distributed freely, because they don't want to get ripped off. The code is still theirs, and if you want to use or redistribute it, you have to respect their terms.

If you want to use free software on your device, then convince Apple to open their devices, or buy something else, like an Android phone.


I would like it if the developers distribute VLC freely.

Can anyone answer what the terms are that isn't being met?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Please Explain
by phoudoin on Mon 10th Jan 2011 11:01 in reply to "RE: Please Explain"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

If you want to use free software on your device, then convince Apple to open their devices, or buy something else, like an Android phone.


Or jailbreak your Apple device(s) and do what you're untitled to be allowed to do with your own properties... running and redistributing GPL software included.

Meanwhile, true, putting his money where is his mouth works better on the long term. It could even convince Apple to be more open-friendly. On the long term. On short, noway ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 2