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 bassbeast on Sun 9th Jan 2011 03:09 UTC in reply to "RE: That isn't quite right"
Member since:

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[3]: That isn't quite right
by vtolkov on Sun 9th Jan 2011 04:23 in reply to "RE[2]: That isn't quite right"
vtolkov Member since:

No, actually. You do not have freedom to relicense, but author has. Author could resolve the issue, but crowd can not, because they are bound by the license. Author of GPL wanted exactly that: bound people by his license, so they do not have alternative to joining his party.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[4]: That isn't quite right
by bassbeast on Wed 12th Jan 2011 07:12 in reply to "RE[3]: That isn't quite right"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11 don't actually know how GPL app development WORKS, do you? VLC was written by dozens of different developers over the years, some staying, some going, some only adding code to fix a single problem that bugged them.

Now because ALL those developers ONLY agreed to sharing their code under the GPL they would now have to hunt down every. single. one. of those developers, ask them if they would allow it to be released under BSD or public domain, and if they said no REWRITE those chunks of code. Now considering we have had at least two of the long term developers say NO, you are looking at probably a good 20-25% of the code right there that would have to be clean room rewritten.

In the end thanks to the community nature of GPL you can pretty much write off ever having ANY GPL code in iOS thanks to Apple's love of DRM. Now as I said I'm a Windows guy, been selling and servicing Windows machine since Win 3.1x, and I have NO problem with proprietary software. What I DO have a problem with is someone saying that Apple should be allowed to skirt the license because...well they are Apple. I know that isn't what you said but in the Apple forums that is heard often.

But theft is theft, and the ONLY way you are allowed to distribute GPL code is to follow the rules of the GPL. Otherwise it is NO different than reselling hot Windows software. If you don't follow the license you are stealing the software PERIOD, and Apple loves DRM too much to follow the license.

Reply Parent Score: 1

JAlexoid Member since:

If I want a piece of GPL code I have to share, if not then I don't use it, PERIOD.

Just a correction.
You don't have to share your code if you don't distribute derivative works based on GPLd code.
Even in if you infringe(by not complying with GPL), you would just have to remove the source of infringement (remove all of GPL code that is not under your copyright).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: That isn't quite right
by lemur2 on Sun 9th Jan 2011 06:51 in reply to "RE[2]: That isn't quite right"
lemur2 Member since:

If I want a piece of GPL code I have to share, if not then I don't use it, PERIOD.

The GPL code is available for you to USE (as in run, or execute) without restriction. Fill your boots. Enjoy!

The GPL code is not however, your code, so you do not have any intrinsic right to share it, or to refuse to share it. The copyright belongs to the original authors, not to you, and they have said that you may USE their code however you please, but that you may not re-distribute their code without sharing it with everybody.

Since it isn't your code anyway, because you didn't write it, if you do want to re-distribute it how on earth does it hurt you to share that source code?

And for that matter, getting back on topic, since Apple didn't write VLC, how on earth would it hurt Apple to have allowed redistibution of VLC for iOS source code (in compliance with the code's GPL license) via Apple's App store?

Edited 2011-01-09 06:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4