[vlc-devel] update on AppStore situation please

Jean-Baptiste Kempf jb at videolan.org
Tue Dec 28 01:16:55 CET 2010

On Sun, Dec 05, 2010 at 11:38:14PM -0300, salsaman wrote :
> What's the latest on this?

Well, well, well. I haven't had much time on that lately because of
other legal stuff. But this deserves an update...

The AppStore terms have changed 4 times since the latest discussion,
at least for me.

Copy, redistribution and modification don't seem to be of an issue, as
per past discussion and per clarification of the AppStore terms.

If an issue remains, it would be linked to the Usage part.

If we consider than §6 of the GPLv2 covers usage, we have to read more
closely to the Appstore Usage section. This section has changed quite a
bit, and clarified some parts, but not all of them.

To be noted, the terms clearly allows re-download of certain applications,
which wasn't clear before.

The part that is interesting has changed a bit:

    `You shall use Products in compliance with the applicable usage rules
    established by Apple and its principals (“Usage Rules”), and that any
    other use of the Products may constitute a copyright infringement.`

    "Vous reconnaissez en outre que votre utilisation des Produits,
    [...] sera conforme aux règles d’utilisation applicables fixées par iTunes
    et les Éditeurs (« Règles d’Utilisation »), et que toute autre
    utilisation des Produits pourra constituer une violation de droits

Note that the French part says:
    "A compter de son achat sur iTunes, cette licence constitue un contrat
    ayant force obligatoire établi entre vous et l’éditeur de ce Produit
    (l’ « Éditeur ») régissant votre utilisation de ce Produit."
    which means that the Éditeur also defines the « Règles d’Utilisation »

And the Usages Rules still states:

  (i) You may download and sync a Product for personal, noncommercial use on
      any device You own or control.

  (i) Vous êtes autorisé à télécharger et synchroniser un Produit à des
      fins personnelles et non commerciales sur tout équipement que vous
      possédez ou contrôlez.

Now, what is unclear:
 - should the first "may" be considered as a possibility or a fact?
   Seeing the French translation, I would say "a possibility".
 - whose copyright would be infringed, Apple's or the Products?
   The French translation doesn't help much here.
 - What to understand from the "may" of the Usage Rules?
   French says: "you are allowed to download and synchronise..."

notably seeing that Apple markets the iDevices as commercial tools
(notably with iWork suite),
notably seeing that Apple people have confirmed that the "(iv) You shall
be able to store App Store Products on five iTunes-authorized devices at
any time." sentence was to be understood to be a minimum and not a
maximum and that the French translation makes it even clearer.

As I am not a lawyer, I've mailed Copyright Agent for a clarification
on this 2 times, and I have received no answer so far.

Maybe I should mail steve... :)

Best Regards,

Jean-Baptiste Kempf
+33 672 704 734

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