[vlc-devel] FSF position on GPLv2 & current App Store terms

Brett Smith brett at fsf.org
Tue Nov 2 14:46:44 CET 2010

On Tue, 2010-11-02 at 09:26 +0100, Rémi Denis-Courmont wrote:
> Do I understand the GPL right that users who have download MobileVLC from
> App Store are legally allowed to continue to use it, as per GPLv2 §4.

That's right.  Under the GPL's terms, as long as those users do not
violate the license themselves (e.g., by distributing the object code
without source code), their license under the GPL remains valid.  And
since running the program is unrestricted under the GPL's terms, there's
no way for them to "accidentally" violate the license by merely using
the software.

I honestly can't say whether or not Apple will interfere by forcibly
removing MobileVLC from users' iOS devices.  When we enforced in the GNU
Go case a while ago, I know Apple removed it from the App Store, but I
didn't hear any reports either way about whether people who downloaded
the program still had access to it.  There's certainly nothing in the
GPL that would require them to do that -- if they do it, it'll be their
own decision.

Best regards,

Brett Smith
License Compliance Engineer, Free Software Foundation

Support the FSF by becoming an Associate Member: http://fsf.org/jf

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