[vlc-devel] Apple AppStore infringing VLC media player license

Derk-Jan Hartman hartman at videolan.org
Tue Oct 26 15:27:01 CEST 2010

Can I make a suggestion ?

What if the app started with its own "Your rights" disclaimer, reaffirming all rights the user has per the GPL and that usage of those rights is explicitly granted by the authors of the software and any attempts to limit those rights by Apple are illegal, link to the software sources and link people to information that can help them run their own versions on their devices...

It will probably be tough to get that trough the AppStore approval process, but I think at the very least it is worth a try.


On 26 okt 2010, at 09:49, Rémi Denis-Courmont wrote:

> [ Since thew Planet website and my RSS feed have been removed without
> explanation, I have to resort to the mailing list. This was written
> yesterday. ]
> "Espoo, Finland - Today, a formal notification of copyright infringement
> was sent to Apple Inc. regarding distribution of the VLC media player for
> iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. VLC media player is free software licensed
> solely under the terms of the open source GNU General Public License
> (a.k.a. GPL). Those terms are contradicted by the products usage rules of
> the AppStore through which Apple delivers applications to users of its
> mobile devices. At the time of writing, the infringing application is still
> available. However, it is to be expected that Apple will cease distribution
> soon, just like it did with GNU Go earlier this year in strikingly similar
> circumstances: http://www.fsf.org/news/2010-05-app-store-compliance . Thus,
> users of iOS-based devices would be deprived of VLC media player, as a
> consequence of the intransigently tight control Apple maintains over its
> mobile applications platform. In any case, while the rules for distribution
> of open-source or "free" (as in speech) software are extremely relaxed,
> they do exist and have to be abode by. VLC and open-source software in
> general would not have reached their current quality and success if it had
> not been for their license. Therefore, blatant license violation cannot be
> tolerated at any rate. Concerned users are advised to look for application
> on more open mobile platforms for the time being."
> ###
> Some people have commented that this will damage the project's reputation.
> Maybe so. Blame those who published and/or advertized VLC for iPad. The
> fact of the GPL incompatibility was already well known. JB himself
> described it as a "grey area". They decided to take the risk anyway, and
> they bear full responsibility for any consequences. Personally, I don't
> blame them because I know very well how a geek feels when writing cool code
> for a cool new gadget.
> But it seems that people are now accounting ME responsible for this,
> evidently including the people who censored me as of today. This is
> entirely intolerable. I am not the one who took the risks of violating
> copyright here.
> -- 
> Rémi Denis-Courmont
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