[vlc-devel] STOP! Think. Act... (was Re: Formal complaint -censorship)

Yuval Levy vlc07 at sfina.com
Wed Oct 27 19:37:53 CEST 2010

I did not want to chime in again, letting the vlc-developers heal their wound, 
apologize to each other, understand each other's view and reaching a 
consensus, but this is not only obnoxious, it is also wrong and stands 

On October 27, 2010 06:03:06 am salsaman wrote:
> 1) If you (vlc team) turn a blind eye to what Apple are doing, then
> don't be surprised if, some time in the future, some other company
> puts out a closed source version of VLC. When you complain, they can
> then (quite rightly) point out the fact that you allow Apple to
> distribute VLC under terms which are incompatible with the GPL.

You are right that from a practical perspective being seen as aggressively 
enforcing your copyright may help dissuade others.

But you stand corrected from a legal perspective.  A copyright holder has the 
prerogative to license their work under different and even conflicting licenses 
on a case by case basis with no prejudice.  The only potential future 
prejudice is if you turn a blind eye on one case of potential infringement you 
learn about now and change your mind in the future.

> 2) It seems that this issue is gathering more publicity, and many see
> it as an opportunity to open dialog with Apple to persuade them to
> change their licensing policy for GPL applications. If you have
> contacts there, please remind them that what they are doing
> (relicensing GPL code under another license) is actually illegal

Not a nice way to open dialog.  But then, I have not seen nice things from you 
in this thread.

How about simply asking them if they are aware of the VLC licensing terms and 
see what they respond?

Threats and litigation can come later, if necessary.  Once you are on the 
threats and litigation track you lost control.  ou may have a seemingly iron 
clad case and yet it can take an unexpected bad turn for you.  Good lawyers 
know that and try to negotiate settlement or implement remedies before getting 
to court imposed settlement, remedies, penalties which are never predictable.  
Justice is blind, both ways.

Apple is a smart company and they hire smart lawyers who know to tell them 
about the legality and risks of their actions.  They don't need to hear/read 
that from an unknown little ...

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 836 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part.
URL: <http://mailman.videolan.org/pipermail/vlc-devel/attachments/20101027/f588abef/attachment.sig>

More information about the vlc-devel mailing list