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

Yuval Levy vlc07 at sfina.com
Sun Oct 31 22:45:15 CET 2010

On October 31, 2010 05:03:13 pm Jean-Baptiste Kempf wrote:

> (iii) You shall be able to store App Store Products from up to five
> different Accounts at a time on compatible iOS-based devices.
>  -> I don't understand what that means. You can only have 5 iOS-based
> devices with one application? Still, is that incompatible with the GPLv2?
> GPL §6 impeach people to restricts the rights granted by the GPL, which
> are only "copying, distribution and modification" as per §0

You need to think legalspeak to understand.

The above means that if five people share an iPod, and all five of them have App 
Store accounts, it is OK to store Products that were bought from all of those 
five accounts.  But if a sixth person shares the same iPod, and that sixth 
person has an App Store account, then it is illegal for that sixth person to 
download a Product to the iPod.

> (iv) You shall be able to store App Store Products on five
> iTunes-authorized devices at any time.
>  -> This is the exact same as above (iii)

not the same, but symmetric.  It means that if you own an iPhone 3, and iPhone 
3GS, an iPhone 4, an iPad, an iPod, an iPod Touch and an iPod Classic, you 
will be committing an illegal thing if you would store a Product an all of the 
six devices.

While these kind of conditions seems incomprehensible and just complications 
to laypeople, lawyers know and see exactly where this is going.

Imagine if condition iv did not exist.  Theoretically I could buy hundreds of 
iPods, download the same Product that I paid once on all of them and then 
share them with my friends.

Sorry to be the broker of bad news:  The above conditions are incompatible 
with the GPLv2 in both the spirit and the letter.

And while the conditions are worded so as to not affect the 99.99999% of normal 
users (who has more than five iDevices, or share an iDevice with more than five 
people), they are limitations on the freedoms granted by GPLv2.
> (v) You shall be able to manually sync App Store Products from at least one
> iTunes-authorized device to devices that have manual sync mode, provided
> that the App Store Product is associated with an Account on the primary
> iTunes-authorized device, where the primary iTunes-authorized device is
> the one that was first synced with the device or the one that you
> subsequently designate as primary using iTunes.
>  -> I don't see how we are concerned about that.

It's another provision designed to restrict distribution, and as such 
inherently incompatible with the GPLv2.

You can close an eye (or both of them if you like), but the fact is that Apple 
is trying hard to control/restrict distribution and this is inherently 
incompatible with the GPLv2, no matter how convoluted the phrasing is and how 
rare the case is.

have a good week
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