[vlc-devel] Update on AppStore (yet again)

Pierre Ynard linkfanel at yahoo.fr
Sat Mar 12 05:17:41 CET 2011

> I am sorry, but here is yet again an update on the AppStore situation...
> :D And some news are interesting (as far as legal things can be
> interesting, which is, as far as I am concerned, close to nil, but
> well...)

Don't be sorry, updates are awesome!

> The first subproblem was regarding the Usage Rights, and their explicit
> authorization of the correct usages as said here:
> "you shall use Products in compliance with the applicable usage rules
> established by Apple and its licensors (“Usage Rules”), and that any
> other use of the Products may constitute a copyright infringement."

This is from section B. ITUNES STORE TERMS AND CONDITIONS; the section
C relevant to the appstore still uses the old language talking about

In fact, I failed to spot any difference between that paragraph in
section C, and the version you posted 4 months ago.

> translated in French ToS:

The French version does use the licensor (/éditeurs/) terminology.

> The first remark here was that the "Éditeurs" have now their take in
> what Usages are valid and which ones are not.

It was already the case when they said "usage rules established by Apple
and its principals", although I guess that "principals" is less obvious,
and involved Apple as an agent, which they apparently don't want to look

The Usage Rules as referred throughout the ToS are still solely
defined in the corresponding paragraphs of the ToS, redacted solely
by Apple. The ToS point to themselves, and nowhere else, to define
the Usage Rules: "you agree to the latest iTunes Store Terms and
Conditions and Usage Rules, which you may access and review at

> My understanding here is that an apps that authorise all usages, if
> approved by Apple, would indeed allow all Usages to the user.

My understanding is that the only way the Licensors are involved in
authorizing usages in the Usage Rules is by mandating Apple as agents to
write and enforce them. Of course they have no latitude in it.

> The second subproblem was regarding those rules, and to understand if
> they were minimum rights or limiations, and notably, how to understand
> the following part:
> [...]
> Of course, since I am not a lawyer, those formulation could be
> understood differently, but I see a change trending here too.

The relevant sections still haven't changed since last time. So my
analysis of then hasn't changed. I agree that the context is changing a
bit though, making it easier to interpret the ToS in a favorable way.

> Maybe, if the application clearly re-explains the absence of usage
> limitation, it could be ok to have a GPLv2 application on the
> Appstores?

To me, that's more like a stopgap solution. Not that I'm saying I mind.
My opinion on the course of action to follow is reserved.

> PPS: I can't believe we are totally foreign to those changes of
> situation, but I may mistake...

Apple are just trying to get us back, without relaxing their ToS too
much; in fact, the longer we wait, the more they'll be forced to relax
their terms.

I'd also like to point out that this question is still pending:

> > On the other hand, the source delivery must include "the scripts
> > used to control (...) installation of the executable" as per GPLv2
> > §3. I don't know if the MobileVLC.git includes said scripts nor
> > how the application installer (the iTunes counterpart on the device
> > side) works.
> There have the scripts to build the binaries, and the binaries before
> submission are on our ftp.
> What happens after that is beyond my understanding yet.

So what's the submission process, what happens then (it's j-b's
understanding that free apps don't get DRMs added to them), how are they
installed and can we get the sources?

Also, for people who fail to read between the lines, Rémi prefers to
follow the opinion of the SFLC. At this point, getting the approval of
the SFLC seems like a prerequisite. However, given how the changes are
mostly contextual, I'm not sure that they would be enough to sway the


Pierre Ynard
"Une âme dans un corps, c'est comme un dessin sur une feuille de papier."

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