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

Romain Goyet r.goyet at gmail.com
Mon Mar 14 00:03:19 CET 2011

Hi everyone,

> 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.

Nope, Pierre, I think you misunderstood what Rémi said on IRC (Rémi
please correct me if I'm wrong).
Rémi said he hadn't made his opinion yet, but that he said he would be
fine if the SFLC was.
So it's the other way around : if the SFLC is ok, so is Rémi.

Also, the changes are far from contextual. Indeed, there are two major
differences that have been introduced lately :

 - First, as JB said, Apple decided to take care of the "Open Source"
licensing case. I'm not a lawyer, but given how many of them Apple has
hired, I guess they did thing correctly (i.e. they did not forget
something incompatible with the GPL in their ToS if they explicitely
plan the case of OpenSource software).
 - Second, you can now add your *own* licence agreement to software
being distributed on the AppStore. This is brand new, and I believe
this should fix any remaining issue. For example, Yahoo provide their
own ToS for this app :
(See the "Licence agreement" link).

I think we should let Apple decide : we could re-submit the app on the
App Store, including two important things :
 - A disclaimer within the app, stating the user's rights
 - The GPLv2 as a License Agreement. If Apple accepts this, then I
guess this means they agree to comply with the GPL requirements :-)

Also, and I think this is pretty important as well : there are *tons*
of blatant GPL violations on the AppStore. Only for VLC, I've
personally seen 2 apps stealing VLC's code (including the one i've
written ;-)), and those app were neither free (as in beer), neither
open-source. And they're still there… I think letting GPL software
exist officially on the AppStore would be giving a good example.
People won't stop from stealing GPL code, but at least let's not push
them in the bad direction :-)

I'm trying to be a good guy here, I sent all my patches upstream
(vlc.git on git.videolan.org builds just fine on iOS right now), and
in the end I find it pretty bad to end up in such a "locked"
situation. Also Rémi, I just randomly browsed your website today, and
I read this (regarding VLC on Smart phones) : "The VideoLAN team is
quite small and struggling to keep VLC up on normal computers. The
VideoLAN team welcomes any help".
(http://www.remlab.net/op/vlc-phone.shtml) Maybe it would indeed be
the time to actually welcome VLC on the iOS ? Plus I heard quite a lot
of people asked for it at the CeBIT :-)

Kind regards,

 - Romain

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