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

Pierre Ynard linkfanel at yahoo.fr
Mon Mar 14 02:55:39 CET 2011

> 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).

The section where it mentions that doesn't even apply to us. Also,
open-source could mean something like the MIT license, whose conditions
are way less important than the copyleft of GPL. Open-source doesn't
imply GPL compatibility.

>  - 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.

No, this is not new at all, it's been there ever since the issue
with VLC started. The core of the issue is that even if we have an
alternative EULA, it doesn't seem to void the restrictions in the Usage
Rules, which are not part of the EULA.

> For example, Yahoo provide their own ToS for this app :
> http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yahoo-entertainment/id363783657?mt=8 (See
> the "Licence agreement" link).

I can't view them since I don't have iTunes.

> I think we should let Apple decide : we could re-submit the app on the
> App Store, including two important things :

Apple accepted it the first time, yet it was pulled later. Why would it
be different this time?

>  - 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 :-)

Why? Is there a formal process to submit an alternative license
agreement, along with the application? Are these license agreements
careful reviewed and accepted by Apple? Maybe you could detail the
process a bit for us.

Also, it would be greatly appreciated if you could share your knowledge
of the AppStore workings to answer this:

> > > 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, and I think this is pretty important as well : there are *tons*
> of blatant GPL violations on the AppStore. [...] I think letting GPL
> software exist officially on the AppStore would be giving a good
> example.

I'm not sure that raping ourselves our own license ourself would be a
good example. But right, if we won't let VLC be on the AppStore, we
should try to get all of these other Apps removed, it doesn't look much
productive otherwise.

> 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.

Well, maybe you could help to solve it, by please please please
answering the questions above about the AppStore processes, please.
I find it bad too, but I can't help it if you choose to work on iOS,
knowing that the results won't make it to the AppStore. I can't help it
either if you choose to be oblivious to this and/or not to help with
solving the legal issues.

> 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 :-)

Great, let them pressure Apple, as I said it will make them relax their
ToS until we push VLC to the AppStore.

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

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