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GNU is Not Unix Open Source Apple

VLC Developer Takes a Stand Against DRM Enforcement 717

Posted by samzenpus
from the fighting-the-good-fight dept.
jamie writes "The GPL gives Apple permission to distribute this software through the App Store. All they would have to do is follow the license's conditions to help keep the software free. Instead, Apple has decided that they prefer to impose Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and proprietary legal terms on all programs in the App Store, and they'd rather kick out GPLed software than change their own rules."
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VLC Developer Takes a Stand Against DRM Enforcement

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  • Looks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:12AM (#34079458)

    Even if this looks like it all it'll do is deprive users of useful programs, it's still the good fight.

    • Re:Looks (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BrokenHalo (565198) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:25AM (#34079554)
      Exactly. It's not exactly hard to download VLC from its home site. I now use VLC exclusively on my MacBook for playing video media - much easier for those of us living in Australia, with DVDs obtained from the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

      Apple, of course, offers you a limited number of times you can change the region of your DVD device, but VLC just ignores the region setting altogether. As far as I'm concerned, I've paid for legitimate media, the artists involved get their royalties, so Apple has no business standing in the way of my using said media.
      • Re:Looks (Score:4, Interesting)

        by DurendalMac (736637) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:54AM (#34079760)
        I think this is more of an issue with iOS devices, not the Mac App Store.
        • Re:Looks (Score:4, Informative)

          by SaDan (81097) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @01:21PM (#34080372) Homepage

          The App Store is coming to desktops and laptops in the next edition of OS X, so this applies to ALL of Apple's "computing" products in the near future.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Mitchell314 (1576581)
            So? Anybody with a laptop/desktop can still download the program the normal way sans apple store.
          • Re:Looks (Score:4, Informative)

            by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @09:09PM (#34084376)

            The App Store is coming to desktops and laptops in the next edition of OS X, so this applies to ALL of Apple's "computing" products in the near future.

            You do realize that the forthcoming Mac App Store is for convenience only and is not the only way to install new applications on Lion, right? This is not the same as iOS.

      • Re:Looks (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:55AM (#34079770) Homepage Journal

        Exactly. It's not exactly hard to download VLC from its home site.

        But it's hard to install unless you know how to jailbreak your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. I'd prefer that people buy a less locked-down device in the first place, but there isn't really an "Android pod touch" in the United States yet.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by metamatic (202216)

          I'd prefer that people buy a less locked-down device in the first place, but there isn't really an "Android pod touch" in the United States yet.

          Yes there is. Archos 28, 32 or 43 [archos.com], starting at $99, all running Android 2.1 or greater, available from Sears.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mgiuca (1040724)

          But it's hard to install unless you know how to jailbreak your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad.

          That's precisely why it's a violation of the GPL.

      • Re:Looks (Score:5, Informative)

        by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Sunday October 31, 2010 @01:17PM (#34080338)

        "Apple" doesn't offer you a limited number of region changes, that is part of the firmware of the DVD drive, and is common to *all* DVD drives to be in compliance with the specification. It's a brainless part of the spec, but it is in there at the behest of the movie industry. All of Apple's drives are standard off-the-shelf drives from a number of manufacturers - off the top of my head, they use Sony, Matashita (panasonic), NEC and Pioneer drives, among others.

        VLC can attempt to ignore the region code, but it only works on some drives. Certain ones (usually the more modern Panasonic ones) are crippled further, preventing bypass of the region lock this way. My older Powerbook's drive can be bypassed with VLC, but my newer iMac's drive doesn't work like that and required that I patch it with an RPC-1 firmware.

        In order to actually sell a DVD drive, it has to have this brainless region coding - the manufacturers who make them would face licensing consequences if they shipped region free drives. Apple itself does not make DVD drives, but they are affected by this downstream - they can't install custom firmwares that remove the restriction.

        • Re:Looks (Score:5, Interesting)

          by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @01:24PM (#34080402) Journal
          That's curious. Nearly all of the DVD players sold in the UK (unless you're only talking about drives for computers?) are region free.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by jo_ham (604554)

            I live in the UK, and I am aware of this. It's shaky ground as far as the licensing goes - they are technically in breach and could be challenged.

            Now, the argument against the lock is free trade, and could explain why no one has gone after this infringement yet. The other reason could be simple economics - DVDs in the UK are just as cheap as in the US now, meaning the incentive to import cheaper discs from other markets is much lower now than it used to be (remember when DVDs were well over £20 each,

        • Re:Looks (Score:4, Interesting)

          by rossdee (243626) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @03:08PM (#34081414)

          DVD drives are relatively cheap. Buy a couple external ones and set them to the other regions you want to use. Don't tell the MPAA .

  • I'm shocked! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:13AM (#34079464)

    Apple exercising tight controls, I would have never thought of that.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    to me it looks like the VLC developers had the app posted in the App Store so they could use this as a soapbox. The app on the iPad is a piece of crap and not really useable. I have since deleted it.
    • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:35AM (#34079616)

      It didn't have to be the VLC developers - it could have been anyone who posted it to the app store, because the GPL permits you to redistribute the software. It looks like it was a French company "Applidium" that posted it.

      Alas, the restrictions placed on app store content by Apple are not compatible with the GPL ; those receiving the app cannot redistribute it and do not receive sources or an offer of sources (from Apple, who are the distributor - Applidium link to the the videolan.org git repository, which isn't necessarily where they host their source - presumably they tweak the sources for iOS but there's no sign of them offering those tweaks, even if that would satisfy the license which it doesn't - the distributor has to offer the sources).

      Applidium have almost certainly benefited from getting their app store category link in front of the eyes of a lot more people who wanted VLC for their device.

      Applidium may well be adhering to the license - you only have to distribute the changes you make to people receiving the software, so they may have sent the source for their iOS specific tweaks to VLC to Apple along with the binaries. But Apple are most certainly not adhering to the license, and Applidium shouldn't be blameless as they were almost certainly aware that Apple would breach the license as a result of them submitting the app.

  • VLC, DRM, GNU, GPL, AGPL, FSF, iOS...
    Did someone have a sale on acronyms?

  • by goombah99 (560566)

    I confess I've not read the GPL with an eye towards that exact question but I have read it and don't recall anything like that in it. As I recall it requires me to make available the sources of anything I compile. But I don't see why a delivery channel that wraps something in DRM is against the GPL. I can have the sources available both via the app istelf and online. DOes the GPL prevent me from using SSH or HTTS from _sending_ and _installing_ any code. No. so why should apple's encrypted conduit

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by archatheist (316491)

      FTFA:
      http://www.fsf.org/news/blogs/licensing/more-about-the-app-store-gpl-enforcement [fsf.org]

      Basically:

      Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.

      In short, I think there are problems beyond DRM with GPL software being distributed t

      • It seems to me that that would operate in parallel to the GPL though?

        Apple does not grant you the right to modify / distribute the VLC binary. Is that a problem in gplv2?

        However, nothing is stopping (AFAIK) vlc from providing the exact iOS vlc source code and distributing that--in fact it should be required? Anybody can modify that source code, and distribute that source code. Anybody can NOT compile it and run it on their iPhone. That requires either jailbreak or $100/year. Is that a GPLv2 problem? I didn'

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:24AM (#34079542)

      As I recall it requires me to make available the sources of anything I compile

      No, that is not what the GPL has ever required. It has required that you make the source code of GPL software available to anyone you distribute that software to, and that you distribute it under the same license, including any changes you make to the software that you distribute (assuming it is not your original work).

      why a delivery channel that wraps something in DRM is against the GPL.

      The GPLv3 includes an anti-Tivoization clause, which basically requires that if GPL software is going to be locked down by a restriction system (DRM), the user has to be able to bypass/disable that restriction system so that they can enjoy the other benefits of the GPL, like the ability to modify the software. Since the iOS restriction system does not allow users to enjoy the benefits of the GPL (cannot modify code without paying Apple, cannot redistribute, etc.), it is incompatible with GPLv3.

      • How does that answer the Grand parent post? you have the sources. go ahead and modify them. nothing is stopping you.

          You can even install and run it on an iphone via xcode apple freely provides. You can run it on any mac via the emulator apple freely provides. YOu can redistribute them at will.

        Apple just won't sell it in their store for you.

        • you have the sources. go ahead and modify them. nothing is stopping you.

          Unless, of course, you obtained the software through the App Store...which is what this is all about. The App Store policies, the mandatory DRM, are the problem here.

          You can even install and run it on an iphone via xcode apple freely provides

          When last I checked, you had to pay Apple for this privilege; that seems to run afoul of the GPL in and of itself, at least in spirit. Again, though, the point here is about the App Store which has policies that are inherently incompatible with the GPL.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Snocone (158524)

            Unless, of course, you obtained the software through the App Store...

            So zip up the source files and drop them in the app package you submit to Apple. That's what id did with the wolf3d sources. Presto, source distributed along with every download from the App Store, now go sit in the corner with a nice big cup of STFU.

            Since that alleged objection is so trivially dealt with, the FSF is taking the position that Section 6 of GPLv2 is incompatible with App Store distribution, since Apple limits the distribution

  • by ad454 (325846) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:18AM (#34079504)
    The latest VLC version 1.1.3 has the GPL version 2 licence. Although the GPLv3 has anti-DRM and anti-Tivo-ization measures, correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the GPLv2 licence allow Apple to distribute the software in the App Store with DRM, as long as the also provide a copy of the source code?
    • by djmurdoch (306849)

      I believe the argument is that Apple violates this part of paragraph 6 of the GPL:

      You may not impose any further
      restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.

      Does the DRM or the Apple Store license impose additional restrictions? If so, then they have no right to distribute VLC.

      Perhaps they also modify the program to install DRM; in that case, they'd need to distribute the DRM source code under the GPL as well, under paragraph 2 of the GPL.

  • You can't expect a company to make major changes to their online sales system to support 0.2% of the people that want to use it, even if you're IN that small minority. Be reasonable.

    Besides that, a very large part of why the app store exists is to make money. (of course some is to add feature value to their hardware) They won't make money off this. So why should they do it if it's only going to cost them money? And the availability of free software on the store would devaluate the paid software on the s

  • Obstinance? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:22AM (#34079522)

    Their [Apple's] obstinance prevents you from having this great software on Apple devices—not the GPL or the people enforcing it.

    I have karma to burn, so I'm just going to say it: how is Apple expecting software distributed via their App Store to comply with App Store terms and conditions any more obstinate than expecting software distributed under the GPL to be distributed according to GPL conditions? Apple are under no obligation to carry software with what they consider inappropriate licensing on their store, any more than we are under any obligation to buy Apple hardware and apps from their store if we value the provisions of the GPL.

  • The answer is right there in the Preamble of the GPL:

    Some devices are designed to deny users access to install or run modified versions of the software inside them, although the manufacturer can do so. This is fundamentally incompatible with the aim of protecting users' freedom to change the software. The systematic pattern of such abuse occurs in the area of products for individuals to use, which is precisely where it is most unacceptable. Therefore, we have designed this version of the GPL to prohibit

    • Apple would have to allow anyone to run anything on the iPhone, which has security implications

      Only under the definition of security that means, "The customer is the adversary, and the goal of the security system is to protect cash flow." This is admittedly a commonly used definition, intended to mislead people into thinking that these restriction systems are a good thing for them.

      participation is entirely voluntary, involving purchase of an Apple device.

      Voluntary until schools start handing out iPads and mandating that students use them. I doubt that there will be an exception to the restrictions for students who are required to use iPads.

    • But that preamble is from GPLv3, and vlc is under GPLv2. I don't think there's a similar statement in GPLv2.

      http://www.videolan.org/support/faq.html [videolan.org]

  • by TraumaHound (30184) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:24AM (#34079548)

    He thinks there's no real issue here.

    http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1850340 [ycombinator.com]

    As a major VLC developer, I have to say that the FSF is pushing bad faith and FUD.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:25AM (#34079552)

    So Apple *may* remove the VLC iPad app, because the people that own VLC tell Apple there's a license violation - knowing that in the past this means Apple will pull the app.

    Isn't the definition of insanity repeating the same action and expecting different results?

    If you want to end DRM, you need to support Apple since they are the only large company who has worked to end DRM and had some success. You need to keep things like VLC alive in the app store, so that users will be more tempted to use non-DRM downloads and consume them on modern computing devices.

    But instead, the FSF is playing into the hands of the media companies by keeping things like VLC player out of the mainstream and attacking the only company with the same goals of ending DRM. Nice work FSF, this is seriously making me re-think my yearly donation...

    • by tomhudson (43916)

      Isn't the definition of insanity repeating the same action and expecting different results?

      So I take it you're not going to vote any more ...

      And you won't date because some time in the past you got dumped ...

      And you won't post on slashdot because it doesn't change anything ...

      Okay, seriously, the reason we try things over and over is because we HOPE that at some point, things will change. Other people will notice, take a stand, and progress is made - or at least we've met some new and interesting pe

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mounthood (993037)

      If you want to end DRM, you need to support Apple since they are the only large company who has worked to end DRM and had some success.

      Support the abusers because they're the only ones who've shown any restraint in their abuse. You're either trolling or suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

  • This serves no purpose than to shove more OSS software out of the public's eye.

    Maybe a few hippies can pat themselves on their back, but that's about it. It won't teach the consumer public anything.

    • This serves no purpose than to shove more OSS software out of the public's eye.

      Yes, because the goal of the free software movement is to gain users at any expense, even if it means that those users do not actually enjoy any of the benefits of free licensing. It is easy to forget that, in fact, just having more people use this software is not the ultimate goal; the goal is for people to have the freedoms that are granted with free licenses like the GPL. Look at TiVo if you want to see how lots of people can use free software without being able to enjoy any of the benefits and freed

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:26AM (#34079564)

    So, the non-article pretty much says "we complained about another GPL app in the store and rather than Apple change its entire licensing structure, it chose to remove the app in question and stop distributing it" - which is *exactly what the FSF were complaining about*.

    * App is distributed on app store
    * FSF sees it is GPL
    * complains to Apple that it is not compatible with their licenses
    * Apple takes it down (or it is suggested that Apple will go this route - there hasn't been a decision on VLC yet, this article is just speculating on what Apple will do and condemning them for a decision they have not yet made)

    Really, what is the argument here? There is no justification for righteous indignation when Apple does exactly what it is asked to do. You seriously expect them to change their licensing to be compatible with GPL software? What world are they living in? The App Store is a well known closed ecosystem. This article is nothing but a petulant rant that attempts to apportion blame about "denying great software" to people on iOS devices because of "Apple's restrictions" - when it is just as clear that the restrictions go both ways. The FSF likes to point out that the GPL is incompatible with the App Store (and there's a nice little non-sequitur paragraph at the end with wild speculation that the new app store in 10.7 will be enormously locked down).

    This cuts both ways.

    The GPL is a marvellous thing, but there are some places it just cannot go, by nature of its restrictions; restrictions put in place to provide more freedom, ironically. This article is nothing more than an attempt to force Apple to deny its own freedom to choose what licenses to use for the App Store - if they happen to be incompatible with the GPL, then tough beans. They have as much right to choose as anyone using the GPL does.

    If the lack of wholly GPL software on iOS bothers enough customers, there are other smartphone platforms that are known for not having such a tightly controlled app ecosystem.

  • Apple. Their house, their rules. Don't like it, go play at a friends house ( like android, or blackberry or cydia )

  • Today, a formal notification of copyright infringement
    was sent to Apple Inc. regarding distribution of the VLC media player for
    iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. VLC media player is free software licensed
    solely under the terms of the open source GNU General Public License
    (a.k.a. GPL). Those terms are contradicted by the products usage rules of
    the AppStore through which Apple delivers applications to users of its
    mobile devices.

    What exactly is the problem, ie, how exactly is Apple infringing?

    I read both the VLC article and the linked to post about GNU Go and I'm unclear how exactly this works. I believe the complaint being made is that Apple does not guarantee that any/all software will be made available (FSF: http://www.fsf.org/news/2010-05-app-store-compliance [fsf.org]) on the App store.

    I'm by no means a GPL expert, but I thought that the "distribution" terms (at least in v2) were about the source code, and I don't believe this is contra

  • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes@xmsnBLUEet.nl minus berry> on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:35AM (#34079614)

    The original announcement says nothing about DRM. Nor do I recall reading anywhere else about Apple requiring DRM be included in products sold via the App Store. To me this looks like the FSF is hijacking the issue of GPL vs. Apple license.

    • Nor do I recall reading anywhere else about Apple requiring DRM be included in products sold via the App Store

      All the software distributed through the Apple App Store is subject to iOS DRM; the devices are built to prevent any code that Apple has not approved from running. That is the DRM we are talking about here.

    • by gilesjuk (604902)

      When you download the application via the App Store I think the files become locked to your device using DRM. Such that you can't then send the file to someone else for them to run.

  • by sateh (467083) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:53AM (#34079756)

    There are a bunch of things wrong with this slashdot article and also with how the original VLC developers are handling this. It is easy to blame Apple for everything, but consider this:

    * There are three parties here: The VLC Team that wrote the VLC code. The commercial iPhone developer Applidium, who turned VLC into an iPhone App. Apple, who is making the application available.

    * Applidium submitted the application to the App Store. Apple approved the app. The VLC Team is sending a copyright infringement to Apple.

    * VLC is licensed under the GPL2. If the GPL2 license is incompatible with the App Store then why have the developers of VLC for the iPhone (Applidium) submitted the app? They should never have done that in the first place. They are the ones to blame for uploading software that cannot exist on the App Store under its current terms.

    * The application is currently on the store, which means Apple has approved it. So obviously from Apple's perspective there is no problem here.

    * Apple has actually changed the rules to accomodate for GPL2 licensed software after the GNU Go debacle: if a proper license is already attached to the application then Apple does not enforce its own default EULA for apps. This change was made in June. A month after the GNU Go thing happened.

    * Apple kicked out GNU Go because the FSF requested them to do that. People keep screaming that Apple removes all GPL software, but this is simply because people are telling Apple to do that. What else do you expect them to do?

    * It is probably fair to assume that Apple will remove the software after the copyright infringement claims made by the VLC team. But this really has NOTHING to do with the GPL. This is simply how Apple reacts to these kind of allegations. They remove the software and let both parties know so that the parties (in this case VLC Team vs Applidium) can work out a deal or whatever.

    Diplomacy has never been a strong point of the VLC team and because of this in the end will lose:

    * End users will not be able to use VLC on their iPhones and iPads.
    * Applidium just wasted a huge amount of time on this project.
    * The VLC team will not have an opportunity to start a dialog with Apple to maybe relax the rules.
    * Apple will lose an interesting app on their store.

    Yay for GNU GPL zealots.

    • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @02:15PM (#34080804) Homepage

      The VLC Team is sending a copyright infringement to Apple

      Not quite. One VLC developer sent a copyright infringement notice. It is not the VLC team doing it. In fact, when that developer wrote about it on his planet VLC blog, his blog was temporarily removed from planet VLC because the VLC team was concerned it might look like they were complaining to Apple, rather than it being one developer who had a problem with Apple. (I believe his blog has been restored, and the particular entry has a disclaimed on it making it clear that it is a person action of the developer, not an action of the whole team).

      On their mailing list, a couple other developers agree with the first developer. and some other developers disagree because Apple changed its terms after the GNU Go incident and they think the new terms remove the conflict with GPL.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @12:50PM (#34080136)

    So here's what I've understand:

    • Applidium (not associated with the VLC developers) uploaded VLC to Apple's iOS App store
    • VLC developer says that the App store guidelines are incompatible with GPL licensing because of DRM
    • Apple may remove the app ("kick out the app")
    • VLC developer is complaining that Apple should change their policies instead.
    • VLC developer laments that Mac App Store may have DRM too

    First of all, the developer is pointing out that the licensing may be incompatible and then complains that Apple is "kicking out GPL'ed" apps. I wouldn't describe it "kicking out" when the developer is kinda asking Apple to remove the app. What Apple isn't doing is changing their entire licensing agreements to suit this one developer.

    Second, the developer is assuming that the Mac App store will have DRM. I've heard conflicting stories. Some say yes. Some say no. Anybody have access to the Apple Mac App Store Agreement that can shed some light on this.

    Third, is it me or if the VLC developer has issues with the Mac App store, they can simply choose not to use it? Apple isn't removing the other ways to get an application (online, retail, etc); they are simply introducing a new one. Remember iOS devices are locked in that Apple has removed the ability for users to access the file system on the devices (without jailbreaking). With OS X, full access to the file system would make it extremely difficult to lock down the system. The Mac App store launches in 90 days so unless there are some major changes to Snow Leopard, it is highly unlikely. With Lion Apple might shift towards that direction but until that's down the road.

  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @01:18PM (#34080342) Homepage

    A different VLC developer disagrees and says the FSF is acting in bad faith and FUD [ycombinator.com].

    Back in May, when the FSF complained about GNU Go on the App Store, the App Store was in fact definitely incompatible with GPL software. Apple makes copies and distributes them, so Apple needs permission of the copyright owner.

    To get that permission under GPL, you have to obey GPL, including the part about not placing any additional restrictions on people you distribute copies to. Apple's end user terms of service placed many GPL-incompatible restrictions on the people Apple distributes to, so no GPL permission for Apple. If the developer owned all the GPL code in his application, then the act of submitting it to the store gives implicit (and there is probably something in the developer agreement that makes it explicit) permission to Apple to distribute. However, if the developer is using GPL code from other people, then there is a problem.

    About a month after the FSF published their detailed explanation of the incompatibility, Apple changed the end user terms of service and the change appears to have removed the problem. It now says that if an app is covered by a EULA (and the GPL would count as a EULA, I believe) then that EULA governs. If there is no EULA, then Apple's default license governs, and it is Apple's default license that has the things the FSF objects to.

    There was similar language before the June change, except that there was a set of "Usage Rules" and Apples terms states that those applied in addition to any EULA for the particular software, and it was the usage rules that contained the GPL-incomplatible stuff. With the June change, it seems that if the software has a EULA, the EULA is all that applies.

  • by DannyO152 (544940) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @02:14PM (#34080798)

    In order to redistribute GPL software, isn't Apple asked to spend more money? It has to have the ability to turn off and on the encryption, based on the license. It has to, to some degree, vet that the code is licensed correctly, or that non-GPL apps doesn't include GPLed elements. If they distribute anything that was not properly licensed, they have to mitigate the infringement, which, as a start, will be a recall off of the mobile devices and a refund, which is an ugly pr event, ask Amazon about "1984." What about the costs of hosting source code? Isn't a lot of GPL software offered at no charge, so there's not a lot of offsetting revenue for the extra bother? Licensing nuance is inside baseball. I doubt there would be significant additional demand for Apple devices for GPL code being allowed in the app store. Were Apple to allow GPL apps, Freedom as in Free adherents would still be cheesed off that Apple approves each app and/or that device owners cannot install any thing they want, except via unsupported self-modification

    The developer chooses a license that suits them, and, right on, dig it, God bless 'em, and more power to them. Potential downstream users look at licenses and, if it doesn't make sense in the totality of what they are trying to do, either to pursue happiness or a dollar, they walk away from the code. Apple looks at GPL code and says, it's not worth the effort. They have the freedom to make that choice. Device buyers have the freedom to consider the intermediate's choices when they choose devices.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @04:45PM (#34082354)

    The FSF need to stop spreading FUD and outright lies about their own license.

    RMS and his cohorts have done more to damage the general OSS movement with their radical FOSS brand than MSFT did through SCO.

    They are attacking a company that has done more for open source than a lot of companies. Consider their work on Webkit which forms the base of not only Safari but webOS (formerly Palm and how HP), webkit browers on android, Nokia and Blackberry. They also released released Bonjour, Quicktime Streaming Server, the base of OS X (Darwin), CUPS as well as a bunch of contributions to various open source projects. What has RMS done lately other than complain?

    http://www.opensource.apple.com/ [apple.com]

    http://www.apple.com/opensource/ [apple.com]

    http://developer.apple.com/opensource/ [apple.com]

  • This is stupid (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheSync (5291) on Monday November 01, 2010 @07:03PM (#34096126) Journal

    This kind of thing makes companies afraid to every use GPLed software because some random developer can come along at any time and initiate legal action against you.

    The source code is freely available. Why the hell do we care about the binary? What if you have to run an encrypted binary for a secure, embedded solution, is that against the GPL as well?

    This analysis [videolan.org] shows that the case for App Store infringing on the GPLv2.0 is weak.

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