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Media Open Source Apple

Apple Pulls VLC Media Player From AppStore 754

Posted by timothy
from the don't-want-your-kind-'round-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple has removed VLC media player from the App Store, putting an end to the controversy on the license (in)compatibilities. Indeed, the iTunes page for VLC media player stopped working. VLC developer Rémi Denis-Courmont notes that he is 'not going to pity the owners of iDevices, and not even the MobileVLC developers who doubtless wasted a lot of their time. This end should not have come to a surprise to anyone.'"
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Apple Pulls VLC Media Player From AppStore

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  • Nokia (Score:1, Informative)

    by WarpedCore (1255156) on Friday January 07, 2011 @08:50PM (#34799824)
    I've read his resume. He works at Nokia, not for Free Software Foundation. He's not a philosopher or a lawyer either. It's pretty easy to say that he's acting in the interest of the company that feeds his face and lines his wallet Remi went out on his own to try to pull the app and succeeded. This guy just wants to code himself a bigger cock.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 07, 2011 @08:51PM (#34799846)

    You're just plain wrong. Android phones have been by far outselling the iPhone, and they just recently surpassed the total iPhone sales numbers. http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/01/05/androids-users-eclipse-iphones-for-first-time-comscore-says/ [wsj.com]

  • Re:Won't be missed (Score:3, Informative)

    by Narcocide (102829) on Friday January 07, 2011 @08:52PM (#34799858) Homepage

    I call bullshit on your claim that Mozilla "enables" Flash in any way. Flash supports the general plugin architecture Mozilla and other browsers inherited from Netscape 4, which predates the existence of Flash entirely. The problem with the h.264 thing is that using it for HTML5 implies that the browser would have to support it natively. Mozilla does NOT support Flash natively. There is absolutely no comparison, your argument is rubbish based on inaccurate, misinformed technical assumptions.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday January 07, 2011 @09:00PM (#34799978) Homepage Journal
    its the only player i know so far, that works without any codec hassles on any computer. download, run, play anything on it. its almost magical.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Friday January 07, 2011 @09:03PM (#34800032)

    As interpreted (by me) from the horse's mouth [fsf.org]: the appStore licence says you can only install the software on 5 approved devices, whereas of course the GPL specifically prohibits that type of restriction. Plus, the appStore licence says, "The Usage Rules shall govern your rights with respect to the Products, in addition to any other terms or rules that may have been established between you and another party." That means, the software author cannot undercut the appStore restrictions with a less restrictive licence such as the GPL, even if they want to.

    Here is what the app store _actually_ says:

    "You acknowledge that: you are purchasing the license to each Third-Party Product from the third-party licensor of that Third-Party Product (the "Application Provider"); Apple is acting as agent for the Application Provider in providing each such Third-Party Product to you; and Apple is not a party to the license between you and the Application Provider with respect to that Third-Party Product. The Application Provider of each Third-Party Product is solely responsible for that Third-Party Product, the content therein, any warranties to the extent that such warranties have not been disclaimed, and any claims that you or any other party may have relating to that Third-Party Product."

    So for GPL licensed software, Apple just provides a downloading service to the end user; there is no software license agreement between you and Apple at all. Apple limits what Apple will do for the end user: They are willing to put copies onto five computers owned by one person, but not six. That doesn't limit what the end user is allowed to do. They don't get any further assistance from Apple, so making more copies is a bit more complicated (involves downloading the software, modifying it as you like, recompiling it, possible for another device), but Apple is _not_ restricting what they allow you to do. And you only have to jump through these hoops if you decide to be an ass; if you want to give the same software to all your iPhone owning friends, just tell them where to find it on the store.

    There is a little bit of subtleness: Apple sells software licenses on behalf of third parties, and that is what the end user pays for, not the application itself. As GPL allows charging for the software, but not for the license, you can't publish GPL licensed software through the AppStore unless it is free as in free bear.

  • Re:heh (Score:5, Informative)

    by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@@@gmail...com> on Friday January 07, 2011 @09:15PM (#34800176)

    So, the summary conveniently "forgets" that the app was pulled *at the request of one of the VLC developers themselves* due to a licence compatibility issue.

    No, that would be less sensational and more accurate - what was I thinking?!

  • Spin much? (Score:5, Informative)

    by leamanc (961376) on Friday January 07, 2011 @09:22PM (#34800256) Homepage Journal

    There's a lot of spin here. Apple pulled this at the request of a developer, over concerns of the GPL-licensed components contained in VLC. A lot of folks were surprised that VLC even made it the store, as App Store rules pretty much violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the GPL. Apple was more than happy to keep VLC in the store, but everyone is very happy to spin them as evil yet again. Not that they haven't done some tacky things with App Store takedowns, but really that seems to be more and more a thing of the past.

    For more info on the reasons VLC was pulled, check out this Engadget article [engadget.com], just one of many articles out there that reports the truth of the issue.

    As a side note, I love VLC; it does a lot on the Mac mini hooked to my HDTV. It's absolutely essential on Linux. But the iOS version was not that great. The one thing I use VLC for more than anything is its network streaming capabilities (remember, it's the Video LAN Client, first and foremost), and this feature didn't make it to the iOS version. So I never used it. Yeah, it's good to have to play videos that QuickTime can't handle, but I've never had occasion to view such videos on my iPhone or iPad. And if I have to use iTunes to load the videos onto my iPhone or iPad, that means the videos are on my computer, where I am more likely to watch them (with the OS X version of VLC, or QuickTime with Perian).

  • Not Quite (Score:5, Informative)

    by pavon (30274) on Friday January 07, 2011 @09:24PM (#34800262)

    One of the developers, Rémi Denis-Courmont, was calling on Apple to allow users to use VLC in the manner that the GPL requires. However Apple decided that they would rather remove VLC from the repository than modify their ToS to allow developers to set their own licensing terms.

  • Re:intentional fail? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@@@gmail...com> on Friday January 07, 2011 @09:25PM (#34800270)

    The app store already is GPLv2 friendly, as long as you don't charge for the app. They amended the licence conditions/ToS after the first GPL run-in before the VLC one to specifically make it friendly to GPLv2.

    This is merely them responding to a VLC dev demanding that Apple remove the app from the store - and they complied, and somehow this makes them evil and the masters of some conspiracy to squash OSS.

  • Ever thought about Windows 7? It's actually quite stable and well-designed.
  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday January 07, 2011 @11:33PM (#34801160) Homepage

    > Kdenlive, a great video editor, can't export
    > to h.264 out of the box on ubuntu because it
    > uses lame so you have to put your own custom
    > export in

    Sounds kind of like iMovie won't deal with anything except Quicktime files.

    If you think the Mac will allow you to avoid all of the annoying futzing, you are sadly mistaken and bound to be disappointed.

  • by Captain Spam (66120) on Friday January 07, 2011 @11:36PM (#34801184) Homepage

    You talk as if the hardware would exist, without the software store

    Few people remember this, but there was a time it did.

  • Re:Spin much? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Archimonde (668883) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @04:28AM (#34802388) Homepage

    As a side note, I love VLC; it does a lot on the Mac mini hooked to my HDTV. It's absolutely essential on Linux. But the iOS version was not that great.

    The main feature of the iOS version was that you could drag and drop pretty much any unconverted/torrented video file to the iphone and VLC would play it.
    Try that with the default player and report the results please.

  • by PRMan (959735) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @08:28AM (#34803230)
    My wife and daughter just got Android phones on Sprint for $40 each, and they're running 2.2 (the latest) and are really good phones (slideout keyboard alone makes them superior to iPhone). I'm pretty sure you can't get an iPhone for $40. The latest OS iPhone is $199 minimum, and it doesn't even have a keyboard. And you have to be on the crappiest carrier in the US.

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