FSF in vain boosts passions: App Store will be compatible with the GPL

Published on November 01, 2010

FSF in vain boosts passions: App Store will be compatible with the GPL

Original author: Free Software Foundation
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Translation of an official statement on the Free Software Foundation website .

Rémi Denis-Courmont is one of the main developers of the VLC media player, a free and free program published under the GPL. A few days ago, he wrote a letter to Apple complaining that his work is distributed through the App Store with conditions that contradict the GPL and prohibit users from sharing the program.

Earlier, we wrote about the terms of use from the legal agreement of the App Store, and how they conflict with the GNU GPL and AGPL. This is because we already went through a similar procedure to force Apple to comply with the license requirements when we discovered that the ported version of GNU Go (with FSF copyright) was distributed through the App Store. Unfortunately, Apple got away with the problem by simply removing software from the App Store. Remy expects Apple to do the same with the VLC player. He said that in this case, "iOS device users [will be] deprived of the VLC media player as a result of the uncompromisingly tight control that Apple retains over its mobile application platform."

He is absolutely right about the essence of the problem. The GPL allows Apple to distribute this software through the App Store. All that remains for them to do is to follow the terms of the license, helping to maintain the free status of the program. Instead, Apple decided to impose Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and proprietary legal terms on the entire contents of the App Store. They would rather throw out all the GPL software than change their own rules. Their recklessness does not allow you to get these wonderful programs on Apple devices.

Apple continues to use more and more DRM in its products: they recently announced that the Mac App Store will start working soon for laptops and desktops, and you can rest assured that it will have the same Dragon restrictionslike in the current App Store. At the same time, GPL supporters like Remy are fighting to ensure that everyone has complete control over their computer. We are grateful to him for his principled position. If you also want to demonstrate your support, this is easy: just stay away from the DRM-infected App Store.

The above was a translation of the official statement on the Free Software Foundation website .

PS One of the VLC developers has already commented on the FSF statement and said that the organization groundlessly fuels passions. It looks like the latest version of the Apple Store terms has finally become GPLv2 compatible. For example, the LICENSE OF APP STORE PRODUCTS clause reads:

"You agree that the terms of the Licensed Application End User License Agreement will apply to each Apple Product and to each Third-Party Product that you license through the App Store Service, unless the App Store Product is covered by a valid end user license agreement entered into between you and the licensor of the App Store Product (the “Licensor”), in which case the Licensor's end user license agreement will apply to that App Store Product. ”