VLC for iOS may be pulled from iTunes over open-source issue

“Rémi Denis-Courmont, one of the primary developers of the VLC Media Player has sent a formal notification of copyright infringement to Apple regarding distribution of the VLC media player for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch,” Jesse David Hollington reports for iLounge.. “Denis-Courmont indicates that VLC media player is free software licensed solely under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and Apple is violating the terms of the GPL through its App Store usage rules which restrict free and open distribution of applications by applying Digital Rights Management (DRM) that prevents users from freely sharing the application.”

Hollington reports, “The GNU General Public License requires that works licensed under it must be free to be used for any purpose, freely shared with others, and open to modification by individual users to suit their needs and share those changes with others. The iOS and App Store distribution model precludes most of these uses through Digital Rights Management of the application as well as the inability for end users to create their own modifications to the source code without being a member of Apple’s iOS Developer Program.”

Red more in the full article here.

40 Comments

  1. The DRM in the case of a free program, such as VLC helps to insure that the program has not been altered by a 3rd party in any way (such as the inclusion of identity theft functions) – this is the “digital signing” that everyone gets so hot and bothered about. Yes, you must pay $99 a year to be a member of the iOS Developer community – which gives you the ability to test your code on hardware, rather than in the simulator. And it gives you the ability to sell your application on the App Store. If you want to play with iOS code for free, you are stuck w/ the simulator (you only need an Intel Mac w/ Snow Leopard for that).

    I have the VLC app, but between Goodreader and the bundled Video app, I’ve never had any use for it.

  2. This VLC guy sabotages the whole free software idea, which starts with ability for users to get a free application.

    Free copying and modification come only as secondary liberty comparing to the primary ability to freely get the program itself.

    So the guy basically asks Apple to take away users’ primary right to own a free software.

  3. This VLC guy sabotages the whole free software idea, which starts with ability for users to get a free application.

    Free copying and modification come only as secondary liberty comparing to the primary ability to freely get the program itself.

    So the guy basically asks Apple to take away users’ primary right to own a free software.

  4. And now we have a example of Apple’s reasoning for necessitating a selective app store; they become liable for what others do.

    This guy is a tool. All that’s going to happen is VLC being thrown out of the AppStore.

  5. And now we have a example of Apple’s reasoning for necessitating a selective app store; they become liable for what others do.

    This guy is a tool. All that’s going to happen is VLC being thrown out of the AppStore.

  6. But isn’t he saying that the source code for the VLC App should be public? As a developer even for a free App a lot of work is invested in making the GNU portion work on the device, that seems rather unfair. Really he only has to make the VLC portion available on the developers website to share any enhancements and/or changes to comply with the GNU requirements not the whole application.

  7. But isn’t he saying that the source code for the VLC App should be public? As a developer even for a free App a lot of work is invested in making the GNU portion work on the device, that seems rather unfair. Really he only has to make the VLC portion available on the developers website to share any enhancements and/or changes to comply with the GNU requirements not the whole application.

  8. Also worth noting, I read on another tech blog (can’t remember which, sorry) that Rémi Denis-Courmont is employed by/consults with/is somehow tied to MeeGo/Nokia. The VLC group had a third-party submit the app to the AppStore and rather than go after that third-party to have it pulled, the mention of “a more open ecosystem” in the letter directed to Apple to remove the app (again, as opposed to the group that actually submitted it/committed the violation) perhaps he was looking to get Nokia/MeeGo some free publicity.

  9. Also worth noting, I read on another tech blog (can’t remember which, sorry) that Rémi Denis-Courmont is employed by/consults with/is somehow tied to MeeGo/Nokia. The VLC group had a third-party submit the app to the AppStore and rather than go after that third-party to have it pulled, the mention of “a more open ecosystem” in the letter directed to Apple to remove the app (again, as opposed to the group that actually submitted it/committed the violation) perhaps he was looking to get Nokia/MeeGo some free publicity.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.