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VLC May Be Removed From The Apple’s App Store

By on November 1st, 2010 
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VLC, one of the best video players out there, was made available in the Apple App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch a few days back. Understandably many users are happy that VLC has made it to the App Store. However, it has not gone down too well with the developers of VLC and Rémi Denis-Courmont, one of the chief developers of VLC, have sent a copyright infringement notice to Apple.

VLC is a free and open-source GPL licensed software. This means that Apple is free to redistribute VLC as long as the application is free and they redistribute the app under GPL. Instead Apple chooses to ignore the GPL and impose their Digital Rights Management and other legal terms on the app, as they do with all other apps in the app store.

This is what Rémi Denis-Courmont wrote to VLC mailing list:

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.

So right now there are two options in front of Apple - change the license of the app or remove the app from the app store.

Apple will most certainly remove the app instead of changing the license. In a similar case earlier concerning GNU Go, Apple choose to remove the app rather than change the license. So, expect VLC to be gone from the app store soon and download it while it is still available.

Further Readings:

1. Apple AppStore infringing VLC media player license [VLC mailing list]

2. GPL Enforcement in Apple's App Store

3. GNU General Public License version 2

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VLC May Be Removed From The Apple’s App Store was originally published on Digitizor.com on November 1, 2010 - 5:23 pm (Indian Standard Time)