updated 05:25 am EDT, Mon November 1, 2010
Apple’s distribution model violates GNU license
Applidium’s VLC free open-source universal iOS video player app VLC appears likely to be pulled from Apple’s iTunes store. The app, which only launched in September, cannot be distributed through Apple’s store as this violates the GNU General Public License (GPL) that VLC has been developed under. In a strange twist, the violation has been brought to the attention of Apple in formal letter written by Rémi Denis-Courmon, who is also one of the principal developers of the VLC app.
Apple's distribution model for apps through the iTunes App Store involves a method of applying Digital Rights Management (DRM) that prevents users from freely sharing the app between themselves once downloaded from the store. The DRM layer is applied by Apple to protect the rights of distributors, but in this case it will likely result in the removal of the VLC app from the App Store.
A similar fate befell the GNU Go app, which was pulled from the App Store after the Free Software Foundation complained that the iTunes terms of service conflicted with the terms of licence for the open-source code underpinning the app. [via iLounge]