VLC Developers Accuse Apple of Copyright Infringement, Blame App Store Rules

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Darth.Titan, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

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    #1
    Get it while you can, because the VLC app will probably be pulled from the App Store soon.
    Interesting that they would submit the app, then object to the way it it being distributed. Didn't they know how things worked going into this?
     
  2. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Am I understanding this right?

    VLC for iOS was created knowing, in advance, that the distribution would violate GPL and Apple approved the app knowing they would be possibly be infringing on the GPL because of a previous case?
     
  3. saving107 macrumors 603

    saving107

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    #3
    Well this is stupid of VLC to think that their App would be the exception and would not be subject to the same DRM policy that every other App in the App Store has been. So this is what you get when you fail to read the Terms of Services.
     
  4. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #4
    You're all missing the point here.

    Apple is the company that has violated the terms of the GPL. By restricting the distribution of the software that was provided to Apple, they are violating the terms.

    When the App was submitted, this was known to the developers. Apple should have caught the issue with the licence. Just like how if you submitted illegal material to the App store they would have a responsibility to remove it.
     
  5. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

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    #5
    What the hell is the point here... They are complaining that users cannot share the app because of the drm??

    The app is free!!!!!!

    If a user wants it then they can go get it, no cost, no hassle....

    Where is the problem????

    iPhone users are extremely happy with vlc, it's reaching the top downloads... They are shooting themselves in the foot here!!
     
  6. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #6
    It's a legal requirement of distributing the software.

    You must distribute it free of any digital rights management or copy protection.

    If I download a copy, I must be able to send it to a friend and let them use it.

    Apple isn't adhering to that term in the licence, so they have no legal right to distribute it on the App Store.
     
  7. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    No, I'm understanding it perfectly fine then.

    VLC developers are asshats for submitting it to what they knew, in advance, was a closed system with limitations on what can and can't be done.

    Apple is an asshat company for having said restrictions.

    The difference is, Apple is very forthcoming with those restrictions, at least these days.

    Basically, the developers of VLC seem to have created and submitted an app with sole purpose of saying "Haha, we made you infringe upon the license! HAHA!"

    I mean, what was really the point?
     
  8. whocaresit macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Rémi Denis-Courmont is the big dumb-ass here. He will be the cause why VLC will be taken down.
     
  9. jasonforisrael macrumors regular

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    #9
    the people behind the VLC iphone app aren't the same that were behind VLC for computers originally.
     
  10. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #10
    No this is incorrect. Its the developers responsibility. If you submit an app, you agree to Apples terms. Its plain as day when you submit an app through the portal.
     
  11. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #11
    It can't be the developer's responsibility.

    The issue here arises when someone distributes the App with DRM (Apple). They are at fault. Not the developer/publisher of the App.

    The terms of the GPL had not been violated until the first person downloaded the App from the App Store.
     
  12. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #12
    I'm sorry but you are wrong. When you upload an app into apples App store, you take full responsibility for the app, and you agree to Apples terms and conditions for Apple to distribute the app for you.

    VLC should have read all of the terms and conditions to see if their apps licensing conflicted with any of Apples rules. Apple can't change the entire app store because one developer failed to notice that the app he ported voilated GPL. Its not Apples responsibility to sift through tens of thousands of different licensing agreements for apps that were ported into their platform, its the developers responsibility to make sure their app complies.

    There is tons of documentation on all of this stuff in the Apple developers portal.

    VLC failed to read apples terms and conditions, submitted their app, then cried because it violated their GPL. VLCs fault, not Apples. VLC has no leg to stand on because in the end, they agreed to Apples terms and conditions before submitting the app.

    EDIT: Here it is, from the iOS developer agreement: (FOSS is Free Open Source Software)

    3.3.20 If Your Application includes any FOSS, You agree to comply with all applicable FOSS licensing terms. You also agree not to use any FOSS in the development of Your Application in such a way that would cause the non-FOSS portions of the Apple Software to be subject to any FOSS licensing terms or obligations.

    The bottom line is, if anyone wants VLC, grab it now because Apple is going to yank it for sure.


    EDIT2: I just realized I sound nasty in this post. I mean no offense Daveoc64 :) I'm just trying to weed out the details.
     
  13. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

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    #13
    It's this sort of petty point scoring, asshat like behaviour that turned me off linux and the open source community.
    I used to use linux and OSS, now I use whatever is best for my needs, if it's a close call, I'll err away from OSS because this sort of behaviour is so widespread.

    Another example, mozilla's refusal to adopt the best video codec for the job, not even considering just letting users install plugins like they do with flash. They want ogg theora, because it's open, but not the best. And in doing this they are hurting the whole community because there is a split in standards.
     
  14. firewood macrumors 604

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    #14
    GPL'd code can also be distributed by the legal copyright holder(s) under other licenses, including commercial. A lot of GPL'd code is distributed in closed source commercial apps that way, using an alternate license granted by the copyright holder(s) to that distributor.

    By submitting this app to the App store, the submitting developer implied that they had permission to distribute all the included code under App store rules. That developer lied (or was clueless about the legal implications), as they had no alternate license which completely complied.

    Apple is the victim here, not the perpetrator.

    (But IANAL.)
     
  15. wikoogle macrumors 6502a

    wikoogle

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    #15
    Who the hell cares if it violates a GPL agreement? Does anyone actually go around enforcing said agreements when the programs aren't being sold?

    It's one thing if a GPL product is being sold for a profit. But that's not what is happening here. Here, apple is using their own servers and bandwidth to distribute an app freely. They're not making any money off of it.

    Why even bring it up? It's a free app. Just forget about it and don't mention it.

    Apple puts drm on all their apps, why would VLC think they're special. It's a free app regardless. The customers love it. And VLC gets to distribute their hardwork to more people.

    So why complain? Just look the other way.
     
  16. rrandyy macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Isn't the idea so that other people can re-distribute it and (if they want) improve it? If we look the other way, apps like this wouldn't be around because they are an improvement on other people's work.

    BTW, the VLC developers are complaining that Apple and/or the "VLC for iPhone" developer are violating the terms of the VLC license. It's not the author of the iPhone app who is now complaining.
     
  17. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #17
    Shame, VLC really pulled it together with that last update. That was when the app felt polished and all the bugs ironed out. In this case, Apple has a policy that the developers agreed to. It's not their fault that one app slipped through, you can't catch every single violation. The developers of VLC are at fault because they agreed to Apple's TOS, and it violated the GPL. Since the developers agreed to it, they lied about the app not being under a GPL. So basically, grab a copy of the app and store a backup copy of the IPSW file somewhere safe. VLC just shot themselves, the open source community in the foot with this shortsighted act.
     
  18. abc123 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    This situation is really confusing.

    Can someone clarify is "Rémi Denis-Courmont, one of the leading developers behind the VLC Media Player" also involved in the development of the VLC iapp?

    In any case, if the app is removed from the store will it remain functional for those who have already downloaded it?
     
  19. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

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    #19
    It will still remain functional for anyone that has it.

    I'd also be very unsurprised to see it turn up on cydia straight after being pulled, where the license would not be violated I should think.
     
  20. LinMac macrumors 65816

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    Oct 28, 2007
    #20
    I understand the political point they're making, but in reality the end result is already known. VLC will be pulled from the App Store and nothing will change.

    They chose principal over practicality and politics over users. I am very disappointed in the VLC developers right now.
     
  21. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #21
    If Apple were to take that stance, they'd make their own licence agreements look pretty weak wouldn't they?
     
  22. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #22
    You are REALLY missing the point here!

    VLC was submitted to the App Store with the developers clearly knowing that the terms of the GPL would be violated as soon as Apple started distributing it.

    Legally, the only party that can be responsible is the one that is actually violating the terms of the GPL - that is Apple. They are the ones that are distributing the software with DRM, not the people that uploaded it to the App Store.

    If you put child porn in an App (hidden somehow) and Apple approved it, they would still be liable because they distributed it - regardless of their knowledge of doing so.
     
  23. tkermit macrumors 68030

    tkermit

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    #23
    Doesn't look like it (as far as the iOS-specific part is concerned)! The issue becomes much clearer once you realize that. ;)

     
  24. ctt1wbw macrumors 68000

    ctt1wbw

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    #24
    I'm confused. How is a FREE app violating something, when said FREE app is available to anyone with an IP address?
     
  25. tkermit macrumors 68030

    tkermit

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    #25

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