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  • VLC for iOS Going, Going...


    The popular VLC video viewer may be the latest app to be removed from the App Store, but interestingly, this time it's not due to a violation of Apple's restrictive policies, but rather the fact that the App Store itself violates the terms of the GNU Public License (GPL) that covers VLC. The GPL requires that not only the original software but also any works derived from it have to be free and open source, and this isn’t the case when you download it from the App Store. The lead developer of the VideoLAN Project has sent a letter to Apple complaining of copyright infringement, and it's expected that Apple may remove the app at any time.

    Based on a student project at the École Centrale Paris in 1996, VLC was rewritten and made open source in 1998. After more and more developers extended the original application, ownership passed to the VideoLAN organization last year. The software has been available for years under the GPL, which expressly states that programs covered under that license should not run on "devices... designed to deny users access to install or run modified versions of the software inside them, although the manufacturer can do so." This sounds exactly like the closed, unjailbroken iOS platform, and the GPL refers to such platforms as "fundamentally incompatible with the aim of protecting users' freedom to change the software."

    The VideoLAN project was not responsible for the iOS port, but rather the devs at Applidium, who put the free app on the App Store. Rémi Denis-Courmont of the VideoLAN Project sent a formal notice of copyright infringement to Apple, saying that the "products usage rules" of the App Store violate the GPL. He notes that in a similar circumstance, Apple removed the iOS port of Gnu Go from the App Store, and that he expects Apple to remove VLC soon. Denis-Courmont insists it's not his fault if the app does get removed from the App Store, saying that Applidium is responsible for the port and that he is "not the one who took risks of violating copyright here."

    Source: Cult of Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: VLC for iOS Going, Going... started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 49 Comments
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Nice
    1. cookbenj's Avatar
      cookbenj -
      pathetic, i swear companies act like 3 year olds...
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      So why is the idiot developer complaining when it's free for PC and iPhone?

      The iPhone version has sound and other flaws anyways
    1. Infeneon's Avatar
      Infeneon -
      Wait, so the VLC app isn't the actual VLC? I did notice the publisher was Applidium, but I never knew the owners of VLC was not part of it...

      Oh well, I still have the app anyways.
    1. neodude237's Avatar
      neodude237 -
      Wow, good thing I downloaded this the other day. Would releasing this on Cydia legitimately bypass these restrictions?
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Question-Why do we need VLC for the iPad or iPhone?
    1. neodude237's Avatar
      neodude237 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikerlx View Post
      Question-Why do we need VLC for the iPad or iPhone?
      A better question is why WOULDN'T we? The iPhone has some of the most limited video support possible, I'm all for opening it up and being able to play things that Quicktime is unable to.
    1. punjabi212's Avatar
      punjabi212 -
      LOL just downloaded it earlier today.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      So how does a free and opensource app have an owner?
    1. zim_from_IPH's Avatar
      zim_from_IPH -
      @mikerlx iOS does not handle quite a few file formats. But VLC handles pretty much anything....
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      It's free--just go get it before they take it down, no big deal
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by shanejoe View Post
      So why is the idiot developer complaining when it's free for PC and iPhone?

      The iPhone version has sound and other flaws anyways
      just get it before its gone
    1. billmilo's Avatar
      billmilo -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikerlx View Post
      Question-Why do we need VLC for the iPad or iPhone?
      So you can play all the video formats VLC plays on the iPhone without converting those files. I watched an .avi file on my iPhone using VLC
    1. dq13's Avatar
      dq13 -
      just got it... not that we won't be able to get it afterwards anyways... that's when Cydia comes in
    1. plcrules's Avatar
      plcrules -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Acciavatti View Post
      states that programs covered under that license should not run on "devices... designed to deny users access to install or run modified versions of the software inside them, although the manufacturer can do so."
      sounds like cydias getting a full vlc with no restrictions
      and just got this app a day ago havent tested it yet tho
    1. ruben00's Avatar
      ruben00 -
      I know the VLC for Ipad app needs a bit of work, but it is still pretty good. Only problem so far is that it freezes after watching a movie for a while (like 15 minutes), maybe memory leak or what not, and you cant make play lists like the PC version. Also I wouldn't mind if they added album covers.

      I'd hate to see this app "go away". If they take it off the App Store, I wouldn't mind seeing it on cydia.
    1. farfromovin's Avatar
      farfromovin -
      Still on the store. Just downloaded it in case I got a video that needs a playin'...
    1. Tashawn's Avatar
      Tashawn -
      For the people that's said Cydia maybe getting the VLC player, did you even read what was written? Apple didn't choose to get rid of the application, the rightful VLC owners did for copyright issues. You think that make it ok to be in Cydia?
    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      lame.
    1. Aaronius's Avatar
      Aaronius -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tashawn View Post
      For the people that's said Cydia maybe getting the VLC player, did you even read what was written? Apple didn't choose to get rid of the application, the rightful VLC owners did for copyright issues. You think that make it ok to be in Cydia?
      I do think that it would be OK to have in Cydia. My understanding was that the issue was the added layer of copy protection, or DRM that Apple puts on all its App Store applications. You don't have the same issue in Cydia apps (to my knowledge anyway) so it should be fine to have on there.