VLC removed from Apple apps store

VLC, the open source media player that can play almost any codecs, has been removed from the Apple apps store and this would directly affect the iPhone 4 and iPad users.

Apple decided to pull out the VLC application in the face of a lawsuit, from one of VLC’s original developers, Rémi Denis-Courmont.

The copyright infringement
The application is free for downloading, but is protected by GNU General Public License (GPL), under which it is offered.

Stressing on the crux of the issue, Brett Smith of the Free Software Federation said, “The GPL gives Apple permission to distribute this software through the App Store. All they would have to do is follow the license’s conditions to help keep the software free; instead, Apple has decided that they prefer to impose Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and proprietary legal terms on all programs in the App Store.”

Apple’s DRM practices breaches the limits applied within the language of GPL. Thus, Denis Courmont had no other options but to file the lawsuit. He had filed the lawsuit on Oct. 26, last year. Subsequently, Apple removed the application on Jan. 7, this year.

Stressing on the sour mood that has followed the fiasco, Courmont said, “Thus the incompatibility between the GNU General Public License and the AppStore terms of use is resolved – the hard way.”

“This end should not have come to a surprise to anyone, given the precedents,” he added.

Open-source triumph
Some analysts observed the incident as a victory, for the unhindered progress of the Open-source software movement. The ability of the open-source software developers for the propagation of their software, bound by whatever license they wish, is indeed a boost for the movement.

Users affected
Whatever be the end results of the legal tussle, it’s always the common user of the Apple apps store who stands at the receiving end.

Stressing this aspect of the end-result, a representative for TorrentFreaks’ Enigmax said, “The net result is that a perfectly good product, a free product wrapped in DRM that serves no practical use in this case, is no longer available to the masses.

 

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