On 27 Jun 2011, at 12:50, Benjamin Horst wrote:
On Jun 25, 2011, at 4:36 PM, Cor Nouws wrote:
Charles-H. Schulz wrote (25-06-11 14:52)
There was quite a lengthy discussion on the discuss list months ago
about the same topic. Many things were written. I think that what would
be really helpful would be if someone were to review the various app
stores rules and terms, and identify the ones we can readily work with
and the other ones where we would have a major legal problem. Would you
like to drive this?
I support that proposal, Charles !
When we discussed this last year, I researched a bit and found the following article from the FSF:
The article's summary:
An iPhone port of GNU Go is currently being distributed through Apple's App Store. However, this
distribution is not in compliance with the GNU GPL. The primary problem is that Apple imposes
numerous legal restrictions on use and distribution of GNU Go through the iTunes Store Terms of
Service, which is forbidden by section 6 of GPLv2. So today we have written to Apple and asked
them to come into compliance. We would be happy to see Apple distribute these programs under the
GPL's terms, but unfortunately, it seems much more likely that they'll simply make the problem go
away by removing GNU Go from the App Store.
I think the above refers to the iOS App Store, but I do not know if the relevant terms are any
different for the Mac App Store. (I think it predates the existence of the Mac App Store.)
The other difference is that the article refers to the GPL and not specifically the LGPL license.
I will follow up further and let you know what I discover.
Personally I think that conclusion is debatable. While Apple was the channel, the actual
distribution was done by whoever put the software into the channel and it's not obvious to me that
the situation is any different to, say, buying a PC with Linux on it from a "members only" retailer
like CostCo. As long as the offer of source was made, I suspect an equally valid case could be
constructed that there's no "coming into compliance" to be done.
Not that I am a lawyer, of course :-) Just saying that I suspect the action in that link was
motivated more by politics than by legal certainty...
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