×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Pulls VLC Media Player From AppStore

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-want-your-kind-'round-here dept.

Media 754

An anonymous reader writes "Apple has removed VLC media player from the App Store, putting an end to the controversy on the license (in)compatibilities. Indeed, the iTunes page for VLC media player stopped working. VLC developer Rémi Denis-Courmont notes that he is 'not going to pity the owners of iDevices, and not even the MobileVLC developers who doubtless wasted a lot of their time. This end should not have come to a surprise to anyone.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

754 comments

heh (5, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799440)

a glimpse of the future - when the only way to get "apps" on any computer have to come from the company store.

Re:heh (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799478)

It used to be like that until the union movement broke it up.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joo90ZWrUkU

I just wonder what it will take to stop it next time. People tend to tolerate that sort of behavior for quite a while.

iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (3, Insightful)

Tancred (3904) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799514)

Google is starting to eat Apple's lunch on mobile phones and will do so on the desktop/laptop/tablet if they try to exert such tight control over what their users do on their larger devices. They got away with it on the mobile phones because their interface was so far ahead of anyone else when they got started.

Re:iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799644)

Android has never 'eaten Apple's lunch' on iPhone sales. It has fed on WIndows Mobile, and RIM for the most part. It's sales also leveled off a few months ago. Although it will be a major player in the market, I don't think it will driving Windows or iOS out of the market any time soon.

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?threadid=115395 [appleinsider.com]

Re:iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799846)

You're just plain wrong. Android phones have been by far outselling the iPhone, and they just recently surpassed the total iPhone sales numbers. http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/01/05/androids-users-eclipse-iphones-for-first-time-comscore-says/ [wsj.com]

Re:iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (2, Insightful)

furball (2853) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799888)

What are the Android phone manufacturers' profits like? What is Apple's profits like?

Re:iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (-1, Flamebait)

donny77 (891484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800070)

Brand new Android devices finally outsold new sales of a 7 month old phone. Apple is shaking I tell you. Next Tuesday, the iPhone will be available on Verizon, watch the carnage.

Re:iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34800168)

Not to mention iOS runs on more than just the iPhone.

Re:iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (4, Interesting)

Tancred (3904) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799950)

"Eating someone's lunch" is a rather ambiguous phrase, so I don't know why you're being so contrary. Hell, I even qualified it with "starting to". If all you're saying is that Android's rise has hurt MS & RIM more than Apple, well then we have no disagreement. But I suggest that most of those lost Windows Phone and Blackberry users would have gotten an iPhone if Android hadn't come on so strong. Which of these trend lines do you think Apple would prefer to have? Android has not leveled off. In fact, Nielsen shows it increasing.

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/01/04/iphone-continues-to-hold-off-android-in-u-s-smartphone-market-share/ [macrumors.com]

Re:iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (1)

c.derby (574103) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800034)

But I suggest that most of those lost Windows Phone and Blackberry users would have gotten an iPhone if Android hadn't come on so strong.

...or been available on other carriers. i'm betting that the recent "gain" in android sales is the calm before the verizon+iphone storm. we'll see how the platforms truly compare at mid- or end-of year.

Re:iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (5, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800012)

Android has never 'eaten Apple's lunch' on iPhone sales.

Google (Android), per comScore, passed Apple (iOS) as #2 in total active smartphone subscribers. (Still trails Blackberry, though if Android climbs and Blackberry falls in the next quarter at the same rate, Android will be #1 and Blackberry and iOS will be number #2.)

Now, comScore may overstate Google's position (Nielsen, for instance, has Apple ahead of Google -- and RIM -- with Google predicted to take the number 1 slot in Q1 2011), but pretty much all sources have Android growing fast, and on the verge of passing Apple in the smartphone market if not actually ahead.

It's sales also leveled off a few months ago.

Well, no. The Apple Insider forum post you link to interprets an 8% increase in the daily activation rate between August and October as a sign that the activation rate has reached a "plateau", but increasing by 8% in two months is not a plateau. It might be a reduction in the previous rate of increase, but an 8% increase in two months is a 58% annualized rate of increase, which is pretty far from flat.

Its not surprising that Apple Insider distorts things in that direction, of course, but it is a distortion, and not a particularly subtle one.

Re:iTunes policy won't work on the desktop (4, Insightful)

argmanah (616458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799968)

Google is starting to eat Apple's lunch on mobile phones and will do so on the desktop/laptop/tablet if they try to exert such tight control over what their users do on their larger devices. They got away with it on the mobile phones because their interface was so far ahead of anyone else when they got started.

Different business models. Android is aiming for it to be installed on everything, so the Android device market is not designed to be a high margin businesses. Since there are no iOS makers except iPhone, they charge what they want and people are forced to pay. Their net profits has exceeded that of the Android market this past year despite a smaller market share. As long as what Apple disciples are willing to pay allows them to net more money than an open system, there's no incentive for them to change business models.

If Apple's market share shrinks to the point that serious handheld app developers no longer feel to make an iPhone version of their apps at all, maybe at that point Apple would be forced to switch, but until then, they're raking in the bucks.

Re:heh (5, Insightful)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799604)

1984 adapted to the modern era where instead of the gov't being in control, corporations control the gov't and us.

Re:heh (5, Funny)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799754)

Ironic that Apple has become the Big Brother they depicted in the original 1984 Macintosh ad. Then again Steve Jobs was always a control freak. Sealed all-in-one Macs with little upgrade options was his thing. When he left, the Mac II with slots showed up.

Re:heh (2, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800148)

The nice thing is, no corporation can force me to be part of them.

Government on the other hand, I have no choice to be controlled.

Re:heh (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799982)

"a glimpse of the future - when the only way to get "apps" on any computer have to come from the company store"

too late once open source is OUT into peoples hands its too late.
YOU can't then take it away.
Eventually people will realize how badly microsfts and apples and et all are hosing htem and go the right way.

YA know kinda like russia ....350 million people using open source and even using it in schools.
APPLE will be irrelevant inside 10years as the innovation is all but done in north america due to patents and copyrights not allowing anyone to decently derive anything.

AND apple is what 5% of the market for pcs....
THAT isn't growing btw ....it will shrink due to demand for:
computers that can last longer and be cheaper ( see posts about china and rare earth metals being slowed to make pcs)
Used computer market is now becoming HUGE....because no one can afford to retail prices.
iPAD subscriptions have taken a complete nose dive of late as people realize how useless and costly the things are. 5 years olds are about the only ones wanting one.
coders , hackers and pirates are and always will circumvent your bs about walling up the garden.
Google while still a ways to go to being a perfect company in some ways is more of the actual future.
IT gives back
Apple takes


WHO do i want to support when i have too.
Google should partner with AMD and really bring on things, like a pc with its own OS and a virtual machine installed. Then google can get distro makers going around the world, it could even do a deal with ubuntu if they was even smarter.

Not a surprise, but still disappointing. (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799460)

Still, good to know I was right to not bother with the iOS platform. Its fine for some people and I dont dismiss their choice, but I want better developer support in my mobile devices.

Re:Not a surprise, but still disappointing. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799842)

Your either a total liar, or just ignorant of how much more there making on iOS than Android. either way, funny

Re:Not a surprise, but still disappointing. (1)

philj (13777) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799966)

Use http://www.plexapp.com [plexapp.com] on your Mac and then stream to either Plex.app / the new Klexi.app to stream.

Copy or stream & films/videos etc to watch them on/offlne on you ipad/ipod/itouch etc.

Awesome iOS client. [plexapp.com]

WOrks well, lots of community support and plenty of features in the works (built into a g brand TV later in the year, for one).

You can also run a Plex client on a Jailbroken AppleTV2, which is AWESOME.

Oh, they're also launching Windows support soon I hear.

This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (4, Insightful)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799462)

I was a Mac user until recently, and an Apple II user before I started with Macs. But lately, I just absolutely refuse to use anything with their brand on it because of this precise behavior.

All I ask is that the device I pay for allow me to use it as I please instead of requiring the company's permission for each little chunk of code that executes. Give me just that and I'll be happy to buy.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799494)

I agree with you, however that is not what many people want. There are enough people who want to only be able to run software that has been vetted by someone to support Apple, Microsoft and everyone else who chooses to follow this behavior. Just accept that the iOS platform is not for you and move on.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799566)

The shame is that the companies seem to feel that it's an all or nothing choice. Flash up a big red warning that states "Unsupported software" if you must, but give me the option to use the hardware freely.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (5, Insightful)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799600)

You talk as if you own the hardware or something.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799674)

That could, and should, be two levels of product support. The Basic, "here's a working machine, good luck, we'll return it to this state if you want us to" and the Advanced, "here is a machine tuned to work a lot of apps, according to our sensibilities". Most auto manufacturers offered this two-tiered approach during the Golden Age of Detroit. The luxo makers probably still do.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799900)

Or, just don't buy an iDevice in the first place - if the "Apple Way" offends your notion of freedom.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34800022)

Invert(Basic, Advanced)

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (2)

donny77 (891484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800114)

Jailbreak. Do what you want. Face the reality. Their needs to be a high barrier to being able to do anything with your phone. The average person can not tell legitimate software from a keylogger if you write the word "free" on it. Jailbreaking puts a barrier to ensure only technical people do anything with their phone. And Apple doesn't get a phone call from your grandma cause she installed solitaire and it rooted her phone and stole her identity. Everybody wins!

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799870)

Most people don't want a computer. They want a game console that can check emails and facebook. I want a computer. I guess it is time computers become a niche market again.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800166)

Apple does not "Vet" anything - the review process isn't regression or user acceptance testing. It is simply testing to ensure you follow their guidelines for UI and don't use "private" APIs.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (5, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799576)

You know the creators of VLC were calling for it to be removed, yes?

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799642)

Not "the creators", but rather "one of the creators" (or possibly "some of".)

The organization VideoLAN officially promoted its use and listing, in spite of one vocal member's protests.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (3, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799764)

I was wondering if someone would point that out. It was pulled due to licensing issues at the request of one of the developers, not due to some Apple initiated vendetta.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/01/vlc-for-iphone-and-ipad-soon-to-disappear-thanks-to-gpl-complain/ [engadget.com]

Most iPhone users don't even know what VLC is or care for that matter. The build in media player works fine for pretty much any digital download supplied with DVD's and Blu-Ray, as well any number of h.264 compatible profiles.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (2, Insightful)

idobi (820896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799594)

It's suddenly Apple's fault that the developers squabble over GNU license?

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (2)

codepunk (167897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799640)

Show those bastards you mean business by sending me all of your cool mac gear for free.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799882)

Show those bastards you mean business by sending me all of your cool mac gear for free.

Sorry, no can do. You see, he's a Google employee.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799650)

Good luck with your android device and the chaos of the supposed open world.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799930)

At least it is OUR chaos, we are responsible for it and have the tools to correct it.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (2)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799946)

Good luck with your android device and the chaos of the supposed open world.

At least they have VLC on Android - ohh, wait ...

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (1, Funny)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799792)

I was a Mac user until recently, and an Apple II user before I started with Macs. But lately, I just absolutely refuse to use anything with their brand on it because of this precise behavior.

What behaviour? You mean the behaviour of a developer who is so desparate to defend user's freedom that he even prevents them from using the software in the first place?

What would be really fun would be to take the guy to court to get a declaratory judgement that publishing a GPL licensed application on the app store is _not_ in violation of the GPL and therefore not copyright infringement.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (5, Funny)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799798)

I was a VLC user until recently. But lately, I just absolutely refuse to use anything with their brand on it because of this precise behavior. Ohh, and the bugs with missing audio in some MPEG2 files that no other player has, and that they haven't been able to fix for the last couple of years.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799860)

Maybe you missed the bit about the license argument:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/01/vlc-for-iphone-and-ipad-soon-to-disappear-thanks-to-gpl-complain/

Sorry, Apple's not going to get sued just because you whine loudly - that sort of thing only works on your mom.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (5, Interesting)

mardukvmbc (244275) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799956)

I'm a dedicated linux user for the past 5 years and I'm thinking of dumping it all and going to macs.

I spend way too much time fiddling and screwing around trying to get normal things to work. The other day for example my wife wanted a sound to come on when she got an email in thunderbird. Should be easy, no? Doesn't work on ubuntu without some serious googling/screwing around. Google earth which for some reason vanished from the medibuntu repository... same deal. For some reason the installer set the symlink to point somewhere else. And still the fonts are screwed up, don't know why.

Or one of my favorites? Kdenlive, a great video editor, can't export to h.264 out of the box on ubuntu because it uses lame so you have to put your own custom export in. Or a recent clean install of Kubuntu 10.10 that left the master mixing channel muted (not through kmix but through alsamixer). Or the fact that the newest ubuntu amarok packages kill it's ability to talk to my wife's ipod. On and on. I'm not pointing fingers here, the devs and packagers do a fab job for the most part but it's always just shy of the goal line it seems.

Look, I loves me linux, but I have 3 kids, a wife, a job, and a life. And I won't do windows not for the least part because of the safety factor for my kids and wife not downloading shite. So do I want to come home from my IT job and have a nice safe controlled environment for my wife and kids to hop on, do email, surf the web, etc in a reasonably safe way where I don't need to spend hours on end fiddling when something doesn't work? Sounds f'ing great to me.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (5, Insightful)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799960)

I was a Mac user until recently, and an Apple II user before I started with Macs. But lately, I just absolutely refuse to use anything with their brand on it because of this precise behavior.

What behavior? Apple clearly stated their terms for the use of the service. The VLC media player developers use a license which is not compatible with those terms. In fact, it was those developers who took the first action [videolan.org]:

Today, a formal notification of copyright infringement was sent to Apple Inc. regarding distribution of the VLC media player for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Apple simply complied with the notification and took down the app in question. If the developers want their software in Apple's App Store then they should release it under a compatible license. I'm sure they can (and perhaps they have) also try to convince Apple to change the terms of the app store.

Every store has to have rules or it'd be complete anarchy. Sometimes these rules are going to get in the way of someone's idea of how it should all work. This is one of those times. Obviously Apple's rules work for a lot of cases since there are tons of apps, both good and bad, in the app store. There's nothing evil going on here, it's just two entities enforcing the terms of use for their properties.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799996)

Ever heard of Linux? I would suggest you try it out.

Re:This is why I refuse to buy apple products. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800014)

So what you're saying is that because some of the creators of VLC had an issue with Apple's compliance with the GPL for Apps and therefore asked Apple to remove the App (which they did), this is all Apple's fault. You'd rather Apple not be able to dictate their policies but follow someone else's policies even though they as a distributor really had no say if GPL code was ported to iOS.

Because Apple honors licence challenges?? (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800102)

But lately, I just absolutely refuse to use anything with their brand on it because of this precise behavior.

You refuse to use Apple because when someone issues a copyright challenge against an App Apple actually listens and removes it from the store?

Doesn't matter in the slightest (-1, Troll)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799480)

iPhone users don't care about incredibly nerdy things like "it can run Ubuntu!" BFD.

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (2)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799530)

You are very wrong IMHO, my non-geek mother now can't view 99% of her video files, and lots of other users will have to go through a very painful process of re-encoding their videos (which can take a lot of time and cpu resources better spent on their casual tasks).

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (0)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799552)

I'm pretty sure she didn't buy the thing in order to watch movies.

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799556)

You must have seen different commercials then. Video playback is a major selling point.

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799572)

Good thing you got her something user friendly and easy to use (tm)

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799656)

So she HAD been using VLC on her iDevice, and now magically VLC has disappeared?

How many movies does the average non-geek have that isn't playable on an iOS device already?

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (1)

unami (1042872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799688)

well, she could use some commercial media-player app like oplayer to play back her movies. playback-framerate is slightly worse, but on the other hand, it does play more formats and doesn't crash after 12 minutes like vlc did. there are alternatives - but they are nearly as bad as vlc for ios was.

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (1)

unami (1042872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799802)

but as anonymous_freak pointed out - if your hypothetical mother had used vlc, it would still be on her device. and she could still watch her 12-minutes xvids

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799776)

You are very wrong IMHO, my non-geek mother now can't view 99% of her video files, and lots of other users will have to go through a very painful process of re-encoding their videos (which can take a lot of time and cpu resources better spent on their casual tasks).

And why, specifically, is this the case? Is it because you decided to rip all her videos in Theora? Or is it something more innocuous?

I tend to be suspicious of statements like yours, because there are too many things left unstated - so please spell out what formats, exactly, her videos are in.

I like VLC, and use it all the time - but my non-geek mother doesn't know VLC exists. What video files she has came from her video camera; and that exports Quicktime files.

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (1)

gcerullo (1573093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800044)

Really? Your "non-geek" mother was encoding videos in a format that is incompatible with the codecs natively supported by iOS. Now be honest. Was it you who showed her how to encode those videos or did your "non-geek" mother figure it out all for herself?

Tell your mother to slap you (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800138)

my non-geek mother now can't view 99% of her video files

Right, because YOU chose to either torrent them for her or encode them in something like OGG for the principal of the thing - not thinking of how well she'd be able to fare without your help.

Geeks just do not get how valuable technical independence is to people, not having to worry about all this crap. You should not have saddled her with this kind of burden.

Re:Doesn't matter in the slightest (1)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800170)

How did your non-geek mother encode her video files in the first place?

Most non-geeks I know wouldn't have even heard of the word 'encode'.


Perhaps a geek encoded them for her? If that was the case, it's interesting s/he chose to encode them in a format not natively supported by your mother's device.

Here is the conflict (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799598)

As interpreted (by me) from the horse's mouth [fsf.org]: the appStore licence says you can only install the software on 5 approved devices, whereas of course the GPL specifically prohibits that type of restriction. Plus, the appStore licence says, "The Usage Rules shall govern your rights with respect to the Products, in addition to any other terms or rules that may have been established between you and another party." That means, the software author cannot undercut the appStore restrictions with a less restrictive licence such as the GPL, even if they want to.

INAL, but I wonder why the developer couldn't offer the identical software through separate, more open channels in addition to the appStore, thus satisfying the GPL even though the appStore distribution channel in itself does not satisfy the GPL?

Re:Here is the conflict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799696)

Not quite. The app store account can only be used to authorize 5 different computers. You can use apps on any number of iOS devices.

Re:Here is the conflict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799744)

> INAL, but I wonder why the developer couldn't offer the identical software through separate, more open channels in addition to the appStore, thus satisfying the GPL even though the appStore distribution channel in itself does not satisfy the GPL?
>
Possibly because such channels don't "officially" exist?

Re:Here is the conflict (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799782)

Maybe iPhone users cannot or will not install software that doesn't come from the store? I mean, I'm sure it is possible to do, but the hurdle is too big for them to seriously consider it. Whether that hurdle is technical, or more of an attitude adjustment, or just ignorance is not always obvious.

Re:Here is the conflict (1)

mariasama16 (1895136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799934)

From my understanding (Android user here), I thought all iOS apps had to be gotten through the App Store unless the user jailbroke their device.

Re:Here is the conflict (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800140)

Maybe iPhone users cannot or will not install software that doesn't come from the store? I mean, I'm sure it is possible to do, but the hurdle is too big for them to seriously consider it. Whether that hurdle is technical, or more of an attitude adjustment, or just ignorance is not always obvious.

I believe the idea was to provide the software via the App Store for (most) iOS users but also provide another method to get the software that does not have App Store restrictions, thereby meeting GPL requirements - even if that secondary method has little practical use to the normal iPhone user.

Re:Here is the conflict (5, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800032)

As interpreted (by me) from the horse's mouth [fsf.org]: the appStore licence says you can only install the software on 5 approved devices, whereas of course the GPL specifically prohibits that type of restriction. Plus, the appStore licence says, "The Usage Rules shall govern your rights with respect to the Products, in addition to any other terms or rules that may have been established between you and another party." That means, the software author cannot undercut the appStore restrictions with a less restrictive licence such as the GPL, even if they want to.

Here is what the app store _actually_ says:

"You acknowledge that: you are purchasing the license to each Third-Party Product from the third-party licensor of that Third-Party Product (the "Application Provider"); Apple is acting as agent for the Application Provider in providing each such Third-Party Product to you; and Apple is not a party to the license between you and the Application Provider with respect to that Third-Party Product. The Application Provider of each Third-Party Product is solely responsible for that Third-Party Product, the content therein, any warranties to the extent that such warranties have not been disclaimed, and any claims that you or any other party may have relating to that Third-Party Product."

So for GPL licensed software, Apple just provides a downloading service to the end user; there is no software license agreement between you and Apple at all. Apple limits what Apple will do for the end user: They are willing to put copies onto five computers owned by one person, but not six. That doesn't limit what the end user is allowed to do. They don't get any further assistance from Apple, so making more copies is a bit more complicated (involves downloading the software, modifying it as you like, recompiling it, possible for another device), but Apple is _not_ restricting what they allow you to do. And you only have to jump through these hoops if you decide to be an ass; if you want to give the same software to all your iPhone owning friends, just tell them where to find it on the store.

There is a little bit of subtleness: Apple sells software licenses on behalf of third parties, and that is what the end user pays for, not the application itself. As GPL allows charging for the software, but not for the license, you can't publish GPL licensed software through the AppStore unless it is free as in free bear.

Won't be missed (4, Insightful)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799612)

VLC is a nice player on the desktop but there are far more superior solutions for the iPhone/iPad like AirVideo that isn't swamped in petty GPL politics. Plus the VLC interface on the iPhone was pretty bad. I'd be concerned if it was the only game in town. Otherwise, it's a non-story. This is VLC's loss.

It reminds me of Mozilla's backwards, dogmatic horseshit about supporting "open source" and not getting on the h.264 bandwagon with the rest of the grownups, all the while enabling the extremely user-hostile and proprietary Flash. Now their share is slowly being chipped away by Chrome which suffers from none of the political idiocy that comes with some FOSS projects.

Moving on.

Re:Won't be missed (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799808)

VLC was a piece of free software, how is it their loss?

Did they lose customers, did revenue go down?

Re:Won't be missed (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799892)

Obviously, free software does not achieve success by making money.

It does, however, succeed by having people actually use it.

Re:Won't be missed (3, Informative)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799858)

I call bullshit on your claim that Mozilla "enables" Flash in any way. Flash supports the general plugin architecture Mozilla and other browsers inherited from Netscape 4, which predates the existence of Flash entirely. The problem with the h.264 thing is that using it for HTML5 implies that the browser would have to support it natively. Mozilla does NOT support Flash natively. There is absolutely no comparison, your argument is rubbish based on inaccurate, misinformed technical assumptions.

Re:Won't be missed (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799964)

The h.264 bandwagon involves someone* paying for the licenses for every copy of the browser which is used. They supported flash no problem. And I don't see how Chrome supporting h.264 is 'chipping away' at firefox's use.

*A non-profit organisation paying millions every year?

History could repeat itself... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799622)

There was a time (ask your parents if you're under 40) when you rented your telephone from the phone company. No different than today you rent your cable box. The only phone that was allowed to plug into the wall jack was the one you rented from the phone company.

Fast forward X years...

There was a time (ask your parents if you're under 40) when you didn't rent your applications from the computer/tablet/smartphone company. No different than today you rent your time machine. The only application that was allowed to be installed on your mac was the one you rented from computer/tablet/smartphone company.

more anti-compeditive practices? (0)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799632)

This sounds more like apple plans to release their own player app maybe so they remove one that compote's with theirs. Its their standard practice, they will claim security of their devices is key but its so they can keep 100% of profit of the app.

Re:more anti-compeditive practices? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799738)

Actually, that has nothing to do with it. VLC's license does not permit DRM. AppStore apps inherently have DRM. VLC wanted it removed. Apple gladly complied. What is so hard to understand about this?

And are you trying to insinuate that Apple does not have their own movie player on iPads?

Re:more anti-compeditive practices? (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799740)

What profit? IIRC, the VLC app was free. Meaning the developers lost money making it due to having to buy a development kit in the first place.

Re:more anti-compeditive practices? (0)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799810)

i ment for apple, they will release their own player and charge $$$ for it

Re:more anti-compeditive practices? (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799886)

Why would they? All of the media formats they want to support are already supported by the built in software. They're simply not wishing to support DivX, WM, MKV, or the various other formats that are out there.

Re:more anti-compeditive practices? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799914)

I hate to point this out to you, but you get an Apple-provided movie player for free with the device, and you always have.

Re:more anti-compeditive practices? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799834)

"Release their own player app"? I must be missing something here, but I feel compelled to point out that Apple unsurprisingly ships it with one that supports the same formats that their desktop player supports, basically the ones most commonly available and the ones they sell on iTunes. I don't think Apple has any interest in giving people the ability to play formats beyond those.

They already have their own player... (2)

yabos (719499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799884)

It's built into the OS and it's Quicktime(scaled down). Apple won't make a competitor to VLC because VLC played many formats that Apple won't bother supporting due to no hardware acceleration. This is why Apple supports only a small set of codecs and bitrates. The A4 chip in the iPad and iPhone 4 has specific hardware for decoding this codec up to a certain bitrate.

which rock... (1)

alienzed (732782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800134)

which rock are you living under? Apple already has a very successful player app called Quicktime, ever heard of it?

VLC pulled it (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34800158)

VLC was pulled at the request of a VLC core developer who did not agree with their code running on iOS devices.

To hell with Apple! (-1, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799676)

What the hell do Apple think they are anyway? I am happy with Android. Trouble is, Oracle since it created a reminder that my favorite gadget may have no future in its present form. Scary indeed.

Re:To hell with Apple! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34799820)

I am happy with Android.

Great! It makes you way cool and appear to be heterosexual!

Re:To hell with Apple! (5, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799924)

What the hell do Apple think they are anyway?

People who respect software licenses when the license holders request software be removed from their store?

Details? (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799716)

What exactly are the details behind this? I understand that Apple's walled garden really does not have to have any reason for what they allow or disallow. But I don't follow what Rémi is alluding too. (Disclaimer: I've not owned any Apple products since my //e and while I have worked on them they are not something I do much with.)

Re:Details? (2)

bk2204 (310841) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799922)

The App Store imposes additional restrictions on what users can do with the apps. The GPL, which is used by VLC, prohibits additional restrictions. So it is impossible to legally distribute VLC (or any derivative work) through the App Store.

Obviously Apple's fault (0, Troll)

Henriok (6762) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799722)

This is obviously Apple's fault and it's inconceivable that it is a negative effect of the GPL since GPL cannot possibly have any. It's impossible to use any other OpenSource license that is compatible with the App Store, even if there are a multitude of such licenses.

LOL (4, Insightful)

ThisIsNotMyHandel (1013943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799730)

This has nothing to do with Apple, rather with VLC. Not sure why people are hating on Apple for this.

Re:LOL (0)

lewko (195646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799812)

Because Slashdotters like to pretend they are uber-31337 Linux haX0r d00dz even though they are probably using Microsoft Windows and iPhones to say how cool Linux is and how lame other platforms are, despite having never actually used Linux.

Nokia (1, Informative)

WarpedCore (1255156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799824)

I've read his resume. He works at Nokia, not for Free Software Foundation. He's not a philosopher or a lawyer either. It's pretty easy to say that he's acting in the interest of the company that feeds his face and lines his wallet Remi went out on his own to try to pull the app and succeeded. This guy just wants to code himself a bigger cock.

It's free... (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799826)

why do they want to make you go though the buying process again to install it on a sixth device.

VLC player works alright. (1, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34799978)

its the only player i know so far, that works without any codec hassles on any computer. download, run, play anything on it. its almost magical.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...