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Wow that's a biased and skewed article. The truth is Apple do not allow GPLed software on the App Store, and hence do not allow easy install of GPL software on iOS (iPad & iPhone). Microsoft are fine with people installing GPL software on MS Windows OSs. The problem is Apple's strict rules about licencing and software installation, not a "vicious Nokia employee who just doing it because Apple & Nokia are compeditors". I assure you, there are many Free Software/Open Source developers who are ethically and morally opposed to the App Store idea.

From what I know the issue is that the App Store adds some DRM that the GPL would require to be open-sourced. Might be wrong though, I only have a vague understanding.

From my under standing that's pretty close. More specifically it has to do with the GPLv3's concept that the hardware cannot limit what you can do with the software. Its why the only GPL software still in OS X is GPLv2, and the only reason its still there is because it hasn't been replaced with a BSD licensed equivalent yet.

The largest example of this is probably CLANG. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clang

AFAIK one of the problems was that Apple disallow certain actions (like commerical usage) for software via the AppStore. You can only distribute GPL software written by someone else if you don't add any extra conditions. Apple won't distribute it via AppStore without the "no commerical usage" rules, so Apple can't carry it.

DRM is fundamentally incompatible with open source licences like the GPL. You almost certainly cannot distribute other people's open source code with DRM. Other people wrote code and developed software that they'll give you the right to copy it under copyright law if you follow their rules. The AppStore does not meet those rules.

My understanding is that you can have GPL software on the App Store via dual-licensing.

This is easy when you're the sole developer of an application, but almost impossible for existing GPL projects where you must track down all contributors and convince them to assign copyright to you.



Close, but not quite there yet.

The reason Apple does not allow GPL applications on the App Store is because it would be in violation of the GPL license for them to be there. The way the App Store model works requires static linking of both Apple and 3rd party libraries, which, amongst other things, is a violation of the GPL.

I'm not sure whether FSF commented on VLC, but http://www.fsf.org/news/2010-05-app-store-compliance was a complaint about restrictions imposed by the store's terms of service, not about proprietary system code that must be linked in. http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLIncompatibleLibs always made a pragmatic exception about doing that, because many early Unixes shipped with proprietary standard libraries and didn't support dynamic linking at all.

Apple is also fine with people installing GPLed software on OSX. They just don't distribute it themselves.

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