VLC App Pulled From The App Store In Response To Nokia Employee’s GPL Crusade

VLC App Pulled From The App Store In Response To Nokia Employee’s GPL Crusade

Let’s flash back a few months to October, when an iOS developer called Applidium ported the indispensable VLC video player to the App Store as a free download. It was a great day for iOS device owners who wanted a more robust way of watching videos across many different codecs, but one of the lead contributors to the VLC project, Rémi Denis-Courmont, decided to get pissy about it. Why? Because VLC was released under a GPL license, and he felt that Apple wrapping a port of VLC in App Store DRM ran counter to that license.

Well, score a victory for VideoLAN, I guess. Denis-Courmont has successfully had VLC pulled from the App Store in response to a claim that the app violated VideoLAN’s licensing agreement.

Writing with considerable smugness, Denis-Courmont writes:

“At last, Apple has removed VLC media player from its application store. 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’s right, of course, but he’s also mistaking the letter of the GPL for the spirit of the GPL, all as part of what appears to be some sort of knee-jerk anti-Apple crusade. That he works for Nokia makes this all just more suspect.

But whatever, it’s pretty much irrelevant. The good news here is that if you’re an iOS user, you’re not lacking for choices in VLC-like video players: OPlayer‘s a pretty good alternative, and there’s more besides.

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About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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