Saturday, January 8, 2011

Apple Store removed VLC app

The Apple store remove all VLC app due to the licensing issue and it is not long when a version of multi-format video player VLC hit the Apple store.

Before anyone grabs a pitchfork and/or torch and starts marching toward Cupertino, it's worth noting that VLC's removal from the App Store has nothing to do with Apple's preferences. Rather, it's a direct result of one man's misguided crusade... a man who, (perhaps) coincidentally, is an employee of Nokia, one of Apple's competitors in the mobile space.

Rémi Denis-Courmont waged a one-man campaign against Applidium's iOS port of VLC, claiming the app violated the GNU public license (GPL) because App Store purchases have Digital Rights Management (DRM) applied to them. The end result seems somewhat counterproductive, because now unless you downloaded VLC before it was pulled from the App Store, you can't install it on your iOS device at all. So much for ensuring that VLC can be freely distributed. It's also important to note that VideoLAN, makers of VLC, had nothing to do with getting Applidium's VLC port removed from the App Store; as an organization, VideoLAN itself did not pursue removal of the VLC app from the App Store. As berserk as it sounds, it really has been all about one guy's beef with the App Store's rules. One guy with a vested interest in seeing Apple lose to his employer, Nokia.

If that wasn't enough, Courmont's response to Apple pulling the VLC app from the App Store comes off as incredibly spiteful:
"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."
That's awesome, Rémi. I'm sure your high-minded principles are far more important than the benefit that millions of people could have had from using the FREE VLC app on their iOS devices. I'm glad I managed to download the app before your antics resulted in it getting pulled from the App Store, but thanks for ruining it for everyone else.

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