Apple removes VLC app from App Store, GPL to blame

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Apple has removed the VLC application from its App Store. The app was first released four months ago, even though many believed it would not be able to make it through Apple's vetting process. "On January 7th, Apple removed VLC media player from its application store for iDevices," Rémi Denis-Courmont, a Linux and VLC developer, said in a statement. "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."

Denis-Courmont went on to list multiple points regarding Apple and VLC. Here's a summary: he doesn't actually know for certain why Apple removed VLC, Apple will probably never state the truth, Apple removed VLC from the old Mac Store for computers about four years ago for unknown reasons, Apple received his copyright notification more than two months before they pulled the application, and Apple had ample time to adjust and clarify the terms of the App Store in regards to the GPL, but decided not to.

"All in all, we will probably never know the truth," he said. "But I am inclined to believe what Eben Mogel, from the Software Freedom Law Center, foretold me 2 months ago: Apple would remove VLC simply because it cannot stand software distributed under the GPL on its stores. But, it is Apple's choice and business decision, therefore Apple would have no reasons to expedite the process. It could also be that they do specifically not fancy VLC on their platforms. That would account for the removal from the Mac Store a long time ago."


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