GPL and the Mac App Store

Colin Barrett colin at springsandstruts.com
Thu Jan 13 07:24:21 UTC 2011


I don't think Apple would approve such an app.

-Colin

On Jan 12, 2011, at 7:24 PM, Alan Humpherys wrote:

> Evan,
> 
> Thanks for taking the time to check this out.  I suspected that they would come to this conclusion.
> 
> It's sadly ironic that the GPL is getting in the way of distributing software for free.
> 
> I sincerely hope that some sort of accommodation can be made so that more GPL Open Source software can be freely distributed through these channels (iTunes/App Store).  Unfortunately, I don't see Apple changing their process... Since a given software title in their store can switch from free to paid on a daily basis,  they need to track free software the same way that they track paid software.....
> 
> My proposed solution
> ==================
> We put a free "Adium" app into the Mac App Store which is licensed using the BSD (or similar license) which merely does the following
> 
> - Downloads a copy of the "real" adium from CacheFly
> - Makes it so subsequent launches of the AppStore provided Application launch the downloaded Adium binaries
> 
> This gives us the visibility of being available on the App store - and builds our customer base - yet preserves the spirit of the GPL distribution rules.  The filesystem restrictions on iOS wouldn't allow this for an iPhone version, but such a thing is definitely possible on MacOS.
> 
> - Alan




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