GPL and the Mac App Store

Zachary West zacw at adium.im
Wed Jan 12 17:58:16 UTC 2011


On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 12:44, Stephen Holt <stephen.holt at gmail.com> wrote:

> The issue, as I understand it, isn't about availability of source, but
> extra restrictions applied to the App's license (whatever that is) which is
> incompatible with the GPL.
>
>  from <http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/us/terms.html#APPS>:
>
> > You agree that the Services and certain Products include security
> technology that limits your use of Products and that, whether or not
> Products are limited by security technology, you shall use Products in
> compliance with the applicable usage rules established by Apple and its
> principals (“Usage Rules”), and that any other use of the Products may
> constitute a copyright infringement.
>
> and from the Usage Rules section:
>
> > (i) You may download and use an application from the Mac App Store (“Mac
> App Store Product”) for personal, non-commercial use on any Apple-branded
> products running Mac OS X that you own or control (“Mac Product”).
> >
> > (ii) If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, you
> may download a Mac App Store Product for use either (a) by a single
> individual on each of the Mac Product(s) that you own or control, or (b) by
> multiple individuals on a single shared Mac Product that you own or control.
> For example, a single employee may use a Mac App Store Product on both the
> employee’s desktop Mac Product and laptop Mac Product, or multiple students
> may serially use the Product on a single Mac Product located at a resource
> center or library.
> >
> > (iii) Use may require sign-in with the Apple ID used to download the Mac
> App Store Product from the Mac App Store. Mac App Store Products can be
> updated through the Mac App Store only.
>
> Essentially - the App Store EULA dictates how you can use and distribute
> the binary you download, which is a big incompatibility with the GPL.
>
> For some more background, the FSF has a good article on why the GPL and App
> Store are in conflict: <
> http://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/more-about-the-app-store-gpl-enforcement
> >
>
> --
> Steve Holt
>
> P.S.  Please don't take any of this as a value judgement either for or
> against the GPL.  This is merely the situation we're in as I understand it.
>
> P.P.S. I am not a lawyer.
>
>
>
> On Jan 12, 2011, at 9:22 AM, Joe Hildebrand wrote:
>
> > On 1/11/11 3:43 PM, "Evan Schoenberg, M.D." <evan at adium.im> wrote:
> >
> >> In the current agreement for the App Store - on all platforms - there
> are
> >> several provisions which restrict distribution.  These are incompatible
> with
> >> the GPL.
> >
> > Could you provide us with the relevant provisions, please?
> >
> > What about out-of-the-box approaches like providing (all of!) the source
> as
> > a part of the application download?
> >
> > --
> > Joe Hildebrand
> >
> >
>
>
>
Additionally, the EULA you are forced to add on your application requires a
*non-transferrable* license, while the GPL is explicitly transferrable.

Zac
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