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if they can determine what language an app was written in by the resulting binary, they can do GPL enforcement.
FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL
Posted Jun 10, 2010 15:21 UTC (Thu) by ctwise (subscriber, #10952)
When a developer submits an app to Apple, they state they have the rights to distribute the application. Apple could care less what the licensing is for the source code.
The primary reasons for Apple to reject an application (according to Steve Jobs) are:
1. Doesn't function or do what it says it does
2. Uses private APIs
The first reason is also why many applications get rejected for what people would assume are source-code violations. For example, Apple won't allow interpreters in apps. They aren't scanning through source code, they're looking at developer-provided descriptions. If a developer says you download scripts to their app, Apple will reject it on the assumption you're interpreting the scripts.
I have no opinion on whether Apple can be considered a distributor or not. But you need to base your decision on the facts.
Posted Jun 11, 2010 0:09 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
Apple [couldn't] care less what the licensing is for the source code.
Well, we're not talking about licensing of the source code. We're talking about licensing to copy the application (object code) file. No ordinary member of the public is licensed to distribute the GNU Go iphone application in the app store because the FSF hasn't given it's permission to copy stuff compiled from FSF's source code, except to those who meet conditions that you can't meet in the app store.
But your point is still valid: if Apple isn't legally the one doing the copying, Apple has little reason to care whether Apple is licensed to copy.
The Best Buy comparison was bizarre. There's nothing in common between making hundreds of copies of something and passing those out, as happens with the app store, and passing on a copy that was made by the publisher, as happens when Best Buy sells a box.
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