FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL
Posted Jun 10, 2010 23:00 UTC (Thu) by Lefty
Parent article: FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL
I don't believe I so much "challenged" the FSF to conduct similar enforcement actions against Google and Microsoft as wondered why they haven't, given that there are very similar issues to the ones Brett Smith called out with respect to Apple in his postings.
I'm not "taken aback" by the FSF's extremely broad definition of a "distributor"this isn't a new position on their partbut I do see it as a counterproductive one in the long run. If you're willing to excuse Best Buy on the basis that "they don't know what's in the boxes", then Apple equally "doesn't know what's in the boxes" of the apps that get sold through the store. They don't ask developers for source code, they don't "check licenses", and they rely on the developers' representations that the apps submitted to the App Store don't have any legal barriers to their being sold there.
I've said that the FSF can blame Apple as much as they like, but all they've done is ensure that no iPhone user (of which there are about 50 million to date) will be exposed to GPL-licensed software. If the GPL was violated by anyone, it was the developer. Apple was as much of a "victim" here as the FSF.
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