User: Password:
|
|
Subscribe / Log in / New account

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 19:14 UTC (Thu) by bcs (guest, #27943)
In reply to: FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL by armijn
Parent article: FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

How can it be a GPL violation if a distributor does not want to distribute more than x binary copies of a program to you, even if they would provide the full code in compliance with the GPL?

It's not, but that's not what the Terms of Service say. If it said "You can only download this program five times; after that, we're not going to let you download any more copies from us," that would be fine. But instead it says that you may only make five copies. And only on Apple-approved devices, no less. Thus it puts restrictions on the recipient's copying, and not merely Apple's, and that's what's not allowed under the GPL.


(Log in to post comments)

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 19:24 UTC (Thu) by armijn (subscriber, #3653) [Link]

The user is not copying anything. The user is using iTunes to let Apple distribute and install software onto an Apple approved device. Apple will only allow it on five Apple approved devices at the time. If you want more they will not distribute it to you. No distribution equals no licensing problem, it's as simple as that.

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 19:44 UTC (Thu) by MortenSickel (subscriber, #3238) [Link]

Which then is as simple as a break of the GPL. How you can say that installing software onto a device is not copying, or that denying to install a piece of software is not do deny copying?

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 20:07 UTC (Thu) by sfeam (subscriber, #2841) [Link]

The terms as quoted up-thread use the word "obtain". The customer is limited to "obtaining" five instances of the program. Do you want to argue that "obtain" really means "copy" rather than "download"?

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 20:17 UTC (Thu) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455) [Link]

Could you be more specific, which thread? I cannot find the word "obtain" in any other post at the time of this post) than yours.

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 20:37 UTC (Thu) by armijn (subscriber, #3653) [Link]

How can not wanting to distribute to someone breach a distribution license?

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 20:12 UTC (Thu) by bcs (guest, #27943) [Link]

It doesn't matter whether Apple distributes only one copy to the user, or over nine thousand: the GPL prohibits Apple from putting additional legal restrictions on any of them. The user has to have the freedom to make whatever additional copies of the software they want. But section 9(c) of the Terms of Service says: "You agree that your license of Products constitutes your acceptance of and agreement to use such Products solely in accordance with the Usage Rules...." (Emphasis added.) And one of those Usage Rules (9(b)(iii)) specifically imposes a limit on your copying: "You shall be able to store Products on five iTunes-authorized devices at any time." Regardless of how Apple's distribution is modeled, the copy or copies that the user receives are unquestionably restricted from further copying, in violation of the GPL.

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 20:24 UTC (Thu) by armijn (subscriber, #3653) [Link]

Thanks for pointing this out. The terms of usage say that to *USE* the products you have to agree the terms of the license. It does not say anything about copying, so it does not restrict your rights under GPLv2, since usage is outside the scope of the license. From GPLv2:

"Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
covered by this License; they are outside its scope."

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 20:27 UTC (Thu) by armijn (subscriber, #3653) [Link]

Argh, brain faster than fingers. What I meant to say is that to use it you have to agree with the terms of service, not the terms of the license.

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 20:42 UTC (Thu) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455) [Link]

Correct, usage does not fall under the GPL2, it falls under standard copyright. Apple does not own the copyright so it cannot add terms of usage on software it does not own the copyright to (just as Best Buy may not dictate how you use your copy of MS Windows purchased there). Apple may demand that you add usage terms to your copyright if you desire to distribute your program via their service. But, random users attempting to distribute GPLed software via Apple's service cannot agree to this for other copyright holders.

FSF takes on Apple's App Store over GPL

Posted Jun 10, 2010 21:40 UTC (Thu) by johnsu01 (subscriber, #34757) [Link]

The ToS says you can store the software on 5 approved computers.

Copying the software yourself as permitted by the GPL would require storing it on a 6th (possibly unapproved) computer.

The ToS says you are not permitted to do anything outside of the listed rules.

Copying it to a 6th computer is outside the listed rules.

Which of the above do you take issue with?


Copyright © 2017, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds