VLC for iPad/iPhone to be removed from the App Store?

It was with much celebration that every geek’s favourite video player — VLC — made its way onto both the iPad and the iPhone, so it is with a heavy heart that I write this post.

Over the weekend, iLounge received word that Rémi Denis-Courmont, one of the primary developers of the VLC Media Player, sent a copyright infringement notice to Apple.

“Whaaaa!?” I hear you cry, “but that doesn’t make sense!” Well, the reasoning behind it is that it’s violating the GNU General Public License (GPL) that VLC is distributed under.

How, you ask? Well, part of the license stipulates that the software has to be freely copy-able and distributable by the user, and Apple insists on inserting DRM that prevents such sharing into all of it’s Apps — even the free ones. Rémi points out that a similar situation happened earlier in the year with GNU Go also being removed from the App Store.

Now, before you get all shirty at Rémi for contacting Apple about this, he wants you to know:

Some people have commented that this will damage the project’s reputation. Maybe so. Blame those who published and/or advertized VLC for iPad. The fact of the GPL incompatibility was already well known. JB himself described it as a “grey area”. They decided to take the risk anyway, and they bear full responsibility for any consequences. Personally, I don’t blame them because I know very well how a geek feels when writing cool code for a cool new gadget.

The app is still available in the App Store for the moment, but don’t expect it to stay there. In other words, grab it while you can.

[via Redmond Pie]