Feeds

Apple picks death not compliance for open source iPhone game

App Store flouts GPL

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Apple has removed an application from the iPhone App Store after the Free Software Foundation complained that the store's terms of service undermined the application's open source license.

To the countless "inappropriate" apps Apple has ejected from its App Store, you can add GNU Go, a chess-like game that's open sourced under the GPLv2 license. Apple has been known to reject apps based on the puritanical sensitivities of Steve Jobs (here and here) and other half-explained policies (here), but this is a little different.

Apple removed an iPhone port of GNU Go from the App Store after receiving a letter from the Free Software Foundation (FSF). The FSF said the store's terms of service contradicted the GPLv2 license used by GNU Go.

The sticking point was that the App Store's terms of service says that a piece of software downloaded from the store can only be used on five devices. But the FSF said that the terms of service impose numerous legal restrictions on the use and distribution of GNU Go that are forbidden by GPLv2 section 6:

Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.

The FSF said on its site Thursday:

Usage rules do the same thing as Apple's Digital Restrictions Management - narrowly limiting what you can do with the software - but the method is different: they work legally instead of technologically.

The group said it was happy to see Apple distribute GNU Go under the GPL's terms. As it expected, however, Apple took the option of removing the offending app rather than tearing up the iTunes business model.

The FSF called the move "disappointing but unsurprising" saying Apple doesn't value people's independence and creativity. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.