Feeds

Apple picks death not compliance for open source iPhone game

App Store flouts GPL

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.