Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Are App Stores Liable for Open Source Software Compliance?

Filed under
OSS

The use of open source software enables application developers to build better applications more efficiently and cost effectively. Yet, open source license compliance in the app store setting can be a bit puzzling.

About a year and a half ago, there was a stir when GNU Go was removed by Apple from its App Store. The game, licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPL v2), was available for download on the App Store. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) contacted Apple and the developer who submitted the game to the App Store regarding non-compliance with the GPL v2, noting that the developer failed to provide the source code and Apple was in violation of the license as well. The FSF also provided a public explanation of its stance on its blog. Apple unceremoniously pulled the game from the App Store, thus eliminating the question of non-compliance. The focus of the discussion centered around restrictive terms in the App Store terms of service that conflicted with the GPL v2, section 6 which prohibits any further restrictions on the rights granted by the GPL v2 to recipient of the software.

What fascinated me about this controversy was the lack of focus on the other key requirements of the license.

Rest here




More in Tux Machines

China starts Windows wipe-out, switches to Linux

China is presently in a situation to completely eradicate Windows from the country. Though this is not immediately possible, the map to wipe-out the Windows operating system from every computer is planned over a period of a few years from now. According to a report on SoftPedia, China has planned to move away from Microsoft Windows completely. Recently, China had announced the ban of Windows 8 in the country accusing Microsoft of spying the China government and businesses via the operating system. China has made it mandatory to all organizations to switch from the Microsoft Windows operating system to a locally developed operating system based on Linux. China believes that by the year 2020, they will successfully eradicate Windows and would have an already switched to a more powerful and secure operating system of their own. Read more

Simplicity Linux 14.10 is now available to download!

Simplicity Linux 14.10 is now available for everyone to download. It uses the 3.15.4 kernel. Netbook and Desktop Editions both use LXDE as the desktop environment, and X Edition uses KDE 4.12.3. The download links are as follows: Read more

Free-software pioneer says it's all about liberty

When it comes to code that runs a computer or a program, Richard Stallman believes it should be free. Not only at no cost to the user, but unshackled and independent. To Stallman, it is a matter of liberty, not price. “We say free software as in ‘free speech’ not ‘free beer,’” Stallman said. The computer programmer and activist shared his views, which earned him the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” during a presentation at Weber State University on Thursday. Read more

Samsung fires another shot at Microsoft in Android patent battle

This move came as no surprise to lawyers who've been following the case. One intellectual property (IP) attorney whose firm is covering the case closely said that Samsung is simply adding another argument to their contention that their existing Microsoft Android patent deal is invalid on business contract grounds. According to Reuters, Samsung said it agreed to pay Microsoft Android patent license royalties in 2011, but the deal also stated that Samsung would develop Windows phones and share confidential business information with Microsoft. If Samsung were to sell a certain number of Windows phones, then Microsoft would reduce the Android royalty payments. Read more