Apple Prefers To Keep GPL'd Software Out Of App Store So It Can Keep DRM On All Apps
from the drm-vs.-gpl dept
Slashdot points us to the interesting bit of news that the developer of the popular VLC media player is complaining that the way in which Apple distributes apps through the App Store (including a port of VLC) contradicts the GPL license for VLC by putting all sorts of restrictions and DRM on the product. The FSF is noting that Apple's response to similar complaints in the past isn't to remove the restrictions, but to remove the software instead. Pretty sad considering Steve Jobs' own words about DRM, which apparently he doesn't even believe for any industry outside of music. Just for the fun of it, let's take a look at some of what Steve Jobs said three years ago:
[One] alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.Now there are some caveats there, focused on music, but it seems like much of that certainly applies to other areas as well, so perhaps Steve Jobs can listen to Steve Jobs.
Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.