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Non-Issues in the News: FSF is upset at Apple - Striving to be immutable even if useless

About Non-Issues in the News: FSF is upset at Apple

Previous Entry Non-Issues in the News: FSF is upset at Apple May. 27th, 2010 @ 09:58 am Next Entry

Wow, an open-source organization is upset at a company that likes to keep at least some of its technology proprietary?

FSF: Apple’s iTunes Store terms of service at odds with GPL.

In short, Ars Technica reports that the Free Software Foundation is upset at both a developer and Apple over a difference of opinion in whose responsibility it is to distribute source code and what the end user is allowed to do with pre-compiled code. The GPL says that the user must have access to the modified source code and that the user is allowed to do what they please with it.

I think this is largely a non-issue, because if the developer of an iPhone OS app makes use and modifies some previously released GPL code, then the burden should be on them to make that new code available. Further, Apple as a host or mirror for the software should be largely uninvolved in disputes over GPL software because they had no hand in the modification of any given piece of code in an iPhone OS app.

Does the GPL prevent developers from building proprietary products that include GPL code as a subset? Does the GPL require that developers who use unmodified code mirror those files? Who polices the GPL and sticks up for it? How could anyone tell that a developer used and modified any GPL code other than by that developer’s admission?

Regardless of those answers, I don’t see the point of getting upset.

Mirrored from Won't he shut up, ever?.

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