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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free Software on apple Store


From: Aaron Wolf
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free Software on apple Store
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2015 09:17:36 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.8.0

On 08/16/2015 09:08 AM, address@hidden wrote:
> Hi,
> 
>    I was thinking about GPL software not being allowed on the iphone
> store, in particular games. It seems to me that it should be fairly easy
> to make an app with a license compatible with these tos which could
> download and install GPL software from another website. Perhaps the app
> could be available elsewhere under the GPL. Would this be a great way to
> spread free software? Would Super Tux Kart turn into the killer app that
> makes everyone everywhere finally demand freedom with their software? Or
> would it just end up like a new tivoization, the latest trick to get
> around the GPl?
> 
>    If there may be some merit to this idea, I would be curious about
> what license might be appropriate. Could the LGPL be used on the iphone
> store? Is there another that might work? Would the FSF be interested in
> making a special version of the GPL for this kind of situation?
> 
> Sincerely,
> 
> Mark
> 

Mark, I hope others will weigh in, but I don't think this is possible.
Apple's ToS aren't just a couple unfortunate things incompatible with
GPL. They are fundamentally much broader than that. I highly doubt that
*any* program that installs *other* programs would be compatible with
the ToS regardless of license. Apple's terms make complete lock-down.
They block anything that does *any* system-level operations at all.

For example, the most popular program for jail-broken iThings is Flux,
the program that tints the screen red at night (like the GPL software
Redshift for GNU/Linux which *everyone* should be using!!). Apple
censors that out not because of license but because it does something on
the system level. This means Apple is *physically hurting people*
because it is keeping them from reducing eye strain and interfering with
melatonin production. Apple doesn't care.

So, the point is: Apple's terms aren't reasonable with the exception of
being GPL incompatible, they are draconian terms.

-- 
Aaron Wolf
co-founder, Snowdrift.coop
music teacher, wolftune.com



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