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Gmane
From: Rusty Russell <rusty <at> rustcorp.com.au>
Subject: Re: Wesnoth Apple App Store GPL violation?
Newsgroups: gmane.games.wesnoth.devel
Date: Monday 12th July 2010 02:12:10 UTC (over 7 years ago)
On Sun, 11 Jul 2010 06:56:05 pm Kyle Poole wrote:
> > I want recipients of my software to receive all the benefits that I
have
> > received.  I want them to be able to mod, share and experiment with the
> > software, and this is reflected in my preference for the GPL.
> 
> As a direct result of me spending more than 8 months fulltime working
> on the iPhone port and publishing the source code, many other iPhone
> projects have benefited from my work, not to mention improvements
> which can be used for other Wesnoth branches such as Android, or
> backported to the trunk. I think the spirit of GPL very much comes
> through in the iPhone port.

Hi Kyle,

   I do not dispute the excellence of the port; from the comments you've
done
a stellar job, kudos!

   It is unfortunate that there doesn't seem to be a way to conveniently
distribute it without violating the license, but as far as I can tell,
that's
a deliberate decision by Apple, not accidental.

> > It's not really relevant *how* people are prevented from doing so,
except
> > to the questions "Does it matter?" and "Can I do anything to prevent
it?".
> 
> The only thing you are accomplishing is making me rewrite your code.
> Damn you, selfish one!

That is always an argument when people want to use my code in proprietary
software, and I've made decisions in the past both ways.

I contributed to help broaden a Free software ecosystem.  What if what
you're
doing is undoing that?  Is it selfish to refuse to help?  Unfortunately
copyright gives me this power, and so I need to make a decision.

> > So, does it matter?  As a software developer, a machine on which the
owner
> > cannot choose what software to create and run is anathema.  As a free
> > software developer, a machine which restricts free software is
particularly
> > disturbing.
> 
> As a software developer and believer in the spirit of GPL, a developer
> that says "my GPL code should not be run on such-a-such device" is
> anathema.

I agree, but I blame the device, not the GPL.  AFAICT, the device is
designed
not to allow the freedoms the GPL tried to guarantee.

> If you didn't realize, GPL code is used in plenty of closed
> devices, so this is not really an issue as far as the GPL is
> concerned.

Yep.  I think that the inability to run software you want on the iPhone
without paying Apple $99 is a backwards step for general computing devices
to those of us used to free gcc toolchains.

> There is nothing legally restricting you from modifying the
> source code and redistributing it, the only point of contention is the
> EULA of the binary that you download from the AppStore.

But disallowing independent distribution is... breathtaking.  None of the
platforms I've ever coded for have done that, and it really scares me.  I'm
sure you've thought about this far more that I have: am I overreacting?

And yes, according to the EFF lawyers, the only thing I can actually
complain
about is the EULA.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Rusty.
 
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