Last week, Softpedia reported that VLC Player for iOS had been removed by Apple, presumably over a license that was incompatible with the Mac maker’s own rulebook.
On January 9, Rémi Denis-Courmont, one of the original creators of the VLC open-source platform, announced the app’s removal on the Planet VideoLAN blog
, saying: “On January 7th, I was notified by an Apple attorney that VLC media player had been removed from the App Store.”
The developer stressed that he didn’t know for sure why Apple had removed VLC Player from the iOS App Store, and said he believed the company “will probably never state the truth.”
Rémi Denis-Courmont is known to have sent Apple a formal notification of copyright infringement
regarding the distribution of their VLC media player for iOS devices.
It is believed that VLC Player’s removal from the App Store may have something to do with this, although Apple received Rémi’s notification over two months ago.
Now, the actual makers of the iOS version of VLC Player, Applidium, have also responded to the removal.
The official statement from Romain Goyet from Applidium, obtained
by 9to5mac.com, is available below: Much to our surprise, we received this friday an email from Apple that said “We regret that the dispute regarding your application named ‘VLC Media Player’ could not be resolved amicably between the parties. We have removed your application from the App Store. For any questions relating to this matter, please contact Rémi Denis-Courmont directly.”
This was a follow-up from an email we received from Apple last October: “On 10/20/2010, we received a notice from Rémi Denis-Courmont that Rémi Denis-Courmont believes your application named ‘VLC Media Player’ infringes Rémi Denis-Courmont’s intellectual property rights. In particular, Rémi Denis-Courmont believes you are infringing their copyright.”
Rémi Denis-Courmont’s complaint came pretty much unsuspected, since we did receive approval from the VideoLAN association before starting the iOS port of VLC. As a matter of fact, some members of VideoLAN even helped us porting VLC to the iOS.
It goes without saying, we still believe the AppStore licence is compatible with the GPLv2 under the which VLC is released. Therefore, together with the VideoLAN association, we’ll do our best to not let this be the end of VLC/iOS.
As a final word, we think it’s pretty sad to deny millions of users the right to enjoy a nice piece of open source software … in the name of freedom.