VLC Returns to Apple App Store - The UpStream

VLC Returns to Apple App Store

posted Sunday Jul 21, 2013 by Scott Ertz

VLC Returns to Apple App Store

It has been more than 2 years since VideoLAN had its VLC media player yanked from Apple's App Store. The app was originally removed because, like all of VideoLAN's code, it is released open-source. The code, released under the GPL license, conflicted with App Store rules because of the rules of the license.

The new version, now a round 2.0, is being released under 2 different licenses: Mozilla Public License Version 2 in addition to the GNU General Public License Version 2 or later. Obviously, missing from the list is the GPL; clearly an attempt to prevent the same issue from popping up again.

It isn't that VLC was impossible for the past 2+ years, as any jailbroken iOS device could run the app side-loaded. Availability in the store, however, means that those who are unwilling or unable to unlock their devices will be able to play files, like MKV, on their iOS devices.

For better or worse, the re-entry into the store is a win for open source projects in the Apple ecosystem. Perhaps other projects, whose apps have been removed because of the GPL license, will be able to re-apply by releasing under other open-source licenses. It might also encourage GPL to reexamine their licensing, or offer a mobile version of the license terms.

The app, of course offered for free, is available in the store right now. If you've got an iOS device and download the app, let us know how you like it in the comments below.

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