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Dual Licensing for Apple App Store Distibution [Was Re: Licensing of mod

From: Gary V. Vaughan
Subject: Dual Licensing for Apple App Store Distibution [Was Re: Licensing of modules for libposix]
Date: Mon, 9 May 2011 09:59:22 +0700

On 7 May 2011, at 21:19, Paolo Bonzini <address@hidden> wrote:
> On 05/05/2011 07:23 AM, Gary V. Vaughan wrote:
>> This makes it a lot easier to distribute software through Apple's
>> various AppStore channels under the more onerous terms they impose,
>> while still having the freedom to share the actual code under the
>> GPL.
> I'm afraid this would only be a Pyrrhic victory.  People who get the source 
> code would have no possibility to do the same; they would be able to port 
> your code to other devices/platforms, or to test it in an emulator, but they 
> would not be able to modify it and put it on the AppStore.

Technically, developer's would also be able to run the code on their own 
hardware, or modify the code and distribute it through one of the alternative 
app stores for jail broken devices.

Pragmatically, I was interested in the idea of a multi platform software 
project with X11 and iOS front ends, with all the shared code dual licensed 
under GPL/LGPL and a closed AppStore compatible license.

> Unfortunately, the AppStore agreements force people to do one of two things 
> if they want to maximize their user's freedoms: 1) use a non-copyleft 
> license; 2) use a GPL-incompatible license.  I'm not aware actually of any 
> strong copyleft, AppStore-friendly license.

That's true, and why I think the above is the best compromise.

But there are other problems too - I'd need signed agreements from any 
contributors who want to enhance or fix problems in the GPL version, in order 
to be able to also dual license their contributions and distribute their 
improvements in the next app store release. Very far from ideal, but Apple ties 
our hands :-(

Gary V. Vaughan (gary AT gnu DOT org)

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