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Re: [fluid-dev] Link error for iOS

From: Matt Giuca
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] Link error for iOS
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2011 11:00:20 +1100

I'm sorry to read that. The fact is that there isn't any legal uncertainty;
you can use and run FluidSynth under iOS like any other operating system. The
only concern was raised about distributing FluidSynth in Apple's AppStore, but
that is another matter. You only need to respect the terms of the LGPL license
if you want to distribute a modified version of FluidSynth or a derived work.

Well iOS and the App Store are one and the same thing, given that it is impossible to install software outside of the App Store on a normal (non-jailbroken) iOS device. It is misleading to say "you can use and run FluidSynth under iOS like any other operating system" when clearly iOS has a very different set of rules to other operating systems. There are obviously considerations that apply to iOS which do not apply to other operating systems, given that iOS refuses to run non-Apple-approved code, and I am merely pointing out that there is no clear consensus (either within the FluidSynth community or in the free software community at large) on how compatible the App Store license is with the (L)GPL.

The guy that answered your original mail has no authority to talk in the name
of the whole FluidSynth project, and he is not a copyright holder for
FluidSynth 1.0.9; please ignore his words.

Are you this antagonistic in real life, Pedro? Do you have to turn everything into a personal attack?

I am not talking in the name of the FluidSynth project. I don't have to because there is a document (http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/fluidsynth/wiki/LicensingFAQ/AppStore) signed by most of the contributors to the FluidSynth project -- including Pedro -- which came out of a lengthy discussion on the matter. The document states:
"It is questionable whether iOS and the App Store can fulfil the requirements of the LGPL. ... the App Store distribution mechanism might be incompatible with the LGPL, so the developer risks that Apple chooses to remove the application."

Given that the document represents the official view of the FluidSynth project, I believe it is entirely responsible for me to summarise it as "there is unknown legal status surrounding the use of FluidSynth on iOS due to the LGPL and Apple licenses" and provide a link to the document in question.

As copyright holders (including myself, although as you say I don't hold copyright on FluidSynth 1.0.9), we agreed not to raise a complaint against anyone who puts FluidSynth into the App Store. But we also agreed on the wording of that document. I am offended that you try to discredit me for simply summarising and linking to a document which you yourself signed.

> The code of yesterday can really work on iOS device, I wish to contribute it
to fluid project.

Thankyou, Mingfen. I apologise if I discouraged you. I was intending to inform you about the legal issues surrounding the project. As the App Store FAQ explains, it would not be a problem if you released your code under Cydia or another jail-broken distribution platform. If you do release FluidSynth in the Apple App Store, we have agreed not to raise a complaint, but we cannot guarantee that another copyright holder won't raise a complaint or that Apple won't remove the software at some point.


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