[OTR-dev] OTR-dev Digest, Vol 39, Issue 2

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at guardianproject.info
Wed May 2 14:28:39 EDT 2012

On May 2, 2012, at 2:17 PM, Chris Ballinger wrote:
> On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 10:36 AM, Hans-Christoph Steiner <hans at guardianproject.info> wrote:
> On May 2, 2012, at 10:38 AM, Nathan of Guardian wrote:
>> On 05/02/2012 09:08 AM, Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
>>> I guess that doesn’t make a lot of sense imho. It won’t be usable in the Mac or iOS AppStores due to licensinc constraints of the (L)GPL. I’m currently looking for helping hands and some sponsoring to natively reimplement libotr in Objective-C under a BSD license.
>> I would look at what Chris has already done here: https://github.com/chrisballinger/Off-the-Record-iOS
> Careful, that uses a few (L)GPL'ed libraries like libgcrypt and libotr, so putting that code into the Apple App Store is in violation of the terms of the (L)GPL since the Apple App Store Terms conflict with the GPL.  Distributing GPL software for iOS outside of the App Store is totally clear in terms of the GPL.

> When writing ChatSecure I followed the logic in this post on StackOverflow: http://stackoverflow.com/a/1321681/805882
> Since I distribute the object files in question with the app (and my app is open source) I feel that I don't violate the spirit of the LGPL. However, I'm not a lawyer, and I know that some FSF devotees would disagree with me.
> I have been considered reimplementing libotr in Objective-C and licensing it under BSD as well, but I wanted to wait until after libotr4 / OTRv3 was released. I have had some interest from another developer looking to fund a rewrite of libotr to use the iOS Common Crypto routines. Maybe we could all work together.

The linking clause is unrelated to why the Apple App Store conflicts with the (L)GPL.  The Apple App Store does not let users take Free Software, modify it, then run it on their own devices freely. They require you to use DRM, pay $100 a year, to agree to their additional terms, etc. There is a pretty good write up of this here: http://michelf.com/weblog/2011/gpl-ios-app-store/

Some people believe that what you are doing does violate the spirit of the (L)GPL as well as the letter of it.  That's why VLC was removed from the Apple App Store.  You can violate any copyright license and hope that the copyright holder doesn't find you or have issue with it.  Certainly lots of people do that when they download Hollywood movies.  But its not a very steady food to stand on.

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