All good things have to come to an end and it seems good days for iOS device users are about to become slightly boring and dull. Apple might toss out VLC Media Player for iPhone/Pod touch and iPad, after Videolan formally notified Apple of copyright infringement regarding the way it is distributed in the App Store.
Here’s an excerpt from the mail sent by Rémi Denis-Courmont, who is one of the primary developers of VLC Media Player.
Today, a formal notification of copyright infringement was sent to Apple Inc. regarding distribution of the VLC media player for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. VLC media player is free software licensed solely under the terms of the open source GNU General Public License (a.k.a. GPL). Those terms are contradicted by the products usage rules of the AppStore through which Apple delivers applications to users of its mobile devices. At the time of writing, the infringing application is still available. However, it is to be expected that Apple will cease distribution soon, just like it did with GNU Go earlier this year in strikingly similar circumstances: http://www.fsf.org/news/2010-05-app-store-compliance. Thus, users of iOS-based devices would be deprived of VLC media player, as a consequence of the intransigently tight control Apple maintains over its mobile applications platform. In any case, while the rules for distribution of open-source or “free” (as in speech) software are extremely relaxed, they do exist and have to be abode by. VLC and open-source software in general would not have reached their current quality and success if it had not been for their license. Therefore, blatant license violation cannot be tolerated at any rate. Concerned users are advised to look for application on more open mobile platforms for the time being.”
Snap the app up while Apple still permits it to be there. Check out our review of the VLC Media Player.