This open source project and video LAN community developers introduced a real slim product to work on the Apple iPhone 3 GS iPhone 4 and the newer iPod touch models. They also announced the new version’s capability to delete files from applications without having to go through iTunes, recognition of many more extensions easily and much faster decoding thanks to assembly optimizations. This was however, short-lived.
French open source contributor, Applidium first originally put up the VLC on the AppStore and iTunes initially. They were the ones responsible for the VLC desktop client’s ability to work on the iOS platform. Surprisingly it is believed that the video LAN community who are today credited with the development of VLC had practically nothing to do with Applidium’s contributions to the AppStore. Mr. Remy Dennis – Courmont one of the main developers in the video LaAN community who, definitely had rights in pursuing his claim based on the development of the codes for VLC, was surprisingly, the person behind the removal of VLC from the Apple AppStore.
While, the GNU, general public license protects the open source software, of which VLC is a member, the license states that software must be freely distributed and can be collaboratively developed. However, Apple has a written DRM policy, (Digital Rights Management), seemed to be in direct conflict with this concept and, for an app to be in Apple’s AppStore it has to comply with the terms in DRM policy through the AppStore and iTunes’ terms and conditions.
Remy claimedly had filed a complaint with Apple in November stating his disapproval on the basis that the DRM policy directly went against the GNU’s general public policy spirit and requested a takedown. Apple finally complied avoiding a long drawn legal battle and the VLC media player app is no longer available on the AppStore with its removal.
As luck would have it, if you already have the VLC media player installed on your iOS device, it should still work probably facing compatibility issues arising when updating the operating systems in future.
Remy even goes on record to say- “First, even I do not know for certain, why Apple removed VLC, and Apple will probably never state the truth”. Adding “Apple had the power and, plenty of time (2 months), to adjust and clarify, the terms of the AppStore indeed the terms were modified several times since then.” The truth will never come out probably.
It is surprising and disturbing looking at this stand taken by Apple, “simply because it cannot stand software distributed under the GPL on its AppStores.”
The fact that, such a powerful and appreciated media player app, and a free app at that, was removed from the AppStore seems really disappointing for the millions of users already using it happily.