[Ecls-list] ECL's license and commercial IPhone apps

Pascal J. Bourguignon pjb at informatimago.com
Fri Aug 12 13:48:19 UTC 2011

"R. Mattes" <rm at mh-freiburg.de> writes:

>> Can ECL be used for a closed-source (at least for the non-ECL
>> components) commercial App Store app?
> No, since Apple requires static linking (one might question their 
> reason for this)

Last time I read Apple legalese, it wasn't even clear that you could
distribute in the AppStore a GPL application.  It looks like you have to
distribute it thru the AppStore with a more restrictive license.  

If you're the author of the application, you can always distribute a
closed-license binary in the AppStore, and distribute your sources under
GPL separately (I'm not even sure Apple leaves you the right to put a
link to the GPL version from the binary application).  In anycase, this
wouldn't help iPhone/iPad _users_ since they would need to subscribe to
the Apple Developer Program to be able to compile and run your sources
on their iDevice, and since Apple reserves itself the right to refuse an
application in the AppStore if its features are too close from an
existing application (or one Apple plans to sell themselves), it seems
to me the GPL is purely nullified by the AppStore.

I'd love to see an analysis from the FSF and a statement about this.

So my conclusions so far are:

- If you're the owner of the code, you must distribute it in the
  AppStore with a license strictly less free than the GPL, and you may
  distribute your sources under GPL, but this won't help the users of
  your iDevice application.  

- You cannot use GPL libraries you don't own in AppStore software,
  without obtaining them under a different license.

__Pascal Bourguignon__                     http://www.informatimago.com/
A bad day in () is better than a good day in {}.

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