Makers of VLC Player for iOS respond to App Store removal

We recently reported on the removal of VLC Player for iOS from the App Store and today the makers of the app responded to the removal. Romain Goyet from Applidium provided us with the following statement:

Much to our surprise, we received this friday an email from Apple that said “We regret that the dispute regarding your application named ‘VLC Media Player’ could not be resolved amicably between the parties. We have removed your application from the App Store. For any questions relating to this matter, please contact Rémi Denis-Courmont directly.”

This was a follow-up from an email we received from Apple last October : “On 10/20/2010, we received a notice from Rémi Denis-Courmont that Rémi Denis-Courmont believes your application named ‘VLC Media Player’ infringes Rémi Denis-Courmont’s intellectual property rights. In particular, Rémi Denis-Courmont believes you are infringing their copyright.”

Rémi Denis-Courmont’s complaint came pretty much unsuspected, since we did receive approval from the VideoLAN association before starting the iOS port of VLC. As a matter of fact, some members of VideoLAN even helped us porting VLC to the iOS.

It goes without saying, we still believe the AppStore licence is compatible with the GPLv2 under the which VLC is released. Therefore, together with the VideoLAN association, we’ll do our best to not let this be the end of VLC/iOS.

As a final word, we think it’s pretty sad to deny millions of users the right to enjoy a nice piece of open source software … in the name of freedom.

It appears that Apple is one sided with Rémi Denis-Courmont (the man behind the open source project) and is really putting both parties against each other. Hopefully something gets resolved between all parties and we can back to enjoying VLC Media Player on our iOS devices.

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