[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Enigma-devel] Engima for the iPhone/iPod Touch

From: Geoffrey Gallaway
Subject: Re: [Enigma-devel] Engima for the iPhone/iPod Touch
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2009 15:54:22 -0500

Hey Alex, thanks for taking the time to write a great response to some of my questions. I've responded to your points below. Please let me know what you think.

On Oct 6, 2009, at 3:04 PM, Alex Smith wrote:
iPhone is that I have heard (although do not know this for a fact) that
giving the source for applications violates Apple's terms; apparently
using Apple's SDK for the iPhone requires you to sign a non-disclosure
agreement that prevents you from giving the application's source out. As
a result, there'd be no way that anyone could simultaneously get a
licence from Apple to develop a version of Enigma for the iPhone, and
from the Enigma developers to port it to the iPhone; any course of
action would break one agreement or the other.

This is no longer true (although it was true when the linux.com article referenced below was written). Apple dropped that requirement in late 2008 IIRC. I've read and reread the contract and I can find no mention of source code, source code licenses, Apple owning the source code, Apple owning the binary, any rights to the application or limiting distribution of the source code.

There any many applications available on the app store that are open source. They even state it in their product information copy. Take the game Tyrian for example: APPLICATION DESCRIPTION: ".... This is a re-write of the original Tyrian v2.1 game by Jason Emery, Daniel Cook... It is based on OpenTyrian project's source code and licensed under the GNU GPL v2.... In accordance with GPL v2, the source code is available upon request." Another example is the IRC client known as Colloquy. There is an Colloquy mobile app on the app store which uses "Open minded and open source, like it should be" as one of it's selling points. Here's the source code: http://colloquy.info/project/browser/trunk and here is the product information page with links the app store and the source code: http://colloquy.mobi/

Other example applications that are open source: Wordpress (a Wordpress blog interface), Barcodes (a barcode reader) and others.

I have an application pending approval right now that I've developed and is licensed under GPL v2 and states in the product description the URL to get the source code. That same URL is presented to the user when they start the application on the iPhone or iPod touch.

See <http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/131752> for a more in-depth
explanation of this.

Another potential problem would be that as a typical (unmodified) iPhone
will only run code signed by Apple, it would be impossible to legally
distribute GPLv3 code onto the iPhone (section 6 of version 3 of the GPL
licenced under version 2 of the GPL or above; version 2 doesn't have
this protection; however, with a project with a licence like that,
there's always a risk that it will choose to move to version 3 (which is possible, apart from some GPLv2-only levels), leaving a possible iPhone
port in the lurch even if you did manage to develop it somehow

I realize Enigma could switch to GPL v3, at which time I would have to remove the Enigma port for the iPhone from the app store. But, as you mentioned above ("there are a lot, and many of them are unlikely to consent to a change of licence in any case") that seems unlikely.

I believe one of the intents of the GPL is to make the source code freely (as in beer) and easily available to anyone and make it easily modifiable under the same license. Would I care if someone grabbed the source to Enigma for the iPhone, added some features and put it up on the app store under a different name? Nope. Would I care if they charged for it? Nope, that's the way capitalism works! :)


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]