VLC media player had been removed from the App Store.

Simply because Apple cannot stand software distributed under the GPL in its stores.

No More VLC on iPads

Launched a few months back, http://applidium.com/en/news/vlc_media_player_available_for_the_ipad now apparently incompatible with the App Store business model http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/how-to-avoid-public-gpl-floggings-on-apples-app-store/15426
Some difference of opinion as to who is it fault http://obamapacman.com/2011/01/vicious-nokia-employee-gets-vlc-removed-from-apple-app-store/
Rémi Denis-Courmont, from http://planet.videolan.org/
On January 7th, I was notified by an Apple attorney that VLC media player had been removed from the App Store. That is how I was able to break the news first. However as can be expected from an attoryney, there was not really any explanation. A number of people and -unfortunately- popular bloggers have jumped to the obvious conclusion: the VideoLAN project, and I in particular would be idealist morons who care more about technical license details than users, and we would have constrained Apple. This is not quite true.
First, even I do not know for certain why Apple removed VLC, and Apple will probably never state the truth.
Second, Apple has already removed VLC from the “old” Mac Store for computers… already about 4 years ago, at a time when VLC was one of the most popular applications, and I am yet to learn the reasons why.
Third, Apple received my copyright notification more than 2 months before they pulled the application. This was not expedited, as the US copyright law would require. As such, it seems dubious that my well-publicized notification from last october is the root cause of the removal. It is nevertheless the reason why I was learnt directly from Apple that VLC was removed.
Last, Apple had the power and plenty of time (2 months) to adjust and clarified the terms of the App Store. Indeed, the terms were modified several times since then. Alternatively, it could even have continued to carry VLC implicitly distributed under the GPL by Applidium. This is effectively what I believe the situation was before the removal.
All in all, we will probably never know the truth. But I am inclined to believe what Eben Mogel, from the Software Freedom Law Center, foretold me 2 months ago: Apple would remove VLC simply because it cannot stand software distributed under the GPL on its stores. But, it is Apple’s choice and business decision, therefore Apple would have no reasons to expedite the process.

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