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Dr. C
June 6th, 2010, 10:02 PM
Apple removed GNU Go from the Apple Store after the FSF announces they are pursuing a compliance case against Apple for copyright infringement.
http://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/more-about-the-app-store-gpl-enforcement (http://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/more-about-the-app-store-gpl-enforcement)

Frak
June 6th, 2010, 10:04 PM
They removed it because it actually violated a store policy. Easiest way to put it: You may not sell GPL software in the Apple store. Doing so can have the author banned if they rack up enough infractions.

Dr. C
June 6th, 2010, 10:09 PM
But in order to software to be sold in the Apple store it must be first approved by Apple. So Apple cannot claim that they did no know.

IANAL but I serious doubt the US DMCA safe harbor provisions would apply in this case.

MCVenom
June 6th, 2010, 10:09 PM
Title = +9001 :lolflag:

Artificial Intelligence
June 6th, 2010, 10:11 PM
Title changed.

Frak
June 6th, 2010, 10:14 PM
But in order to software to be sold in the Apple store it must be first approved by Apple. So Apple cannot claim that they did no know.

IANAL but I serious doubt the US DMCA safe harbor provisions would apply in this case.
Apple could not know without it being explicitly marked as such. Doing legal investigations into every piece of software would be expensive, and as such it is not done.

The person who uploaded it should have known the problems of the Apple terms. If the FSF pursues Apple, the FSF will be shamed once again. They have NO CASE AGAINST APPLE. Apple assumes NO LIABILITY FOR THE AUTHORS ACTIONS.

If the FSF did lead Apple into doing this (on purpose), the FSF could go to court for breaking the Apple terms. Apple has 0 fault in this.

MCVenom
June 6th, 2010, 10:17 PM
Title changed.
It was a bit over-the-top, but it wasn't quite inaccurate either. :P

Frak
June 6th, 2010, 10:19 PM
It was a bit over-the-top, but it wasn't quite inaccurate either. :P
It was very inaccurate; it accused Apple of piracy, which did not happen whatsoever. The blame goes on the author, not Apple.

Dr. C
June 6th, 2010, 10:27 PM
Apple could not know without it being explicitly marked as such. Doing legal investigations into every piece of software would be expensive, and as such it is not done.

The person who uploaded it should have known the problems of the Apple terms. If the FSF pursues Apple, the FSF will be shamed once again. They have NO CASE AGAINST APPLE. Apple assumes NO LIABILITY FOR THE AUTHORS ACTIONS.

If the FSF did lead Apple into doing this (on purpose), the FSF could go to court for breaking the Apple terms. Apple has 0 fault in this.

If one is provided a piece of copyrighted material and the proceeds to distribute it without checking who actually owns the copyright and whether they actually have a license to distribute are they liable for copyright infringement if it turns out that they were not given distribution rights?

The difference from say eBay here is that Apple requires prior approval before listing. Big Difference.

Frak
June 6th, 2010, 10:34 PM
If one is provided a piece of copyrighted material and the proceeds to distribute it without checking who actually owns the copyright and whether they actually have a license to distribute are they liable for copyright infringement if it turns out that they were not given distribution rights?

The difference from say eBay here is that Apple requires prior approval before listing. Big Difference.
If the author did not claim that he didn't own the copyright, Apple wasn't going to check. It costs a lot of money to do the research. Apple explicitly states that the author is liable for copyright infringement.

The author is liable. Period. End of Story. The FSF is purely drawing Apple as the strawman. Their tactics get sadder every day, and that's why nobody respects them.

Dr. C
June 6th, 2010, 10:49 PM
If the author did not claim that he didn't own the copyright, Apple wasn't going to check. It costs a lot of money to do the research. Apple explicitly states that the author is liable for copyright infringement.

The author is liable. Period. End of Story. The FSF is purely drawing Apple as the strawman. Their tactics get sadder every day, and that's why nobody respects them.

And the original copyright holder the FSF has not agreed to Apple's terms. The author may be liable to Apple, but the Author and Apple are liable to the original copyright holder, the FSF.

If this ever goes to court the FSF would likely have on its side every copyright holder and copyright enforcement group, and yes that includes, Microsoft, the RIAA, the MPAA, etc.

gnomeuser
June 6th, 2010, 10:58 PM
The author is liable. Period. End of Story. The FSF is purely drawing Apple as the strawman. Their tactics get sadder every day, and that's why nobody respects them.

Absolutely, their definition of Free is getting exceedingly nonsensical and the methods as well as the language they have stooped to using are truly offensive and over the top.

This specific case has absolutely no merit, it seems they just picked Apple as their whipping boy and looked for an excuse to go after them. An approach that reflects poorly on the rest of us, as such it is ones moral imparative to speak out against it should one disagree.

Frak
June 6th, 2010, 11:02 PM
And the original copyright holder the FSF has not agreed to Apple's terms. The author may be liable to Apple, but the Author and Apple are liable to the original copyright holder, the FSF.

If this ever goes to court the FSF would likely have on its side every copyright holder and copyright enforcement group, and yes that includes, Microsoft, the RIAA, the MPAA, etc.
Not a valid argument because Apple could not have possibly knew FSF's terms, and as they were not mentioned as a copyright holder, Apple was blind. There is no merit to the case.

McRat
June 6th, 2010, 11:05 PM
Free as in the sentence "I like the word free, I just don't like it's definition, so I changed it"? :confused:

Dr. C
June 6th, 2010, 11:11 PM
Absolutely, their definition of Free is getting exceedingly nonsensical and the methods as well as the language they have stooped to using are truly offensive and over the top.

This specific case has absolutely no merit, it seems they just picked Apple as their whipping boy and looked for an excuse to go after them. An approach that reflects poorly on the rest of us, as such it is ones moral imparative to speak out against it should one disagree.

Apple infringed on the FSF's copyrights. If you distribute software without the permission of the original copyright holder your are infringing on the copyright. Whether the underlying license is "Free Software" or "Open Source" or "Propriety" is irrelevant.

The case is no different from saying "I did not know the software was pirated" or "it is too expensive to find out if it is pirated or not", defenses that would likely fail

The key thing here is that Apple approved the software for sale before it was listed. Furthermore the infringement arises primarily from conditions that Apple itself added to the sale and distribution of the software.

Frak
June 6th, 2010, 11:14 PM
The case if no different from saying "I did not know the software was pirated"

That would hold up in court. If evidence shows that you were absolutely unable to know if a piece of software was pirated, then you lack the necessary causation and motive to commit the act and therefore are innocent of any wrongdoing.

Dr. C
June 6th, 2010, 11:24 PM
That would hold up in court. If evidence shows that you were absolutely unable to know if a piece of software was pirated, then you lack the necessary causation and motive to commit the act and therefore are innocent of any wrongdoing.

They either knew about it or were grossly negligent. Take a look at the Google cache of the iTunes page http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:TypaB732-0EJ:itunes.apple.com/app/gnu-go/id306365634%3Fmt%3D8+gnu+go+Apple&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk
where the software is referred to as "GNU Go" The word "GNU" should be a strong flag to anyone in the software business of a strong copyleft. If not why not just Google "GNU Go". It will tell any one in no time who owns the copyright and what the distribution terms are.

Frak
June 6th, 2010, 11:26 PM
They either knew about it or were grossly negligent. Take a look at the Google cache of the iTunes page http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:TypaB732-0EJ:itunes.apple.com/app/gnu-go/id306365634%3Fmt%3D8+gnu+go+Apple&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk
where the software is referred to as "GNU Go" The word "GNU" should be a strong flag to anyone in the software business of a strong copyleft. If not why not just Google "GNU Go". It will tell any one in no time who owns the copyright and what the distribution terms are.
Not a valid assumption. GNU may stand for Gosh New Usefulness. Apple is in no place to make assumptions, ethically or legally. Also, what if the person didn't know what GNU meant? There are too many holes in that assumption that everybody would always know what GNU meant.

zekopeko
June 6th, 2010, 11:26 PM
Bah! This is a non story. Apple wouldn't be held liable for infringment since they are well inside the safe harbor part of the DMCA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation _Act).

This was only done so that FSF could posture how they are "defending" users freedoms from Apple. In the process they managed to remove a Free Software app that could have been available to some 70 million users. Nice job on spreading "freedom" there. Idealism without pragmatism is self defeating.

bruno9779
June 6th, 2010, 11:28 PM
I doubt the legality of this kind of disclaimer.

You cannot rid yourself of every legal obligation with a tick-box.

If the app store is not liable of harboring pirated apps, neither of the big torrents sited being shut down is liable either.

The copyright law is he same for everyone.
Apple may be required to throughly check the copyright of what they store on they servers. As it should be since they are selling those apps and getting profit from it.

Dr. C
June 6th, 2010, 11:30 PM
Not a valid assumption. GNU may stand for Gosh New Usefulness. Apple is in no place to make assumptions, ethically or legally.

Just Search for the term in Google or Bing. This is very basic. Seriously Apple has not heard about GNU in software?

zekopeko
June 6th, 2010, 11:31 PM
Apple infringed on the FSF's copyrights. If you distribute software without the permission of the original copyright holder your are infringing on the copyright. Whether the underlying license is "Free Software" or "Open Source" or "Propriety" is irrelevant.

The case is no different from saying "I did not know the software was pirated" or "it is too expensive to find out if it is pirated or not", defenses that would likely fail

The key thing here is that Apple approved the software for sale before it was listed. Furthermore the infringement arises primarily from conditions that Apple itself added to the sale and distribution of the software.

And Apple wouldn't be held liable since they are a service provider and fall nicely within safe harbor parts of DMCA.

The key part you are emphasizing doesn't matter since developers don't provide source code to Apple for review but a built binary. Apple doesn't look if the app is infringing but if it satisfies their standards for inclusion into the App Store.

You're trying to make an issue from a non-issue.

bruno9779
June 6th, 2010, 11:31 PM
That would hold up in court. If evidence shows that you were absolutely unable to know if a piece of software was pirated, then you lack the necessary causation and motive to commit the act and therefore are innocent of any wrongdoing.

If you were absolutely unable to know if a piece of software was pirated, you would not have had the right to sell it.

"Selling SW of undefined provenience and property" nice slogan for the next Apple campaign

zekopeko
June 6th, 2010, 11:32 PM
Just Search for the term in Google or Bing. This is very basic. Seriously Apple has not heard about GNU in software?

Contrary to your assumption >=99.9% of the world doesn't have a clue what GNU stands for.

bruno9779
June 6th, 2010, 11:35 PM
Sounds like something that the management of the App store should know.

TheNosh
June 6th, 2010, 11:37 PM
You cannot rid yourself of every legal obligation with a tick-box.


actually, you can and they did.

if you list in your terms that the author retains all liability for their software, then that's what happens. someone along that chain must have liability, apple has made it clear that they will distribute software, but the liability for that software and it's terms remains with the author.

Frak
June 6th, 2010, 11:42 PM
For all of you bellyaching that Apple should have done more research, like zekopeko posted, Apple is indemnified from pirated applications under the DMCA. Nobody here has any place to say that it would be simple to research for the copyright of the massive amounts of applications they get every day. Nobody here could run a company that could process the copyrights and IPs for hundreds of thousands of requests per day and then release in a timely manner. It is unfeasible and very expensive. Even then, it is highly prone to error.

The only legal right the FSF had was the ability to dispatch a DMCA takedown notice, which they did (in an odd way) and Apple did their part in removing the application. Apple has followed every rule with swift action.

So I say this now, if you cannot come up with a law that they have broken, stop posting because you have no idea what you're talking about.

Dr. C
June 6th, 2010, 11:43 PM
And Apple wouldn't be held liable since they are a service provider and fall nicely within safe harbor parts of DMCA.

The key part you are emphasizing doesn't matter since developers don't provide source code to Apple for review but a built binary. Apple doesn't look if the app is infringing but if it satisfies their standards for inclusion into the App Store.

You're trying to make an issue from a non-issue.

There are two problems with the safe harbor defense.
1) They approved the application beforehand so they had or should have had knowledge of the infringement
2) Red flags
Red Flags

The second way that an OSP can be put on notice that its system contains infringing material, for purposes of section 512(c), is referred to the "red flag" test.[12] The "red flag" test stems from the language in the statute that requires that an OSP not be “aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent.”[18]

The "red flag" test contains both a subjective and an objective element. Objectively, the OSP must have knowledge that the material resides on its system. Subjectively, the "infringing activity would have been apparent to a reasonable person operating under the same or similar circumstances."[12]

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation _Act GNU is the red flag here.

PS Thanks to zekopeko for the link

Frak
June 6th, 2010, 11:47 PM
There are two problems with the safe harbor defense.
1) They approved the application beforehand so they had or should have had knowledge of the infringement
2) Red flags

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation _Act GNU is the red flag here.

PS Thanks to zekopeko for the link
Good luck fighting that one in court. I'll hand you a cone hat when you walk out of the room, and we'll take tons of pictures to commemorate your fight with a company a million times larger than you with no evidence of wrongdoing.

CharmyBee
June 6th, 2010, 11:54 PM
GNU Go isn't so significant, i'm waiting for what's going to happen to John Carmack's iPhone Wolf3D and Doom ports. Fury will unleash if those were rejected, they're high profile games and the iPhone ports are under the GNU GPL. That will be interesting.

Dr. C
June 6th, 2010, 11:59 PM
Good luck fighting that one in court. I'll hand you a cone hat when you walk out of the room, and we'll take tons of pictures to commemorate your fight with a company a million times larger than you with no evidence of wrongdoing.

There is evidence of wrongdoing here, but one has to be objective to find it. Apple may be big but that does not give them the right to infringe on the copyrights of others.

TheNosh
June 7th, 2010, 12:00 AM
There are two problems with the safe harbor defense.
1) They approved the application beforehand so they had or should have had knowledge of the infringement
2) Red flags

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation _Act GNU is the red flag here.

PS Thanks to zekopeko for the link

The "red flag" test contains both a subjective and an objective element. Objectively, the OSP must have knowledge that the material resides on its system. Subjectively, the "infringing activity would have been apparent to a reasonable person operating under the same or similar circumstances."

"reasonable person" does not necessarily mean someone who knows what GNU stands for and will assume that that's what it stands for every time they see it. to think otherwise would mean you're living in a world far removed from reality.

There is evidence of wrongdoing here, but one has to be objective to find it. Apple may be big but that does not give them the right to infringe on the copyrights of others.
objectively, yes. they knew the material was on their system, but once they were alerted to the infringement it was removed. the subjective portion of your Red Flag argument is not present, therefore the argument is not valid.

Dr. C
June 7th, 2010, 12:06 AM
"reasonable person" does not necessarily mean someone who knows what GNU stands for and will assume that that's what it stands for every time they see it. to think otherwise would mean your living in a world far removed from reality.

Reasonable person operating in the same or similar circumstances; namely a major corporation in the business of selling software applications. But in case there is any doubt Apple is aware of the GNU and GPL

http://www.opensource.apple.com/license/gpl-with-exception/

McRat
June 7th, 2010, 12:08 AM
There is evidence of wrongdoing here, but one has to be objective to find it. Apple may be big but that does not give them the right to infringe on the copyrights of others.

Size doesn't change copyright law.

Should Apple also check through all programs submitted for patent infringement as well?

Should all companies who sell or give away software check for copyright content and patents?


It might happen. The lawyers might force it. If that becomes the case, all software reselling or distribution will become a target of lawsuits.

TheNosh
June 7th, 2010, 12:12 AM
Size doesn't change copyright law.

Should Apple also check through all programs submitted for patent infringement as well?

Should all companies who sell or give away software check for copyright content and patents?


It might happen. The lawyers might force it. If that becomes the case, all software reselling or distribution will become a target of lawsuits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation _Act#Web_2.0_.26_New_Technologies

The DMCA puts the burden for policing the Internet for copyright infringement primarily on the copyright owner, and assumes that online service providers must cooperate only when necessary.

zekopeko
June 7th, 2010, 12:16 AM
There are two problems with your counter.


There are two problems with the safe harbor defense.
1) They approved the application beforehand so they had or should have had knowledge of the infringement


They didn't get access to the code so they couldn't determine if the code is infringing. Even then they probably have a disclaimer in the contract with developers whereby developers are responsible for what they claim. In this case the developer claimed there wasn't any copyright infringement.




2) Red flags

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation _Act GNU is the red flag here.

No notice was filed beforehand. GNU isn't a red flag since GNU projects have to assign copyright to the FSF and the developer of GNU Go could have gotten the necessary licence exceptions. At least that is what the developer claimed when they sent the app for review to Apple.

Translating your assertions into the real world would mean any time I go and buy a can of juice (or any other item) I would have to make sure it isn't stolen or the packaging doesn't infringe on some patent or trademark. That is a ludicrous notion. Good faith is assumed unless proven otherwise.


PS Thanks to zekopeko for the link

You're welcome.

McRat
June 7th, 2010, 12:17 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation _Act#Web_2.0_.26_New_Technologies


I think we are observing the Music and Movie industry lawyers trying to dissolve the Safe Harbor concept through legal extortion.

Software will be next, and it will probably be MS or Apple doing it. It's sad to think that organizations that promote "free" computing are looking in the same direction.

Frak
June 7th, 2010, 12:20 AM
I think we are observing the Music and Movie industry lawyers trying to dissolve the Safe Harbor concept through legal extortion.

Software will be next, and it will probably be MS or Apple doing it. It's sad to think that organizations that promote "free" computing are looking in the same direction.
This^

Before you know it, the ISPs will be monitoring every action we do because they will be liable if one of their users pirates _anything_.

Dr. C
June 7th, 2010, 12:20 AM
Size doesn't change copyright law.

Should Apple also check through all programs submitted for patent infringement as well?

Should all companies who sell or give away software check for copyright content and patents?


It might happen. The lawyers might force it. If that becomes the case, all software reselling or distribution will become a target of lawsuits.

Apple has placed itself in a very precarious position here by requiring that all the software for its iPhone and iPad be distributed only by the Apple store and be approved beforehand by Apple. Canonical or Microsoft on the other hand avoid this issue entirely by not attempting to censor beforehand what software can be run on Ubuntu or Windows.

In Apple's case they can easily become a deep pocketed magnet for Copyright infringement and Patent lawsuits, and not all litigants will be a magnanimous as the FSF. This is a direct result of the closed censored ecosystem they have chosen for the iPhone and IPad. I would not consider the Apple case a precedent for other software distributors.

Frak
June 7th, 2010, 12:23 AM
Apple has placed itself in a very precarious position here by requiring that all the software for its iPhone and iPad be distributed only by the Apple store and be approved beforehand by Apple. Canonical or Microsoft on the other hand avoid this issue entirely by not attempting to censor beforehand what software can be run on Ubuntu or Windows.

In Apple's case they can easily become a deep pocketed magnet for Copyright infringement and Patent lawsuits, and not all litigants will be a magnanimous as the FSF. This is a direct result of the closed censored ecosystem they have chosen for the iPhone and IPad. I would not consider the Apple case a precedent for other software distributors.
Except this is not the case because the DMCA Safe Harbor protects them from said allegations.

Could there be legal ramifications for controlling the application stream? Absolutely, but copyright and patent infringement are not concerns.

TheNosh
June 7th, 2010, 12:24 AM
This^

Before you know it, the ISPs will be monitoring every action we do because they will be liable if one of their users pirates _anything_.

well it says that currently the burden is on the copyright owners, not the ISPs.

Frak
June 7th, 2010, 12:26 AM
well it says that currently the burden is on the copyright owners, not the ISPs.
It's just the fear that people like the FSF look as if they are trying to repeal that and attack the people that distribute it directly.

TheNosh
June 7th, 2010, 12:30 AM
It's just the fear that people like the FSF look as if they are trying to repeal that and attack the people that distribute it directly.

well, if repealing it is dependent on the FSF succeeding, then there's nothing to worry about. :D

Frak
June 7th, 2010, 12:32 AM
well, if repealing it is dependent on the FSF succeeding, then there's nothing to worry about. :D
Haha, +1.

mickie.kext
June 7th, 2010, 12:35 AM
Absolutely, their definition of Free is getting exceedingly nonsensical and the methods as well as the language they have stooped to using are truly offensive and over the top.


Hate much?

Gee, I do not know what part people don't understad, Aplle said NO FREE SOFTWARE in their store.

Their terms of use are in clash with every single Free Software license, and both with Free software definition and Open Source definition. For permissively licensed software to be included, license must be striped or at least disregarded, which in case of (for example) BSD license is not illegal but it means that particular version of program needs to be distributed under non-free and binary only license, EULA if you like. With GPL that is thank God illegal, unless they contact copyright holder and get permission. Which this case is all about.

I am really astonished how FSF haters and Apple fanboys try to paint this. I would expect this for Apple forum but here...

Frak
June 7th, 2010, 12:41 AM
Hate much?

Gee, I do not know what part people don't understad, Aplle said NO FREE SOFTWARE in their store.

Their terms of use are in clash with every single Free Software license, and both with Free software definition and Open Source definition. For permissively licensed software to be included, license must be striped or at least disregarded, which in case of (for example) BSD license is not illegal but it means that particular version of program needs to be distributed under non-free and binary only license, EULA if you like. With GPL that is thank God illegal, unless they contact copyright holder and get permission. Which this case is all about.

I am really astonished how FSF haters and Apple fanboys try to paint this. I would expect this for Apple forum but here...

This is about the author trying to paint Apple as thieves, which they aren't. It has nothing to do with Free Software. Also, we have to remember all the FUD that the FSF disseminates, which would assure anyone that this action is just as justifiable as all of their previous actions: not at all.

mickie.kext
June 7th, 2010, 12:51 AM
This is about the author trying to paint Apple as thieves, which they aren't. It has nothing to do with Free Software. Also, we have to remember all the FUD that the FSF disseminates, which would assure anyone that this action is just as justifiable as all of their previous actions: not at all.

What FUD from FSF?

This is all about Apple not allowing FLOSS in App Store. They allow things based on FLOSS which are striped of FLOSS license but not FLOSS itself. This action is very justifiable. It shows what Apple's true colors. Fanboys, off course, will chose to be blind.

saulgoode
June 7th, 2010, 12:53 AM
The only legal right the FSF had was the ability to dispatch a DMCA takedown notice, which they did (in an odd way) and Apple did their part in removing the application. Apple has followed every rule with swift action.

So what's your complaint? Apple was violating the Free Software Foundation's copyrights and the FSF notified Apple of this violation. This is precisely what copyright holders are obligated to do under the DMCA.

Frak
June 7th, 2010, 12:56 AM
So what's your complaint? Apple was violating the Free Software Foundation's copyrights and the FSF notified Apple of this violation. This is precisely what copyright holders are obligated to do under the DMCA.
I'm not the one complaining. I'm the one arguing that Apple hasn't done anything wrong and that the FSF is just trying to paint Apple as a lawless entity.

phrostbyte
June 7th, 2010, 01:09 AM
I don't necessarily think Apple qualifies as an ISP under the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. They are running an App "store", where they make a cut of whatever gets sold. Thus they can get into a position where they can literally sell stuff that doesn't belong to them for a profit.

This is something of a legal gray area that probably hasn't been tested in court yet, it will be interesting to see if the FSF actually sues Apple over this.

cprofitt
June 7th, 2010, 01:10 AM
Gah - Interesting story but you people are so busy spreading your colored feathers the thread is just about devoid of value.

---
In the case that we can bring this back to a discussion; instead of he said, she said...

1. What makes Apple different than Pirate Bay?
a) I assume because the content it had was 'known' pirated (movies, music, etc)

---

This certainly has implications for the Android store.

phrostbyte
June 7th, 2010, 01:17 AM
Gah - Interesting story but you people are so busy spreading your colored feathers the thread is just about devoid of value.

---
In the case that we can bring this back to a discussion; instead of he said, she said...

1. What makes Apple different than Pirate Bay?
a) I assume because the content it had was 'known' pirated (movies, music, etc)

---

This certainly has implications for the Android store.

From what I have studied in the past, the whole process of assigning safe harbor is largely ad hoc by the judge. There does not seem to be any real objective standards on what would separate Apple from TPB, except maybe that Apple has more expensive lawyers.

saulgoode
June 7th, 2010, 01:18 AM
I'm not the one complaining. ...

I guess I sort of took some of your statements -- such as the one below -- as complaining about FSF "tactics".


The author is liable. Period. End of Story. The FSF is purely drawing Apple as the strawman. Their tactics get sadder every day, and that's why nobody respects them.

----

... I'm the one arguing that Apple hasn't done anything wrong and that the FSF is just trying to paint Apple as a lawless entity.

Apple did do something wrong. They infringed copyrights by distributing copyrighted works without complying with the holder's license.

The DMCA's Safe Harbor provisions do not assert that infringement doesn't occur under such unauthorized online distribution, just that there won't be any monetary liability or equitable relief available, merely injunctive relief. A subtle distinction, but if there actually were no infringement, there would be no legal basis for ever forcing the offending material to be removed.

TheNosh
June 7th, 2010, 01:21 AM
There does not seem to be any real objective standards on what would separate Apple from TPB, except maybe that Apple has more expensive lawyers.

...and that the pirate bay is in place for pirating.

phrostbyte
June 7th, 2010, 01:25 AM
...and that the pirate bay is in place for pirating.

True, but at what point is a place protected against safe harbor and at what point not? It is incredibly gray. Even YouTube is being tested on this (Viacom lawsuit). That shows that you don't necessarily need to have a pirate ship on your home page to have your safe harbor protection challenged.

saulgoode
June 7th, 2010, 01:27 AM
This certainly has implications for the Android store.

I would think it also has implications for software licensed under the Microsoft Public License (MS-PL), with which the Apple App Store's Terms Of Service likewise does not comply.

MCVenom
June 7th, 2010, 01:32 AM
Just Search for the term in Google or Bing. This is very basic. Seriously Apple has not heard about GNU in software?
Apple bundles some GNU software (mostly at the CLI level) with OSX. They can't claim ignorance. ^^

zekopeko
June 7th, 2010, 01:35 AM
Apple did do something wrong. They infringed copyrights by distributing copyrighted works without complying with the holder's license.

The DMCA's Safe Harbor provisions do not assert that infringement doesn't occur under such unauthorized online distribution, just that there won't be any monetary liability or equitable relief available, merely injunctive relief. A subtle distinction, but if there actually were no infringement, there would be no legal basis for ever forcing the offending material to be removed.

I think the point is that the FSF has intentionally made this a big deal so they could point fingers at Apple. This was a media stunt.

VirInvictus
June 7th, 2010, 01:39 AM
I think the point is that the FSF has intentionally made this a big deal so they could point fingers at Apple. This was a media stunt.

Agreed.

MCVenom
June 7th, 2010, 01:45 AM
This certainly has implications for the Android store.

I don't think so; Developers can choose whether to have Android implement copy-protection measures or not when they submit an app to the Android Market. If an app was downloaded on the Android Market and was GNU-licensed it presumably wouldn't have copy-protection in place; from there you could take the *.apk and distribute to whomever you want, however you want, however many times you want, and anyone could install it on their phone. Therefore, it wouldn't be in violation of the GPL, or at least not of the point that makes the Apple App Store ToS and the GPL incompatible.

McRat
June 7th, 2010, 01:50 AM
These types of discussions would make a lot more sense if the proper nouns were changed.

When the term Microsoft or Apple comes up in anything that involves intellectual property, opinions seem to change.


Let's say you are a programmer who feeds their family by selling custom code. You do not permit resale of your custom code. You will supply the customer with source though.

You are probably going to use libraries and snippets from many other past programs you've written. Some were pieces of GPL, most aren't.

If I understand this situation right, you could be sued by the "Free Software" people if any of the code was derived from a GPL product.


And who is to say that all GPL stuff is 100% original content with no Prior Art components that weren't GPL?


I personally see no problem with people who sell "free" software. It is up to the buyer to determine whether Product X1 is worth $20 to them. If they believe $20 is a good exchange for access to X1, then why should anyone care?

saulgoode
June 7th, 2010, 02:22 AM
I think the point is that the FSF has intentionally made this a big deal so they could point fingers at Apple. This was a media stunt.
How did the FSF make this a big deal? By posting an announcement (http://www.fsf.org/news/2010-05-app-store-compliance/) of the action on their own website's News page? I suppose that could be considered nontraditional, but then their License Compliance Engineer admits as much and offers the following explanation:


The only thing we're doing differently is making this announcement. Apple has a proven track record of blocking or disappearing programs from the App Store without explanation. So we want to provide everyone with these details about the case before that happens, and prevent any wild speculation.

Personally, I don't view such openness and transparency as a bad thing; nor do I view it as a "media stunt". In fact, taken at face value it is an effort to avoid the issue becoming overblown in the media. At worst, it is the FSF using their website's News page for its intended purpose.

phrostbyte
June 7th, 2010, 02:27 AM
These types of discussions would make a lot more sense if the proper nouns were changed.

When the term Microsoft or Apple comes up in anything that involves intellectual property, opinions seem to change.


Let's say you are a programmer who feeds their family by selling custom code. You do not permit resale of your custom code. You will supply the customer with source though.

You are probably going to use libraries and snippets from many other past programs you've written. Some were pieces of GPL, most aren't.

If I understand this situation right, you could be sued by the "Free Software" people if any of the code was derived from a GPL product.


And who is to say that all GPL stuff is 100% original content with no Prior Art components that weren't GPL?


I personally see no problem with people who sell "free" software. It is up to the buyer to determine whether Product X1 is worth $20 to them. If they believe $20 is a good exchange for access to X1, then why should anyone care?

That restriction ("no resell") would disqualify it under the Open Source Definition. It would also violate the GPL, since GPL requires no restrictions on distribution.

The GPL is a license and like any license you have to follow it and if not you are committing copyright infringement. It is within an author's right to pick what terms to license his products under!

AFAIK nobody holds guns to peoples heads on this issue, and forces them to use software under terms they don't like. I don't think Microsoft is even doing this (yet?).

jwbrase
June 7th, 2010, 02:47 AM
I personally see no problem with people who sell "free" software. It is up to the buyer to determine whether Product X1 is worth $20 to them. If they believe $20 is a good exchange for access to X1, then why should anyone care?

The problem is not that they were selling it: The GPL allows the sale of GPL'ed software. The problem is that they distributed it under a license more strict than the GPL, which is something the GPL does not allow.

Now, the question is, who uploaded/submitted/whatevered it to the app store? The FSF? Apple themselves? A third party?

If it was a third party, then the FSF was within their rights to call Apple on it, but Apple did no wrong (aside, perhaps, depending on how their approval procedure works, from lax approval). The third party, I would imagine, would then potentially be liable to both the FSF and Apple. To the FSF for infringing FSF copyright by uploading it and allowing it to be licensed under Apple's licensing terms when those terms are incompatible with the GPL, and to Apple for uploading stuff that they didn't have permission to upload and that could not be licensed under Apple's licensing terms.

If the FSF uploaded it, then it smells like they were just aiming for a publicity stunt or "sting" type operation. (Upload, then if Apple accepts, sue them for accepting).

If Apple uploaded it, then they took GPL'ed software and released it under a more restrictive license, and the FSF has every right to sue them.

mickie.kext
June 7th, 2010, 02:54 AM
If I understand this situation right, you could be sued by the "Free Software" people if any of the code was derived from a GPL product.
Umm... no, you do not understand it right. You can not be sued by "Free Softwre people" for your code. If you write your app all by yourself, and release it under GPL, then GPL applies to other people but not to you. And if other people violate, you enforce GPL and you sue, not the "Free software people". It is up to copyright holder to enforce GPL. If you are not a business, and you do not make revenues from software, you can ask Software Freedom Law Center (http://www.softwarefreedom.org/) for pro-bono legal services, though.

It this Apple case, copyright holder is FSF. That is why issue is between FSF and Apple and not between some_guy and Apple.



And who is to say that all GPL stuff is 100% original content with no Prior Art components that weren't GPL?
By copyright law (and DCMCA too), you and every distributer and contributor are required to write down names of copyright holders in COPYRIGHT or COPYING or LEGAL or something like that file in source code of the program. Those who are listed there are the copyright holders.

I do not understand part about Prior Art. That term is used for patents. Copyright only applies on copying. If you write program which is line for line same as, say Photoshop, and you can prove that you never had access to Photoshop source code, that means that you did not copied it. You made it up by yourself. And you are in the clear. (But fat chance that someone can do that, it is next to impossible to write same code as much smaller software project, let alone photoshop)

Patent work very different than that, they do not have anyting to do with copying or source code, and all to do with abstract ideas. But we are not talking about patents here.



I personally see no problem with people who sell "free" software. It is up to the buyer to determine whether Product X1 is worth $20 to them. If they believe $20 is a good exchange for access to X1, then why should anyone care?
There is no problem at all with charging with GPL'd softwre. You can see for example how Red Hat is doing it.

But Apple is not doing that. They just resell other people's software and put their licensing terms on top of it, removing original license. Those who write their own apps can agree to that, those who port other people software can not because they are not the ones to agree.

Dr. C
June 7th, 2010, 03:22 AM
The problem is not that they were selling it: The GPL allows the sale of GPL'ed software. The problem is that they distributed it under a license more strict than the GPL, which is something the GPL does not allow.

Now, the question is, who uploaded/submitted/whatevered it to the app store? The FSF? Apple themselves? A third party?

If it was a third party, then the FSF was within their rights to call Apple on it, but Apple did no wrong (aside, perhaps, depending on how their approval procedure works, from lax approval). The third party, I would imagine, would then potentially be liable to both the FSF and Apple. To the FSF for infringing FSF copyright by uploading it and allowing it to be licensed under Apple's licensing terms when those terms are incompatible with the GPL, and to Apple for uploading stuff that they didn't have permission to upload and that could not be licensed under Apple's licensing terms.

If the FSF uploaded it, then it smells like they were just aiming for a publicity stunt or "sting" type operation. (Upload, then if Apple accepts, sue them for accepting).

If Apple uploaded it, then they took GPL'ed software and released it under a more restrictive license, and the FSF has every right to sue them.

The only organization that can upload applications to the Apple store is Apple itself. Others
may submit products for possible listing on Apple iPhone related developer and marketing web pages and programs. and must agree that
By submitting applications for consideration to the iPhone Web Application Submission page, you understand your submission is subject to review by Apple. Apple reserves the right to omit, edit, or reject submissions
from https://adcweb.apple.com/iphone/. This is why the DMCA safe harbor provisions in the US and similar provisions in other countries do not apply and this becomes a case of copyright infringement by Apple pure and simple. If you want to tightly control what is in the store then you are also accountable for what is in the store.

KiwiNZ
June 7th, 2010, 04:28 AM
What FUD from FSF?

This is all about Apple not allowing FLOSS in App Store. They allow things based on FLOSS which are striped of FLOSS license but not FLOSS itself. This action is very justifiable. It shows what Apple's true colors. Fanboys, off course, will chose to be blind.

Once the "Fanboy" mud slinging nonsense starts it's time to close a thread .