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Wesnoth struggles with App Store's GPL incompatibilities

Aug 04, 2010, 21:04 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jake Edge)

"In light of the recent GPL compliance complaint made by the Free Software Foundation against Apple's App Store, which sells and distributes software for Apple gadgets, it was probably inevitable that other problem applications would surface. While there are various opinions on whether the App Store can legally distribute GPL-covered binaries—along with diverging opinions on what benefits, if any, the App Store provides to free software projects—it is clear that some people object to their GPL-licensed code appearing in the App Store. So it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the port of the The Battle for Wesnoth for the iPhone/iPad, which was released last November, has run into some resistance.

"As is usual for the wesnoth-dev mailing list, the discussion was largely polite and respectful, but there was clear disagreement. Rusty Russell raised the issue after a friend showed him Wesnoth running on an iPad: "That's great, except that it came via the Apple App Store. I didn't think that was allowed under the GPL?". He pointed to the FSF's blog post about GNU Go, and noted that he was "uncomfortable with Apple's restrictions on the devices after they sell them".

"Wesnoth lead developer David White responded that, unlike GNU Go, Wesnoth had been ported to Apple's devices with the explicit endorsement of the development community."

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