#StackBounty: #gpl #gpl-3 #lgpl #redistribution #apple-app-store Is Apple allowed to distribute GPLv3-licensed software through its iOS…

Bounty: 50

This question is specifically about GPLv3, LGPLv3, and Apple’s App Store for iOS devices. Given

  1. the additional restrictions Apple imposes on iOS users (i.e. not allowing them to modify and run GPLv3 software or LGPLv3-licensed portions of software without additional conditions or at all), and/or
  2. the terms of service Apple users must agree to in order to receive software from the App Store,

Is it legal for Apple to redistribute GPLv3 or LGPLv3 software in the iOS App Store?

The only material I’ve managed to find about the GPL and Apple is from the early 10s when Apple pulled several GPL-licensed projects from its App Store [2] [3]. However, that incident involved the GPLv2 and Apples old TOS [4] which apple has since changed [5]. Furthermore, that incident drew focus on Apples’s TOS for the App Store without giving too much consideration to Apple being both the distributor and the entity imposing additional restrictions on device users.

As of this writing, the FSF’s FAQ doesn’t seem to include anything that can help answer this question.

  1. Removed my reference to GPL’s Installation Instructions requirement since it’s limited to object code sold with a device.
  2. https://www.fsf.org/news/2010-05-app-store-compliance
  3. https://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/more-about-the-app-store-gpl-enforcement
  4. https://static.fsf.org/nosvn/mirrored/apple.com/legal/itunes/us/terms.html
  5. https://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/us/terms.html

Get this bounty!!!

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