Is the iOS version of VLC violating the GPL?

TUAW is reporting that VLC may soon be removed from the App Store because it violates the GPL on the grounds that because the copy downloaded to your device is copy protected using a DRM then it violates the GPL.

I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think VLC on iOS is in violation of anything so long as the source is available. Just because I can’t copy the compiled program doesn’t mean it violates the GPL. It comes down to the source code itself. In a sense, a version of VLC compiled for older PPC Mac systems also violates the GPL because I can’t copy the binary from an PPC system to an Intel system or even from a Mac to a PC. Further, you’d never copy the program files from one Windows PC to another because it’s far easier to download the installer and install it. So goes with VLC on an iPod or iPhone, it’s easier to just install it from the App Store, it’s free after all.

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