Monday, January 15, 2024

Unity Store Bans VLC

Martin Finkel (via Hacker News):

After months of slow back-and-forth over email trying to find a compromise, including offering to exclude LGPL code from the assets, Unity basically told us we were not welcome back to their Store, ever. Even if we were to remove all LGPL code from the Unity package.

Where it gets fun is that there are currently hundreds if not thousands of Unity assets that include LGPL dependencies (such as FFmpeg) in the Store right now. Enforcement is seemingly totally random, unless you get reported by someone, apparently.


For this reason, we decided to publish a simple Store on the Videolabs website.

This way, existing and new customers can still purchase the binaries for the open-source VLC Unity plugin without our presence on the Unity Store.


When I originally wrote the LGPL (v1, back around 1991) we could not imagine anything like an App Store or signed binaries. Dynamic linking provided an easy way for users to upgrade the library code.

Since the user doesn’t have the freedom to update the libs on ios etc I don’t see how you could deploy LGPL code on those platforms; since one of the points of using unity is its cross-platform support, that suggests you’d have to find another library unless you were only deploying on real OSes.

See also: The Problem with Using LGPL v2.1 Code in an iOS App.


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