After complaints about Apple’s delayed compliance with open source licensing requirements for WebKit began, Apple released the iOS 4.3 WebKit source code on Monday, reports “AppleInsider” (http://www.appleinsider.com).
Last week, Harald Welte of GPL Violations criticized Apple (http://laforge.gnumonks.org/weblog/2011/05/06/) for a delay in releasing the source code for WebKit in iOS 4.3. Apple is obligated to simultaneously release the binary and source code for WebKit because it uses code licensed under the Lesser GNU Public License.
Here’s what Welte had to say last week: “As some people may know, next to a plethora of BSD licensed code, Apple is using some LGPL licensed code in their iPhone products. So far, it seems they have always provided the respective source code in a timely manner for each and every release they have made on a website www.opensource.apple.com.
“However, in recent months it seems they have deviated from that policy for unknown reasons. As my friend and webkit developer zecke has blogged, Apple has stopped to release their webkit source code with iOS release 4.3.0. The corresponding website simply states: “coming soon”.
“iOS 4.3.0 was released on March 10, 4.3.1 on March 25, 4.3.2 on April 14 and 4.3.3 on May 4. For all of those releases, no source code has been published. It cannot be a simple oversight, as multiple inquiries have been made to Apple by interested developers. However, the source code yet has to be released.
“I think it is time that Apple gets their act together and becomes more straight-forward with LGPL compliance. It is not acceptable to delay the source code release for 8 weeks after shipping a LGPL licensed software. Especially not, if you have already demonstrated in the past that you are well aware of the obligations and have a process and a website to release the corresponding source code under the license conditions.”