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RIM Clarifies Open Source Components Permission on App World for Vendors


RIM notified App World vendors that they made a small revision to the App World Vendor Agreement this week (Full version here). The only change is a clarification in Section 10(k) where RIM clarifies that open source components are allowed in App World. Here is how they worded it:

We have published a small revision to the App World Vendor Agreement. Click here for new version.  The only changes are in section 10(k), which clarifies that open source components are not prohibited, provided that the inclusion of those components does not compromise the proprietary nature of any RIM proprietary code and information or that of any third party (e.g., RIM or third party proprietary SDK/NDK libraries).

On the other hand they have added that:

Compliance with permissive open source licenses, such as recent BSD and MIT licenses, should be relatively straightforward.  Other common open source licenses, such as the various versions of (L)GPL  are more complex.  Use of components subject to such licenses may or may not be permitted depending upon a variety of factors including the specific license version, context, and use model.

As you can see from this discussion on the BlackBerry Support forums some parts of the LGPL are not easily accommodated on BlackBerry and any other commercial app store (Example). If you use LGPL or other open source libraries in your PlayBook or BlackBerry app I recommend reading up on the implications and requirements of the license.

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