There are a bunch of things wrong with this slashdot article and also with how the original VLC developers are handling this. It is easy to blame Apple for everything, but consider this:
* There are three parties here: The VLC Team that wrote the VLC code. The commercial iPhone developer Applidium, who turned VLC into an iPhone App. Apple, who is making the application available.
* Applidium submitted the application to the App Store. Apple approved the app. The VLC Team is sending a copyright infringement to Apple.
* VLC is licensed under the GPL2. If the GPL2 license is incompatible with the App Store then why have the developers of VLC for the iPhone (Applidium) submitted the app? They should never have done that in the first place. They are the ones to blame for uploading software that cannot exist on the App Store under its current terms.
* The application is currently on the store, which means Apple has approved it. So obviously from Apple's perspective there is no problem here.
* Apple has actually changed the rules to accomodate for GPL2 licensed software after the GNU Go debacle: if a proper license is already attached to the application then Apple does not enforce its own default EULA for apps. This change was made in June. A month after the GNU Go thing happened.
* Apple kicked out GNU Go because the FSF requested them to do that. People keep screaming that Apple removes all GPL software, but this is simply because people are telling Apple to do that. What else do you expect them to do?
* It is probably fair to assume that Apple will remove the software after the copyright infringement claims made by the VLC team. But this really has NOTHING to do with the GPL. This is simply how Apple reacts to these kind of allegations. They remove the software and let both parties know so that the parties (in this case VLC Team vs Applidium) can work out a deal or whatever.
Diplomacy has never been a strong point of the VLC team and because of this in the end will lose:
* End users will not be able to use VLC on their iPhones and iPads.
* Applidium just wasted a huge amount of time on this project.
* The VLC team will not have an opportunity to start a dialog with Apple to maybe relax the rules.
* Apple will lose an interesting app on their store.
Yay for GNU GPL zealots.