After announcing their intentions and asking the community for input, the iPhone Dev Team has announced the official release of anySIM as Open Source software under the General Public License. They also have further clarified their reasons for this move, which involve the misappropriation of code by third parties:
The move to Open Source involves both quality-assurance purposes and avoiding the people who have been ripping off their original code. According to Sam, one of the iPhone Dev Team members, "we kept the tool closed so far in the fair hope that our wish [for people to] respect our work would be accepted, but some arrogant punks had to simply continue to rip [us] off."
During the past months a number of individuals have been using iPhone Dev Team code to create their own Frankenstein versions of the software without crediting the original coders. One such case was the release of anySIM 1.1.2u, which was created patching the official version and became highly unstable as a result.
As I have been able to see myself by looking at code samples, there have been many other of these copy-and-paste behaviors from lone flat-out liars to other development groups making all kinds of claims about "their" software. For example, in the case of the Elite Dev Team "their tool is closed source and this is clearly against our expressed wish," the iPhone Dev Team points out, "in addition to using our code, they also striped out the license and changed the GUI to place their name in bold on it."
According to the iPhone Dev Team, the GPL will help the community avoid these problems. In particular, they note this part of the GPL:
* a) The work must carry prominent notices stating that you modified it, and giving a relevant date.
* b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is released under this License and any conditions added under section 7. This requirement modifies the requirement in section 4 to "keep intact all notices".
* c) You must license the entire work, as a whole, under this License to anyone who comes into possession of a copy. This License will therefore apply, along with any applicable section 7 additional terms, to the whole of the work, and all its parts, regardless of how they are packaged. This License gives no permission to license the work in any other way, but it does not invalidate such permission if you have separately received it.
* d) If the work has interactive user interfaces, each must display Appropriate Legal Notices; however, if the Program has interactive interfaces that do not display Appropriate Legal Notices, your work need not make them do so.
The iPhone Dev Team also announced that they are not planning to release anySIM 1.1.2 until they can "assure a 99% working state in a sane environment." Hopefully this move to Open Source—which will be available this Friday—will help the software development and testing move forward faster than before, speeding the release of new iPhone software unlocks as new version of the firmware come out. [Google Code]