VideoLAN to go after copycat VLC for Android apps

VideoLAN, the foundation behind the popular open-source video player project VLC, wants to soon go after some of the worst copycats on the Android (s GOOG) Market, contacting developers first and possibly even resorting to legal means if differences can’t be resolved otherwise.

“A few people have remotes that are clearly misleading users in thinking this is the ‘VLC for Android’ app, while it is just a remote,” explained VideoLAN chairman Jean-Baptiste Kempf via email. “And a few other ones are misleading users in thinking their app is officially sanctioned by VideoLAN, which is wrong,” he added.

Kempf now wants to ask these developers nicely to clarify their name and description. He is contemplating using legal means like the DMCA if developers don’t comply. Kempf added that only about 10 percent of the the VLC-related apps on the Android Market would be affected.

VideoLAN is gearing up for the release of its own Android application, which will be a complete port of the video player to the mobile operating system. VLC for Android was supposed to be available earlier this year already, but development has proven to be challenging, because VLC’s core libraries are programmed in C++, whereas Android’s multimedia output libraries are in Java.

Kempf said that VideoLAN might put pressure on questionable apps once the official Android application is available.