I noticed that one app that is licensed under GPLv3, while the app developer had not been publishing code updates on github for several years already. I decided to write a review on Google Play and stress this issue in it:

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Since the review was added, many users upvoted it and app developer was quite angry at me. So he clicked some option, that my review was inappropriate/spam, after which it was hidden and became not seen to other users. Only I can see and edit it now, but visibility does not change.

How can I dispute this? Can I appeal to Google Play support team?

  • Are you referring to FBReader?
    – CodeMonkey
    Oct 30, 2018 at 18:21
  • 1
    @CodeMonkey Affirmative. But I did not want to overtly state that, because which app it is, is not relevant, is it?
    – soshial
    Oct 31, 2018 at 10:18
  • Not necessarily, and definitely in this case, it is relevant.
    – CodeMonkey
    Oct 31, 2018 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


Normally, I would be right there with you about getting the code released and would go and fight with you, however they have made some changes, one of which being the licensing.

According to their website, they no longer use the GPL license, which started with version 2.7. They still have a commercial license available.


Until release 2.7, FBReader source code was dual licensed: GPL and commercial. Unfortunately, GPL violations were too regular. Since 2.7 the source code is only available for a fee. Please contact us for information about the commercial license.

The full sources of FBReader 2.6.15 for Android 2.x are available under the GPL from the git repository at GitHub.

If you were to look at the Wikipedia page, which uses a web archive page as the source, it will tell you that they use a GPL and commercial license. That need to be updated to reflect the new information.

Now, as to your review, what the app publishers are doing is correct. You are technically in the wrong. It is misinformation that you are posting and gives bad credit to the owners.

  • Before writing this review I checked his website and there was no information that he revoked GPL license. Also, it is still stated that it is and will always be licensed under GPL here: fbreader.org/content/documentation/contribution-guidelines
    – soshial
    Nov 1, 2018 at 6:59
  • That guideline was written in 2011 and has not been updated since. For accurate information, I would suggest emailing support.
    – CodeMonkey
    Nov 1, 2018 at 14:28

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