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back to article Apple T&C upsets philanthropic developers

Developers of iPhone applications keen to share their income with those less fortunate are becoming increasing annoyed with Apple's refusal to let them declare their largesse. The latest to complain is iPhonewzealand, who want the world to know that the $2.59 it is charging for its previously free application is to be donated to …

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Silver badge

We got hit by this as well

I get regular support calls wanting to know what the difference between "Version A" and "Version B" of our iOS app is.

The answer? Version A gives to Charity A, Version B gives to Charity B.

Yet Apple *do not allow* us to say this anywhere on the App Store.

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Go

Apple are right...

I agree that in the current setup it is not possible, but there's an opportunity here, for them to setup a "charity" system which allows payment to go straight to the registered bank accounts of registered charities... therefore allowing them to use a charitable status on their apps.

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g e
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By golly you're right

And presumably they'd get the opportunity to charge a 30% administration fee on the amount prior to sending it along to the needy.

Missed opportunity to profit!

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Go

Philanthropy

And with Apple being the philanthropic organisation it is (!), their 30% cut would be waved with all the cash going to the charity, and Steve Jobs would stand a chance of earning a Knighthood.

They don't need to police *every* charity in the world - they only need to agree to a few hundered of the well established organisations. Is there a Jobs Foundation?

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Linux

Arrogant Dicks

"Sometimes the way you carry out your business, with your 'we know best' attitude and your refusal to discuss or negotiate, makes you look like arrogant dicks."

They are Arrogant Dicks, end of.

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don't be too harsh

Just the word "Sometimes" in the quote is superfluous

;-)

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

WTF?

Snore.. boring... cough... IDIOT

Seriously, you must be one of the biggest morons I've seen post here in a while and that really takes talent. Do you seriously believe a single word you just wrote here? I mean really. There are MANY developers very happy with the store and how it works. In fact, most of them are. If Apple lost all the publishers that weren't happy with the money they're getting from Apple, they would lose a few hundred of the gazillion apps they have. It wouldn't make a dent worth noticing. That would leave the app developers with things like the Google app store... and that would earn them probably 1/50th of what they would have earned if their app just remained on Apple's store without the notice about charity.

The key to making money from an app store is to put apps in an app store where the majority of users actually buy apps. Most Android users fall into two groups. First, users who don't buy apps and simply like the touch screen phone and built in apps. Second, users who only install the apps that are free. There are quite a few people who pirate apps for Android which is barely more challenging than buying an app in the first place. And there was a guy last year who claimed he paid for an app on the Google store, but that was just for a test to see if buying was as easy as pirating.

As a user, I'm personally quite happy that this inconvenient policy does in fact exist. I pretty much haven't donated to charity in ages because it's nearly impossible to identify legitimate charities any more. On an International level, it is simply impossible. I do send toys to children at hospitals on Christmas and whenever I receive stocks from a company, I donate 10% of their procedes to Make a Wish. But, I would NEVER EVER EVER buy an app, music or otherwise that is trying to convince me that the proceeds will go to a charity, even if it sound legit.

I do know people who do and I hear things like "Well, I know 90% of them are scams, but if I donate $10 to ten charities, I hope that $5 of one will make it where it claims it will go". I think that thinking is great, but stupid. I'd rather get 95% to where I wanted it to go. But in this international age, I don't believe it's possible to identify legitimate charities anymore.

And even "legitimate" charities have lost tact. If I'm sitting at a bar on a Friday night with some friends, it's almost guaranteed that some woman from the Salvation Army will come in and try and make us feel guilty that we're sitting and drinking while holding her bucket for donations. I point out to her that if she wants to raise money for some church organization or whatever, then she should put on an apron and go behind the bar and serve drinks. The tip money will be better and steadier. But apparently, she like all the church goers who waste hundreds of hours every year praying some god will make things better instead of actually picking up a shovel and helping to dig ditches or picking up a hammer and helping to build homes to actually make things better, she believes that people should just give money away to some stranger who's carrying a bucket.

I will gladly pay her for serving me a beer, tip too, bigger tip if she shows some leg. But I'm certainly not going to put money into the bucket of some random person off the street trying to convince me that she's intending to give the money to someone who needs it. So far as I know, she could be sending it to some hate group somewhere or worse, buying bibles with it.

If you want to raise money for good causes, it's not important if everyone else knows. Hell you can put it on your website of you want. But trying to sucker someone into paying for an app that they probably wouldn't buy otherwise by claiming it's for a good cause is just plain dishonest.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple still make 30%

Nice to know that 30% of your charitable donation goes Apples shareholders. Like they need the extra cash.

And before anyone says anything - I know that they are using Apple's 'backbone' to sell the app, but Apple still make a profit from charitable giving. As do other sites, they are all as bad as each other.

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Apple? charity?

Charity?

Aren't Apple purchasers supposed to be eternally grateful for being allowed to touch and use the products? '

Cos if they are not properly reverential then the product gets turned off remotely.

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Kind of understandable...

I can see Apple's point on this, I suppose.

But they should set up a system where a developer can specifiy a proportion of the cost of their apps, from 0 to 100%, and a charity for it to be paid to. Apple could then easily pay the specified portion of the app revenue directly to the nominated charity, take their 30% of any remainder, and give what's left to the developer as usual.

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Anonymous Coward

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

What proportion of developers producing apps for ipod/iphone/ipad actually want to donate money to charities? Apple is still a money making corporation after all, and if the level of demand isn't sufficiently high then Apple will continue to refuse to provide it, regardless of the people being vocal about the lack of such an option .

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Apple's point

They could do that but then they'd be getting 30% of a lesser amount and there's no way Apple's execs could justify depriving Apple of the lost income.

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Silver badge

At the risk of Devil's advocate

I too can understand why Apple dont want to go down this path - they can't police it and are going to get the press flack when donations don't arrive at the charities. Either we get this article now, or we get an article in a few months about how "Bad Apple" has stiffed innocent earthquake victims, when its got nothing to do with them.

For Apple to direct money to the charaties on their end is going to involve some extra costs in countries where they may not have much of a presence.

I think they're right playing the safe option here. How about any app developer who wants to do this simply make the price free and add an Annoying shareware style popup that says "Like the App? Please donate to Happydude, 742 Evergreen terrace....."

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@Steve Gill

You know, I think you got it.

On one hand Apple wants to make the more cash they possibly can, and on the other they cannot be seen taking 30% of charity donations, that would be seriously uncool; so they hide behind the "we can't police that" crap (which should really read "won't", not can't) and go all "Lalalala I can't hear you" if you tell them the cash goes to a charity.

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Field intentionally left blank

"How about any app developer who wants to do this simply make the price free and add an Annoying shareware style popup"

Insta-ban from the app store. In-app advertizing is a no-no. Ads on the iThings are an Apple exclusive ($). Plus, that wouldn't raise nearly as much money. If the Kibaale Children's Centre was rich by now, we would know.

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Bronze badge

X-Bill, Pie-Gates... and now...

When will there be "Smack Steve" and "Trucheon Tim" apps?

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Jobs Horns

to be fair...

Apple has a point here - policing charity donations is a notoriously difficult thing to do.

The solution, of course, would be to allow linking to the developer's website, where further explanation could be posted, free of liability for Apple, or by requiring registration with some of the charity policing organisations already in place in most countries.

Of course, Apple then risks no longer screwing charities out of 30%...

Think Steve will ever have an 'oh, shit!' moment on this business model? Didn't think so...

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Headmaster

Superfluous wording

<quote>Sometimes the way you carry out your business, with your 'we know best' attitude and your refusal to discuss or negotiate, makes you look like arrogant dicks. </quote>

Sometimes?

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Exactly

my thoughts to a letter

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Err...

Why not give the dough direct to the charridee?

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Pint

I don't understand iPhone Devs?!

You signed in blood with Lucifer Jobs himself?!

You KNEW you had to fork over the 30%, KNOWING how draconian the Apple app-store T&Cs are, KNOWING all the grief other devs have had in the past AND you still signed on the dotted line to have your creative talent shredded by the Jobs money-making machine?!

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This

A great big bucket full of what he said!

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WTF?

So

I guess this makes Tesco, et al, the masters. Manufacturers get less than half the retail price, they wont stock anything without pretty packaging, and wont stock something if they dont think it will sell/if they have too many similar items...

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Donating to charity

Why would I buy an app instead of just giving the money directly to the cause? I don't really understand the problem. The App Store is for people to buy toys and tools, not for people to give money to charity. There are other more appropriate channels for charitable donations.

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FAIL

nice to see

That Apple only go as far as not letting them tell clients some goes to charity, still able to take the 30% off the top of the purchase though.

Part of the reason they dont want to do this is they would have to admit they skim 30%, can you imagine if a telco did that to Comic Relief?

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Anonymous Coward

Wait...

You're telling me they DON'T do that? You're seriously telling me that every penny I would spend on the phone making a call to Comic Relief would go to Comic Relief?

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FAIL

@ nsld

The difference of course being that the Telco's choose to be a part of Comic relief (and encourage their staff to come in and work the lines for free), whereas apple has not chosen to be a part of the fundrasing effort.

If I take a taxi to BBC's studio on Comic Relief night, is the Taxi man obligated not to charge me?

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Grenade

@Chad

Actually the difference is the Telco's are open on what the costs are when doing charity based work, for example with sms donation its often £1 plus your sms fee from the operator with the full £1 to charity, so if your on a huge text bundle you know your contribution isnt getting skimmed.

If Comic Relief wanted a donation app would it be ok for apple to say that they cant say its for charity and take 30%?

Apple wont decline apps for charitable purposes becuase it likes the 30%, do you think thats ethical?

Dont you think it would be more appropriate to block all apps that give to charity?

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Jobs Horns

Fuck Apple

Stop buying their hardware, which locks you into only applications Apple allow, where Apple take a 30% cut of revenues spent via such apps.

Seriously guys - stop buying their shiny shit and go elsewhere.

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Do it as a review...

They should just get one of their mates to write a review including that the money is going to charity and then get everyone they know to vote it up so it sits there at the top.

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Troll

Upvote this post and I will give all votes to a unnamed, unverifiable charity.

That is all.

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Easier to ask permission than forgiveness

Refusal to negotiate? I guess this means that before the app was released the developer, duly noting the T&C restrictions, called Apple up and tried to negotiate an exception?

Going in to the App Store, agreeing to the T&Cs, and then expecting special treatment after the fact also makes one seem like an arrogant dick.

It's not like they're not allowed to give their money to the quake fund, after all. It's not like they can't state this in the app itself. It's just that they're not allowed to mention this in the app description i.e. they're not allowed to use this fact as advertising for their product. Honestly, I think that would be a good rule in general.

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Coat

Missing the point

The developer was already giving the app away free on iTunes, they just wanted to add a charge for the app that would be then sent to a charity.

Plus I'm pretty certain that there would be rules within NZ to deal with people who claim to be collecting money for charities and don't hand it over (Although non it to deal with charities who then waste or use said funds for other means such as happened in the Gulf after the hurricanes there)

The best solution would be to have a link from within iTunes to a webpage that links directly to the funds webpage so the money would go direct to the fund , but is credit as coming from the developers efforts, since the app is free then no harm done.

To people saying there are other ways to donate, a lot of people around the world probably wouldn't know there was a Quake in NZ (it took me three days, since I rarely watch news on TV), so this is one of the ways the message would get out, and congrats to the Dev;s for trying.

putting my coat on because it actually portrays what apple does to its vendors and customers (i.e pick pockets)

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FAIL

Apple PR fails again

It is an issue, it can be fraudulent - so they just stomp on it with their size 12's and piss everybody off.

If they'd taken a little time they could easily have setup a gifting system where 100% of the fee could have gone to a nominated charity.

Yes it would take a little bit of management from Apple, yes it would take a little bit of coding to tweak the app store.

But it would be a PR win and Apple aren't getting many of those these days. Are good products enough to sustain their corporate image in the wake of so mane gaffes?

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Welcome

Re: Apple PR fails again

the problem is, charities will have to register with Apple, Apple will face a bigger PR problem when other type of _LEGAL_ charities want to register so that they can receive charities from developers (ex. raising funds to a charity that donate to an anti-gay organisation)

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It's a free world

Apple is free to tell do gooders to do one, just as they could tell them to do one unless it's a charity that matches our corporate profile.

On top of that I'm sure Apple has terms in the app store already for rejecting apps that incite hatred, charitable status or not.

Everything turns full circle eventually and I think we're back to the point where some at Apple will be wondering if Jobs is fit for purpose again.

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Wrong Place

Surely this is just the wrong thing to use an App for?

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Revenue Split...?

Why not allow direct revenue-split, where Apple divide the post-gouge funds between two or more publisher accounts.

All the dev would have to do then is nominate that 100% of what's left goes to NZ Red Cross. And, as Apple is doing the split, and as they (presumably) verify their accounts, they could allow this to be shown.

This is something that payment collectors like Kagi have been doing for Mac developers for well over a decade (and at a mere 5~10% cut, I might add). It can't be too hard for Apple, even with its limited IT skills.

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Apple, and Jobs, make ...

Scrooge look good.

How venal can they get?

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title

I'm astonished that anyone either buys from or does business with Apple while it's run by a megalomaniac control freak.

Just stop it, then they'll go away.

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Paris Hilton

Mischief

The web, the 'net, ... the webs, nets, ... are great.

Information can be exchanged worldwide similarly so for purchases.

And of course as any fool will tell you, it or they (the webs n nets that is) are also great sources and venues of mischief.

Why, some people will even try to take control of your computer! Imagine that!

Or maybe even take some secure and personal information and try to pass themselves of as you but you pick up the tab for what they used your ID to buy goods and services.

It is not to say the NZ initiatives are deceptive, just a bit naive.

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