back to article Apple's draconian developer docs revealed

In the 1999 movie Fight Club, Brad Pitt famously tells a huddle of pugilistic aspirants: "The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club." Apple's iPhone Developer Program License Agreement phrases that sentiment differently, but its directive to iPhone developers is essentially the same: You may not issue …

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Pretty rich...

...from guys who got started phreaking the phone system

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Paris Hilton

American company does american company things. film at 11.

Yes, the part of the agreement that's lifted from FIght Club is daft on Apple's part, but the most horrific crimes are actually pretty common boilerplate.

Nintendo does the same "No reverse-engineering" clause for its hardware, as do many software companies.

And really, Apple's $50 limitation of liability is $50 more than the GPL gives you, which doesn't even admit to enough liability for a happy meal.

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Silver badge

GPL gives you the right to use stuff FREE

provided you return the favour. Your get it FREE, so logically you are not entitled to any refund. You can distribute anything anywhere, provided you release your source code.

With Apple you pay, you invest hundreds of hours of work, you might end up not being able to sell or even distribute ANYTHING at a whim, with no chance of recompense. I would not waste ANY time on that.

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Flame

Quite right

"I would not waste ANY time on that."

Then don't. See how easy that was ?

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Free only if your time is worth nothing

I never said refund. I said liability. If you use software, and a vuln in it causes damage to your business, the GPL license means you're SOL in terms of recompense, and there's no way to get the author of the code to fix the bug or even give you the time of day (Exceptions being a contract with Red Hat, but the contract isn't free, natch).

Is the license too restrictive? In my opinion, yes it is too restrictive in spots, but not too restrictive for me to outweigh the benefits.

My point is the parts that I do find restrictive are neither the limitation of liability nor the no-reverse-engineering clauses. And that the EFF could have spent its time better focusing on things that aren't run-of-the-mill legal boilerplate.

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FAIL

One wonders...

... about what's the point of having a policy on which applications will get accepted, if it can be overridden anyway.

I guess they trying to NOT look like Big Brother?

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Silver badge

if nothing else

then at least watching the frantic fanboi attempts at justifying this fulfil the Reg's "comedy" remit.

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Silver badge

It is a Computer

It's not a single purpose black box like a Camera or DVD player (though I did hack my DVD player). An iPod touch is not just an MP3/video player like a regular iPod. It can many things just by installing software of the owners choice.

Today I was having problems with interference with one of our wireless routers at work, I wanted to know what channels other networks in the building were using so I used WiFiFoFum and switched to a free channel, problem solved. Lucky my iPod is jail broken so I could still install it after Apple pulled it from the store, and read here that it was now available free.

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Gold badge

Restrictive PCs and restrictive Apples

@Headley_Grange, your premise is wrong. You say

"I'm envious of my friends who have Macs and don't spend 10% of their keyboard time waiting for them to boot up, doing backups (I spent hours on Saturday configuring a wireless backup disk and it still doesn't work properly because I don't know my TCPIPs from my UPNPs so my firewall won't play nicely; my mate just plugged in a white box and it started working) de-fragging disks, deleting bloatware, installing updates, deleting updates, searching in vain for invidia drivers to stop the pc rebooting overnight half-way through the backup or virus check"

Every single problem you list there is mainly a symptom of running Windows! Macs don't restrict what you can install on them, it's just general Windows culture that encourages bloatware, update nags, programs that love to run some giant preloader or updater at bootup, defragmenters, virus scanners, and on and on. Ubuntu doesn't restrict what I put on, and I don't have these problems... my gentoo boxes are downright free-for-alls and I don't have these problems either.

As for the actual article... 1) I agree the terms as such are pretty standard. 2) Apple's restrictiveness is still ridiculous, I would not buy an iPhone in a million years and I discourage others from getting one -- this is not about providing a good user experience, it's about control, otherwise Apple wouldn't be trying to restrict people from jailbreaking using broken laws like DMCA.

For the record, no law will keep ME from modifying hardware I own, playing DVDs on my Linux boxes (including gasp! The ones without DVD drives in them), removing intrusive rights restrictions that keep me from exercising my fair use rights, or discussing any of the above. These restrictions are unconstitutional, pure and simple.

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Coat

Ha

Why bother with apple anyway?

Just get a a Chrome phone

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Bronze badge

The Problem

Since the iPhone has telephony capabilities, keeping what can run on it tightly restricted to prevent security issues does, unfortunately, make sense. But the impact of restrictions that are not required to that end is serious, particularly as Apple patents may soon ensure the iPhone has no competition... if Apple's new lawsuits go the way it wants.

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Silver badge

Dark Renegade Matter for Heavy MetaDataBase Core Crashing

..... and/or Threshing in Corruptible Corporate Combines.

Get used to the temporary* chaos and rule changing and dodging, for both personal greed and public anarchy wrapped up in colourful black clothes and Non Disclosure Agreements, make up their own rules with Governments for others to either choose to ignore, realising the cynical reason for them, or to blindly accept in full ignorance of the Third Party Power Plays to stay/try to stay in overall control of runaway Intellectual Property developments which expose the Human Terrain Team Control System Kernel as No Longer Presently Fit for ITs Future Purpose but a Perfect Vehicle for Virtual Private Network and SMART Pirate Commandeering.

And there is an exact parallel mirroring collapse/meltdown scenario in this development too ......... http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/03/a-detention-bill-you-ought-to-read-more-carefully/37116/

*And you should notice that it is only a temporary inconvenient truth, for Increasingly IntelAIgent Information being Selfless Shared around the Globe on Simple Viewing Pages/NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Windows just like this, have Created a Better Beta Programming for Other Beings in AI to Remotely Micro/MacroManage and Easily Change Perception for the Product Placement of Alternate Realities in a New Virtual World Order/Civil CyberSpace Command and Control Project .......... hence the Apple Panic Attack on Third Party Applets for Free.

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FAIL

Progress? What progress?

The saddest thing here is that over the last 20 years I've watch computers become more powerful, more flexible, more open - and software more easily portable. Long gone are the days when if you wanted an upgrade for your computer did you have to go back to your OEM and bend over. In a scant two years Apple has undone getting on for ten years of progress on the software front and people are just rolling over and accepting it. In five years people might wake up and realise that they are back inside a closed ecosystem. Thank god this can't happen in the desktop computing arena.

I've never seriously considered developing for the iPhone, after all I'd need to learn a new language, but the developer agreement has killed off any desire to consider doing so. This makes Google and Android look positively saintly by comparison. I use an iPhone but, and I didn't think I'd say this... I'm seriously considering the opposition when I upgrade in the summer. I'm getting a Nexus anyway for Android development, becoming familiar with it may just tip me over the edge.

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Flame

Perhaps a new tshirt

"I'm an Apple Dev Bitch"

They don't just set the rules for *what* and *how* you develop. They tell you *if* you can sell it afterward, something even games boxes, printers and camera suppliers cannot control. (yes some users ithings are free of this. That freedom was not *given* by Apple, but taken by developers. You can bet Apple are working seal off that route and return such "misguided" users to the "proper" path).

AFAIK even Microsoft were not that blatant. It would seem Apple picked up rather more than cash when Microsoft gave them a cash injection.

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FAIL

Further absence of clue detected.

"something even games boxes, printers and camera suppliers cannot control."

Scuse me while I ROFLMAO, because if you'd seen any of the developer agreements for game boxes you'd be aware just how patently stupid that sentence is.

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Thumb Down

Scuse YOU

Numbnuts ... the OP to which you replied stated:

"They tell you *if* you can sell it afterward, something even games boxes, printers and camera suppliers cannot control."

See that first part ... go ahead, read it even more slowly this time ... it says "They tell you *if* you can sell it afterward". Go back and read it one more time, and don't skip any words ... I'm pretty sure you weren't able to understand it the first time, based on your comment.

Get it now? The OP wasn't referring to developer agreements in general, but rather to a specific scenario only applicable to iProduct developers ... wherein (a) when Apple does not approve of the application (b) it cannot be "legally" distributed anywhere, although that will be for the courts to decide.

So tell us, oh profligate wise-ass Numbnuts, which "games boxes, printers and camera suppliers" were you referring to in the context of the original comment, and not in the context of your imaginary intelligence?

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FAIL

Keep on failin

"it says "They tell you *if* you can sell it afterward"."

What do you want, a gold star for reading comprehension ?

"a specific scenario only applicable to iProduct developers ... wherein (a) when Apple does not approve of the application (b) it cannot be "legally" distributed anywhere"

As is indeed the case for, e.g. Wii, DS, XBox and Sony PS*. I think the "any" in my comment was sufficient to cover those, so clearly your comprehension skills failed under the vicarious frothing indignation you experienced, for reasons best known to yourself, upon receiving some clue.

Nul points.

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What planet are you from?

One can legally buy a Wii/DS/XBox/PS/PSP game/accessories/whatever at Sears, Target, Fry's, Staples, any major store, online at various places, from friends, from many grocery stores, etc.etc.etc.

The ONLY place one can legally get iProduct apps from is ... the Apple App Store.

NOW can you see the difference? Comprehension is a learned skill, Numbnuts.

Try again.

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Silver badge

I have a question or two

Why is there only the Apple App store - why hasn't someone else started up a store for iPhone apps, for all those people who don't get accepted by Apple?

And secondly, since Android development is free and easy and will have a larger market place - are Apple app developers started to move over?

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Silver badge

Quite simply...

...no other store is allowed. It's the Apple store or bust. And since only Apple has the official signing keys and since pure iPhones and such will only take signed apps (which means only those apps approved by Apple), you're up the proverbial creek. Devs wanting to go to Apple have two choices: kiss up or get kicked out (and kissing up is no assurance against getting kicked out, either).

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Anonymous Coward

There are..

..at least 3 that I know of. BUT you need to jailbreak your iPhone to use them. No surprise that Apple is trying to make jailbreaking illegal under DMCA (even though the 'copyright' angle is very, very weak). It will be a sad day if Apple succeed (go to the EFF to read up on it).

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Jobs Horns

The evil machnations of Dr Jobs

So the problem seems to be that the Evil Jobs can force all these developers to sign up to these evil contracts against their will by using his evil powers of hypnotism, and then milk them by forcing his fifty million strong army of slaves to buy his products even though they really don't want to.

What a fun life he must be having sitting in his castle atop his piles of skulls and treasure and laughing all the live long day as his evil plan comes to fruition.

Run little freetards, run. Seek sanctuary in the Bizzare Cathedral of Linux.

Reality ? You've heard of it.

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Grenade

The evil machinations of dr Jobs (fixed)

So the problem seems to be that the evil Dr Jobs can force developers to work under stupid and unethical conditions because a bunch of fashion victims and people for whom a real computer is too complicated keep buying his over priced offerings and the developers want a part of seperating these fools from their money.

What a fun life he must have with his god complex, playing with the lives of adoring brainwashed fanbois and laughing all the live long day as his evil plans come to fruition.

Run, everyone with any goddamn sense. Run to platforms that allow freedom for developers, freedom from tyranny, opression and fanbois. I mean, even Windows isn't this draconian FFS.

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FAIL

... (fixed)(fixed) GTFU

Millions of fully informed consenting adults go about their daily business doing perfectly reasonable things. Thousands of other fully informed consenting adults enter into voluntary agreements with each other.

Six people who think that Steve Jobs' company should be run for their personal benefit suffer from delusions of both grandeur and competence and publicly, noisily spit their dummies.

Wow, that's what it looks like if you strip all the drama out.

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and this is

the precise reason why I have never and will never develop for Apple products.

IPhone SDK docs were the same.

I became a developer so I would have some control over my career and life and my successes could be down to talent and determination. Signing up to something like this would be like going back to school.

"Shhhh the adults are talking. Oh and your application "talks back", so we banned it. Fuckity bye!"

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Flame

Iphone OS not user friendly.

Just think if Windows did this.

Also on a similar subject I was banned from the WOW message board for posting a url to a website that shows girls in Bikinis and they called girls in Bikinis porn.

So I assume the people in charge at Blizzard and at Apple are either orthodox mormon and do not even allow their ankles to show either and still wear 1700's style clothing.

If they want to live like that then so be it. I'd rather stay in the ever changing present.

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Anonymous Coward

This all does make me wonder...

Considering how many people have written apps for the iPhone, the bitching and moaning evident about the "startling revelations" of the terms seems to be a little bit more of a non-event than an actual non-event.

For me, I'm-a-looking forward to the day when there's liability for writing code that screws up. Now that'll be a fun day, and a great spectator event.

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I run OSX and XP side by side and

My desktop setup had 3 arm mounted screens with an Windows XP deskotop and a OSX laptop sharing via Synergy plus and if you ask me ...

WHAT .. this story is about iPhone development and the app store

ER ... Nevermind.

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Metropolis

Anyone remember Apple's Metropolis ad campaign? No, I don't think Steve Jobs can either.

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Badgers

What's the big deal?

The amount of traffic generated here by all mention of the iPhone/iPad or the App Store is quite remarkable. Sure, it's a closed platform, but so are things like Xbox, PSP, Nintendo DS, Nokia, Blackberry, Kindle, etc. These manufacturer can also arbitrarily reject your apps and control what you do on them, and worse, you typically have to buy an SDK costing $5000 or $10000 if you want to develop for them. Why don't any of these other manufacturers generate such vitriol?

Everyone is acting as if Apple have a monopoly on portable devices. If they did, all the criticism would be valid, and they'd be under very close scrutiny from the regulators for anything which looks like an anticompetive practice.

Apple obviously have a huge slice of the MINDSHARE on portable devices, but unless and until that translates to such a dominant marketshare that it excludes anyone else from entering the market it's all moot and Apple are free to do whatever they want, just as all the other manufacturers are.

Honestly, if you really dislike Apple so much, the best thing you can do is shut up! All this controversy over such a non-issue is just playing into Apple's hands and raising awareness of the iPad prior to its launch.

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Jobs Horns

To clear it up a bit

Actually the Xbox isn't that bad at all. With the introduction of the XNA from Microsoft and the OPEN SOURCE solution OpenXDK there is a much bigger oportunity for developers here. Same goes for Google's Android. I can't say much about the PS3's openness to developers because I have never needed to develop on it.

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FAIL

Almost, but not entirely, quite unlike reality

"With the introduction of the XNA from Microsoft"

Only you can't commercially distribute XNA based stuff that you wrote yourself, can you ?

In fact, to get it out at all you have to submit it for review, last time I looked you had to join a program that cost $99 a year in order to be able do that. Hmm, sound familial at all ?

And as for Open Source dev kits, well, maybe, but you need an agreement with MS to distribute signed binaries, don't you, unless you are only distributing to modded XBoxes, in fact you have to have your title certified by Microsoft.

Wow, this all sounds so familiar, where have I heard something like this before ...

I'm going to wear this 'Fail' icon out before this godawful exhibition of sheer ignorance is over, I can tell.

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Happy

Great news!

Well, I have good news for you on the PS3 front! Sony recently slashed the price of the SDK to less than half what it was. It's only $10,250 now.

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Silver badge

actually...

your "fail" is entirely your own.

Both XNA and OpenXDK permit you to install on absolutely any XBox. You just can't distribute through XBox Live without MS certification. It's their network, they're the ones who'd get sued.

You're comparing apples to umbrellas again.

Go read up.

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FAIL

Duh!

". You just can't distribute through XBox Live without MS certification. It's their network, they're the ones who'd get sued."

Yeah, and that's the bit that compares to the App Store, so, again, fail.

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Thumb Up

And what about Nokia, Microsoft, Google, Samsung

If the EFF could be so kind as to request the developer sdk and distribution agreements from the other big players in the mobile apps market using the similar trick, then we can hold a contest.

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Boffin

3 question for games console developers.

1) How many of the locks designed to prevent people uploading software to your platform (Xbox, PSP, Nitendo etc) are *still* unbroken?

2) How many of those companies prescribe *how* you may sell *your* product to their customers?

3) How often have those companies (if ever) withdrawn permission to load *your* software on their *customers* machines.

Other posters say this is SOP for console vendors. I think it's above and well beyond what they do. But I'd like to know.

For the other products I described the nearest seems to be printer mfgs and their branded cartridges, which seems to be being challenged. Otherwise 3rd parties are free to supply what they like to whom they like.

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Terminator

It's the NDA stupid

"2) How many of those companies prescribe *how* you may sell *your* product to their customers?"

How many of those allow *you* to sell *your* product *through* *their* *shop* with all the advantages *that* brings ?

"Other posters say this is SOP for console vendors. I think it's above and well beyond what they do. But I'd like to know."

And yet, they won't tell you except in very general terms, because of the NDA clauses in their developer contracts, which are standard. Haven't you been listening at all ?

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Boffin

@The Other Steve

"How many of those allow *you* to sell *your* product *through* *their* *shop* with all the advantages *that* brings ?"

That simply reflects the question back to me. On the assumption you are not a troll let me try again.

IMHO there is *no* console maker who has the level of control over what is loaded on the machines they have sold. It is not an area I know well but I don't think *any* one dictates to their community in the way Apple does. If I wanted a game for various consoles I'd walk in a shop and buy it. Now try that for an app for an Apple/whatever.

It is not that they don't allow you to use *their* store to supply your product. It is they make it impossible to supply it *anywhere* else.

"And yet, they won't tell you except in very general terms, because of the NDA clauses in their developer contracts, which are standard. "

If you've read the article and followed the posts you know the level of control Apple has and how it has used that power.

My belief is that is *substantially* above other similar product mfgs require. IE withdrawing products which they don't approve of (why did they allow it to be sold in the first place?), arbitrary decency concerns (girl in bikini =porn?) and preventing sale *anywhere* else.

I didn't ask for details of specific platforms. I stated my belief that this level of control is *much* greater and more actively used than in other similar products. I asked for opinions (preferably based on experience )

If you have experience in the area I would expect you to have an opinion based on that experience. That was what I was asking for. Not a clause by clause analysis of whatever NDA you signed.

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Jobs Horns

OK, I'll bite

"If you've read the article and followed the posts you know the level of control Apple has and how it has used that power."

I know, because I'm a registered dev, and unlike the folks we've been hearing about so much recently, I read the agreement and had a legal beaver look it over as well. It's not something I would have chosen, but I have an R&D contract with a client, with whom I also have an NDA which is actually much more restrictive than Apple's, and in my experience this is by no means unusual. I also engage in quite a bit of reverse engineering work, all of which is under NDA and bound up with very strict liability waivers and the like. I deal with contract terms like these all the time. They really are standard boilerplate terms.

"I asked for opinions (preferably based on experience )"

That is precisely what you're getting. All the closed system manufacturers, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft (for the XBox) have varying levels of approvals processes, not only for the finished software, but often for approving developers. Nintendo, for instance, will not even sell you a dev kit unless they determine that you are the right kind of company. And you MUST be a company, with secure offices and a track record of development on other platforms (this much is on their public web site) before they'll even look at you.

All of them operate very similar NDAs, with practically identical terms, and all of them have approval and certification processes for finished software, largely because you have have your product cryptographically signed before it can be distributed.

All of them have "or any reason we damn well feel like" clauses, because such terms are just contract boilerplate. Go look at your contracts with your ISP, cell provider, bank, credit card, employer and you will find very similar terms there.

"I stated my belief that this level of control is *much* greater and more actively used than in other similar products"

Just different. Most of the console manufacturers approval and certification revolves around quality control issues, Apple is all about controlling the user experience, which includes, but is not limited to QA issues.

And again, I would remind you that the apps that were pulled violated the developer agreement, so it's not that Apple are exercising their "fuck you" clauses, more a case that they realised their approval process was broken or inconsistent.

Unlike many of the other closed system manufacturers, Apple have extended their dev program to anyone who has $99, this means that a lot of people who are decent programmers, but are not used to the gnarly business end of NDAs and contract terms are able to play, and some of them are going to get burned until they learn the business end as well as they know the coding end.

How was that ?

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Grenade

And so...

Mr Jobs should look at his 1984 MacIntosh commercial...that guy on the screen is no longer IBM...it is Mr. Jobs.

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Paris Hilton

I was with a fanboi yesterday

on an onsite visit and he has macs all over the place and iphones on tap.

We do a SaaS product which runs fine on the Mac boxes and an app for the iphone. Then his web developer joins us and the new website for the business wont run on his iPhone as it uses flash but seems fine on my HTC.

So there I am with my £200 Acer Netbook running Ubuntu and my HTC Hero surrounded by about ten grands worth of iStuff and thats when I realised you can spend a fucking fortune on the shiny shiny but at the end of the day you can get practicality and function for a lot less.

I am not a tech head, my Ubuntu looks after itself and just does stuff, the HTC is just slick and works.

Ethics aside, why spend that much money for a mediocre experience?

Its a bit like buying a Ferrari and then wondering why the guy with the Ariel Atom has a bigger smile on his face!

The market is changing and people will move with the changes in technology and now that many people in the UK are out of contract on the earlier iPhones I suspect the jailbreaking will grow, as will HTC's sales.

Paris an expensive and mediocre experience

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El
Paris Hilton

Don't ask why

"Its a bit like buying a Ferrari and then wondering why the guy with the Ariel Atom has a bigger smile on his face!"

Isn't it obvious? He has a bigger smile because he has a bigger penis, and therefore he doesn't need to buy a Ferrari!

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