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03-09-2010, 05:07 PM #1
EFF: Apple Like a "Jealous Feudal Lord"
In a surprise move yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation got a hold of the previously secret Apple iPhone Developer Program License Agreement and posted it on their website. Comparing Apple to a "jealous and arbitrary feudal lord," the San Francisco-based digital rights group said that the computer maker was taking advantage of its control over the App Store to make devs agree to unfair conditions. EFF warns that "the future of computing" that Apple heralds is clouded by restrictions like a ban on reverse engineering and selling in alternative marketplaces like Cydia... even if your app gets rejected by Apple.
EFF got a hold of the confidential document after NASA created its own official app last year. Cleverly, the activists filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the space agency, which was forced to comply, even though the document forbids even government agencies from talking about its contents. Interestingly, though, the document does not define itself as "Confidential…" you just can get sued if you talk about it. Weird.
Software license agreements are often pretty restrictive, but this one goes farther than most. In section 7.2 it says that if you use the iPhone SDK you can only sell your app on the App Store, and that Apple can reject an app for any reason at all: even if it meets all of Apple's own requirements, your app can still be rejected, and then you can get sued if you try to sell it on Cydia or Rock Your Phone. And Apple also claims the right kill your app whenever they want, for any reason, including that they just feel like it. The stipulation that they can "revoke the digital certificate of any of Your Applications at any time" is a clear reference to the "kill switch" that Steve Jobs admits they have.
Although reverse engineering for things like testing interoperability of your code has been recognized by the judicial system as a fair use under copyright law, section 2.6 not only flat prohibits you any reverse engineering of the iPhone OS or SDK, but even forbids you from making anything that might "enable others" to do any reverse engineering. Similarly, the ban on jailbreaking in section 3.2(e) doesn't just cover the iPhone but tinkering with any Apple software or technology, or "enabling others to do so." This means that if you write an App Store app but also do some work that helps some guy develop a hackintosh bootloader, for example, you can get sued.
And adding injury to insult, section 14 says that, no matter what they do to you, Apple will never be liable for more than $50 in damages. So even if they sue you for something you didn't do, push a firmware update that breaks your app, or accidentally hit the kill switch and destroy your business, you're legally prevented from suing Apple for more than an amount the EFF puckishly notes is "the cost of a nice dinner for one in Cupertino."
EFF observes that Apple holds the whip hand in this because it controls access to 40 million iPhone and iPod owners, and is using its position to squeeze unreasonable demands from the developer community. "If Apple wants to be a real leader, it should be fostering innovation and competition, rather than acting as a jealous and arbitrary feudal lord," said EFF senior staff attorney Fred von Lohmann in a legal analysis on the group's web site entitled All Your Apps Are Belong to Apple. "Developers should demand better terms," he writes, "and customers who love their iPhones should back them."
03-09-2010, 05:08 PM #2
03-09-2010, 05:15 PM #3
03-09-2010, 05:16 PM #4
hail apple!two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and i'm not sure about the the universe.
03-09-2010, 05:22 PM #5
that picture looks like rome or something. not quite feudal era
03-09-2010, 05:28 PM #6
Appl£ shouldn't be compared to Microsoft anymore, they should be compared with Hitler
03-09-2010, 05:35 PM #7
HAHAHA what is some kind of news, we all knew apple has everybody by the "balls". But their is Cydia so all hail free speech and software.Hey! A Restore Never Hurts It's True!
03-09-2010, 06:08 PM #8
03-09-2010, 06:15 PM #9
I never understood why there were so many apple fanboy's. The ONLY reason I bought an iPhone is because there simply was no competitive alternative. That's changing.
Look at the iPad. I think Apple will sell quite a few of the devices, but right around the corner are the slate devices and for once I really think Apple is going to have a run for their money, simply because of the almost complete lack of any improvements to the platform over the iPhone itself. Makes me feel like Apple shot their load and can't figure out what the next step is other than "upsizing" your order (want some fries with that?
In any case the market is going to get crowded soon with phones and tablets that are consumer price and feature friendly and I think we'll see lots of non apple tablets in peoples hands.
If there's anything Apple has done that we should thank them for it's for waking up the rest of the market.
Last edited by santiagodraco; 03-09-2010 at 06:15 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
03-09-2010, 06:21 PM #10
Last edited by awesomeSlayer; 03-09-2010 at 06:21 PM. Reason: Automerged DoublepostAsking for help is different from being stupid. Fanboys can rot in @#$%!
03-09-2010, 06:43 PM #11
Apple is setting themselves up for failure and I can't wait. I'll still buy their mbp when it comes out though.
03-09-2010, 06:55 PM #12
LOL this picture is of King David and Jonathan's son
03-09-2010, 06:59 PM #13
Just to make it clear that it Never stated that jailbreaking is illegal... Section 3.2 Only states that apple bans it.
03-09-2010, 07:15 PM #14
the next thing we will see apple looking for jailbroken iphone and putting us in jail lol grow up we should all make our own software (open source) that lets us make iphone apps f apple and its softwares btw microsoft is way more grown up in this thing... apple think they can control the world.... keep dreaming losers "apple"No signature links or spam... only warning
03-09-2010, 07:15 PM #15
"Apple Like a "Jealous Feudal Lord"
03-09-2010, 07:30 PM #16
03-09-2010, 08:44 PM #17
apple is more like an abusive husband. lol if you do something wrong or if they thing your doing something behind their backs they're pretty much gonna screw you in the end or whenever they feel like it. i like apples products e.g. iphone, ipod touch and macbooks, but i dont like apple them selves. i really hope that google or microsoft or even some other company creates something that apple can no longer compete with and ends up being defeated then it appears on the front page of the morning news paper and the whole world cheers for joy apple sucks and i hope the end up failing in the end.
03-10-2010, 12:50 AM #18
Before you call me a Apple fan boy. I have 3 Androids and 1 iPhone. I also have a Mac mini, waiting for the new MBP, and 4 Linux boxes. Windows I will never touch(since Windows 98), and I do not use any of Google's "free" services. I don't even have gmail set up on my Androids.
03-10-2010, 12:53 AM #19
I honestly do not understand why devs still develop apps for apple products when i keep hearing these kind of stories and that you can do just about anything on android. Its like giving a homeless man money when he sits right outside a liquor store, he is just going to do whatever he wants
Last edited by Tunerfreak; 03-10-2010 at 08:45 AM.
03-10-2010, 03:50 AM #20