iPhone Developers: What They Give Up to Get Into Apple’s App Store

After filing a freedom of information request related to NASA’s iPhone app, Fred von Lohmann with the EFF obtained a (previously elusive) copy of the agreement developers must sign to post their applications in Apple’s App Store. He was troubled by several sections, including:

  • Section 7.2, which says that developers who use Apple’s SDK can only deliver those apps through the App Store, but apps can be denied access to the App Store for any reason.
  • Section 8, which allows Apple to remove apps previously posted in the App Store any time “Apple has reason to believe that such action is prudent or necessary.”
  • Section 10.4, which reads, “You may not issue any press releases or make any other public statements regarding this Agreement, its terms and conditions, or the relationship of the parties without Apple’s express prior written approval.”
  • Section 14, which limits Apple’s liability to $50.

Lohmann concludes that the agreement is a “very one-sided contract, favoring Apple at every turn.”

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