Digital rights group blasts Apple over iPhone developer agreement

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  • Reply 21 of 119
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    Quote:

    "Overall, the Agreement is a very one-sided contract, favoring Apple at every turn," the EFF wrote. "That's not unusual where end-user license agreements are concerned (and not all the terms may ultimately be enforceable), but it's a bit of a surprise as applied to the more than 100,000 developers for the iPhone, including many large public companies.



    Those developers chose to develop for the iPhone and willingly chose to accept those terms. The last time I checked there was no law prohibiting two parties from willingly getting into agreement no matter how one sided the agreement is.
  • Reply 22 of 119
    swingeswinge Posts: 110member
    Having not read the agreement I can?t comment one way or another, but I can?t imagine it?s any more strict than a Windows licensing agreement. If there ARE unusual demands they should be highlighted?Things like the remote kill switch can also be seen as very defensive..Apple would need some option if malicious code got through the screening process.
  • Reply 23 of 119
    adamiigsadamiigs Posts: 355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post


    Download it QUICK before Apple pulls a DCMA take down or something..



    http://www.eff.org/files/20100302_iphone_dev_agr.pdf



    Page:



    http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/03...-agreement-all







    Delete QUICK before people realize you are a troll or something...



    oh wait nm too late.
  • Reply 24 of 119
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by centerpunch View Post


    "Apple's "future of computing" is headed towards an era that could stifle innovation."



    That's one of the funniest sentences I've ever read....



    LOL, yes indeed. given the fact that Apple is the one doing the innovating.



    Besides, each and every one of those "over 100,000 developers," agreed to Apple's terms. Most of them gladly, in fact. Any developer who doesn't like the terms of Apple's agreement can certainly choose to disagree and not make apps for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
  • Reply 25 of 119
    masternavmasternav Posts: 442member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    1) No Apple did not created the idea of an app store. This is a commonly repeated fantasy. They didn't even create the idea of a App Store for mobile apps. They were just the most successful because they did it well. Well done!=perfect. There is always room for improvement.



    2) This has nothing to do with allow their competition to thrive in their store. I hope that is just a bad strawman and not an actual argument. It is one sided, not from the perspective of competition, but in terms of a contract between 2 parties, where the contract primarily and unabashedly favour one party. The devs are not their 'competition'..they are their partners. Devs are sort of an important part of a platform. WTF do you think they have WWDC?



    Actually it isn't a commonly repeated fantasy - the statement you see most often is how SUCCESSFUL Apple App Store is, which is not incorrect as you have subsequently noted.



    All contracts require both parties to agree to the terms and become signatory to those terms. If both do so, where is the issue? As has been noted elsewhere, the Apple App Store is not the only game in town. The Android app store is growing by leaps and bounds according to some commenters here. Making it another much more acceptable successful source to contract to as a dev by all accounts. Just because Apple is "draconian" in their control doesn't mean they are strong-arming devs into participating - you have to assume that devs are adults (for the most part), and are capable of assessing the terms of the agreement for themselves before they sign on the dotted line. Apple assembled if you will, a perfect storm of device, OS, app dev toolkit and delivery mechanism to encourage devs to provide the much needed applications, games and utilities that have made the platform popular. They invested heavily to do so, absorbing most of the risk, and insulating the devs from that risk.



    In these cases where voluntary association is in fact voluntary, why should Apple change how it does business? The market will drive success. If Apple's platform is too restrictive to devs they will seek out other platforms to dev apps for instead. Pretty basic stuff - we saw this with the jail-breaking community almost at the inception of the iPhone. Of course there are those, like EFF, that insist that everything must be open, free for all, unprotected and ubiquitous. While this ideal is certainly resonant with the aging baby-boomers idealists of the sixties - it is a piss-poor business model except at very small scales. And of course the EFF would never, ever go after Apple simply for page-hits and coattailing Apple public mindshare to keep their agenda relevant.
  • Reply 26 of 119
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,076member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post


    "...the Android Market shows no signs of shrinking or stopping..."



    proof that the apple contract stifles neither competition nor innovation.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post


    "...the idea that they have to agree to a term...my example is reaching..."



    yes, you have to consciously enter into the contract in order to develop and you're subject to everything that goes along with it. developers only run into trouble when they attempt to skirt around the contract.
  • Reply 27 of 119
    These people need to go and try and organize their music files in the a windows 98 computer using Windows Media Player (what a nightmare that was)



    ....It's what we would be left with right now if it weren't for Apple's OS, iTunes, iPod, iPhone and now the iPad.



    By 'choosing' the device one is choosing the 'eco-system' that makes the 'device' the most popular (think iPod/iPhone here)....



    Don't like the device? Buy an android and buy your music from Amazon...and your movies from NetFlix and your TV from Hula, get free office from Google apps, etc., etc. Talk about fragmentation!
  • Reply 28 of 119
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The Electronic Frontier Foundation took a critical stance against Apple on Tuesday, ...



    The EFF are just into total wing-nut territory now.



    None of this information is new and much of it seems exaggerated in it's importance. There's also more emotional language used here than on an Oprah show.



    The whole raison d'être for the EFF is rooted in a 1970's concept of what "computers" and "software" are and speaking as someone who remembers the 70's, it's just plain irrelevant in today's world IMO.
  • Reply 29 of 119
    bigmc6000bigmc6000 Posts: 767member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leithal View Post




    For example they oppose apps such as NetShare which was banned, approved and banned again.

    In the end, it was removed from the store - yet still remains on my iPhone and many others - completely legally.



    Speaking of NetShare - and semi OT here - does yours still work? I've tried it a few times since I've picked up my 3Gs and I don't get a thing
  • Reply 30 of 119
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    The EFF are just into total wing-nut territory now.



    None of this information is new and much of it seems exaggerated in it's importance. There's also more emotional language used here than on an Oprah show.



    The whole raison d'être for the EFF is rooted in a 1970's concept of what "computers" and "software" are and speaking as someone who remembers the 70's, it's just plain irrelevant in today's world IMO.



    They're just a special interest group like any other special interest group.
  • Reply 31 of 119
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    "It's my App Store and I can do what I want, do what I want....."
  • Reply 32 of 119
    i'm appalled - does apple also collect profit from their store? that's evil
  • Reply 33 of 119
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    "The EFF also served as counsel for both AppleInsider and PowerPage after Apple attempted to force the Web sites to identify sources who provided accurate details of an unreleased hardware product, code-named Asteroid."



    Don't forget about ThinkSecret! I loved that site.
  • Reply 34 of 119
    danyakdanyak Posts: 30member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    I guess the EFF just wants to draw attention to these complaints, which is fair enough. But it's not clear to me that Apple is doing anything illegal. What Apple is doing is fine so long as they are not found to be a monopolist, and with far less than 50% of the smartphone market (and a tiny slice of the overall cell phone market), Apple is not a monopolist.



    In fact, Apple will probably never be a monopolist. Their vertical integration and limited range of product offerings means there will always be alternatives (even with the iPod, there are many alternatives out there). Yet this is not a bad thing for Apple -- it keeps the anti-trust police off their back even as they make near-monpolist profits thanks to their vertical integration.



    It turns out that an unexpected benefit (at least unexpected by me) of Apple's vertical integration is that they can actually amass considerable power and profits without being regarded a monopolist by the anti-trust authorities. Apple will probably pass MS in market cap within the next year or two, and yet Apple can escape anti-trust scrutiny. It's a pretty good situation to be in.



    As an antitrust lawyer of 30 years, I agree with this post. Apple's vertical integration and the competitive advantage it gains from it and its IP is classic pro-competitive behavior. It may be a dominant player, but its market position was gained by competition, not acquisitions or anticompetitive conduct. As a dominant player, there arguably are additional constraints on its behavior - it probably cannot engage in conduct designed only to disadvantage a competitor, there must be a competitive reason for its conduct, such as maintaining an ecosystem that supports the user experiences and stability of system itself. It could get tough for Apple, but the inability of any company to achieve a monopoly and exclude competitors over the long term argues against the need for or legal basis for action against the company - unless if really goes overboard.
  • Reply 35 of 119
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by masternav View Post


    Actually it isn't a commonly repeated fantasy - the statement you see most often is how SUCCESSFUL Apple App Store is, which is not incorrect as you have subsequently noted.



    All contracts require both parties to agree to the terms and become signatory to those terms. If both do so, where is the issue? As has been noted elsewhere, the Apple App Store is not the only game in town. The Android app store is growing by leaps and bounds according to some commenters here. Making it another much more acceptable successful source to contract to as a dev by all accounts. Just because Apple is "draconian" in their control doesn't mean they are strong-arming devs into participating - you have to assume that devs are adults (for the most part), and are capable of assessing the terms of the agreement for themselves before they sign on the dotted line. Apple assembled if you will, a perfect storm of device, OS, app dev toolkit and delivery mechanism to encourage devs to provide the much needed applications, games and utilities that have made the platform popular. They invested heavily to do so, absorbing most of the risk, and insulating the devs from that risk.



    In these cases where voluntary association is in fact voluntary, why should Apple change how it does business? The market will drive success. If Apple's platform is too restrictive to devs they will seek out other platforms to dev apps for instead. Pretty basic stuff - we saw this with the jail-breaking community almost at the inception of the iPhone. Of course there are those, like EFF, that insist that everything must be open, free for all, unprotected and ubiquitous. While this ideal is certainly resonant with the aging baby-boomers idealists of the sixties - it is a piss-poor business model except at very small scales. And of course the EFF would never, ever go after Apple simply for page-hits and coattailing Apple public mindshare to keep their agenda relevant.



    I agree. The devs signed the contract and are bound by the contract. The EFF has no business suing over the contract. None of which really makes the contract fair. No one said life had to be fair.



    As far as the app store and the origin of the concept, it is very frequently argued that because Apple invented the concept, they are right in all they do with it. Which, of course, is neither factual nor logical. As for your 'correction' perhaps if you read the post I was replying too, you would see an example of someone stating that Apple invented the concept of an App Store and then using that as justification for Apple's actions.
  • Reply 36 of 119
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    The EFF are just into total wing-nut territory now.



    None of this information is new and much of it seems exaggerated in it's importance. There's also more emotional language used here than on an Oprah show.



    The whole raison d'être for the EFF is rooted in a 1970's concept of what "computers" and "software" are and speaking as someone who remembers the 70's, it's just plain irrelevant in today's world IMO.



    Ironic then, that these same ideals are what Apple's founders and oldest users/fans embraced. It is a new world.
  • Reply 37 of 119
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by danyak View Post


    As an antitrust lawyer of 30 years, I agree with this post. Apple's vertical integration and the competitive advantage it gains from it and its IP is classic pro-competitive behavior. It may be a dominant player, but its market position was gained by competition, not acquisitions or anticompetitive conduct. As a dominant player, there arguably are additional constraints on its behavior - it probably cannot engage in conduct designed only to disadvantage a competitor, there must be a competitive reason for its conduct, such as maintaining an ecosystem that supports the user experiences and stability of system itself. It could get tough for Apple, but the inability of any company to achieve a monopoly and exclude competitors over the long term argues against the need for or legal basis for action against the company - unless if really goes overboard.



    Thanks for contributing. Very well said!
  • Reply 38 of 119
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Ouch you get no more then $50 of compensation from apple for any reason. That is less then a day's worth of coding. That seems a bit unfair.



    Everything else is expected, since apple does not like info leaking out for any reason, because information is the only reason they are able to keep a competitive edge and high profit margins over the industry.
  • Reply 39 of 119
    webheadwebhead Posts: 75member
    How exactly is apple "preventing rival competition by blocking competing options" What about Amazon, MS zoon, Walmart online??? There are lots of options that Apple does nothing to prevent; they are just out competing the competition. What a bogus argument from the EFF.
  • Reply 40 of 119
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,681member
    And to the horror of us all, we later find out that Apple doesn't sell Windows in their stores. And furthermore, they don't sell the Zune!?!



    Apple is only doing what it thinks is best for its platform. Sorry, but Apple can kill the entire market by completely removing the ability for ALL developers to write applications for it. Or even worse, just kill the iPhone OS and move onto something else.



    It would be one thing if Apple allowed iPhone OS on other manufacturer's hardware and still tried to completely control the experience, but that's not the case here. Apple produces a complete product, not a part of one combined with parts from other sources. The hardware, OS and any applications made available are part of the platform and products.



    I don't understand why people have a hard time excepting that? This is not something new in the electronics industry, it's only new to computers. Nobody complained when Apple only partnered with game developers to create games for the iPod, that was even a further restriction as there was no publicly available SDK for the iPod.
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