Apple drops iPhone NDA for released software

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Responding to widespread criticism, Apple said Wednesday that it has decided to do away with its non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software while it drafts a new agreement covering just non-released software.



"We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others donÂ?t steal our work. It has happened before," the company said in a statement on its iPhone developer site.



"While we have filed for hundreds of patents on iPhone technology, the NDA added yet another level of protection. We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others."



Apple went on to acknowledge that the iPhone NDA "has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhoneÂ?s success, so we are dropping it for released software."



The Cupertino-based company is currently drafting a new agreement withoutÂ*an NDAÂ*covering released software that developers will have to sign later this month.

«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    Give 'em credit for listening. A step in the right direction.



    Mark
  • Reply 2 of 41
    wobegonwobegon Posts: 764member
    As long as this doesn't enable others to rip off Apple's code and concepts, it's a nice step forward and one less thing the usual tech media pundits will have to nag about.
  • Reply 3 of 41
    This is great news - not just for the development of iPhone apps, but also to show that Apple can listen. Too much in the recent past it has given the impression that it is oblivious to the very valid complaints of its customers and developers - but this move, together with the change on app reviews announced a few days ago shows Apple in a much better light.



    Oh, and btw, I freakin' LOVE my iPhone
  • Reply 4 of 41
    timuscatimusca Posts: 123member
    "None Disclosure Agreement"



    Wow.
  • Reply 5 of 41
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    I like how all the comments here are actually positive.



    If you go over to MDN or Engadget it's all pissy stuff and juvenile "About blooddy time!" kind of comments.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    dr_lhadr_lha Posts: 236member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    I like how all the comments here are actually positive.



    Typical Apple fanboys!
  • Reply 7 of 41
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,035member
    Two down, one to go.
  • Reply 8 of 41
    hattighattig Posts: 858member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    I like how all the comments here are actually positive.



    If you go over to MDN or Engadget it's all pissy stuff and juvenile "About blooddy time!" kind of comments.



    It is though!
  • Reply 9 of 41
    synoticsynotic Posts: 151member
    This is good and all, but who approved that writing? Awful copy \.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Synotic View Post


    This is good and all, but who approved that writing? Awful copy \.



    It's never good to use phrases like "ripped off" in official company communications. The letter comes across as whining.
  • Reply 11 of 41
    I'll be ok with this as long as the app store isn't flooded with crap.

    I also hope they will be still screening new apps for bugs.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    breezebreeze Posts: 96member
    ok so now let's see some intelligent discussion - All the whiners that couldn't even develop an application if they were paid millions to, for lack of a fundamental tool: namely a brain, can now go find another topic to rag on.
  • Reply 13 of 41
    dkoesdkoes Posts: 12member
    So does this enable the distribution of open source (not necessarily GPL) programs? For example, if someone writes a tethering application (which can't be sold on the apple store) they can now just post the source code and anyone can download, compile, and install it.



    Or is there some other legal gotcha?
  • Reply 14 of 41
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wobegon View Post


    As long as this doesn't enable others to rip off Apple's code and concepts, it's a nice step forward and one less thing the usual tech media pundits will have to nag about.



    I don't see how dropping the NDA means that Apple's code and concepts are suddenly free-for-all. Apple's code is still going to fall under copyright, the protectable concepts should have been patented already. I doubt they would show independent devs stuff protected as trade secret. I haven't heard of anyone saying that the iPhone OS source code is available to developers either.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    breezebreeze Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffdm View Post


    i don't see how dropping the nda means that apple's code and concepts are suddenly free-for-all. Apple's code is still going to fall under copyright, the protectable concepts should have been patented already. I doubt they would show independent devs stuff protected as trade secret. I haven't heard of anyone saying that the iphone os source code is available to developers either.







    copy that
  • Reply 16 of 41
    gustavgustav Posts: 826member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dkoes View Post


    So does this enable the distribution of open source (not necessarily GPL) programs? For example, if someone writes a tethering application (which can't be sold on the apple store) they can now just post the source code and anyone can download, compile, and install it.



    That has nothing to do with the NDA. The NDA means we couldn't even discuss developing for iPhone in public. That means no forums, tutorials, books, etc. Now we can discuss it. It doesn't give us any new capabilities.
  • Reply 17 of 41
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    To reply to you's guys about the iPhone OS source code, no, it is in no way in the hands of the developers. Only the coding concepts, sample code, and unrestricted API's.



    Unlike Mac OS X, many of the actual API's in use are not published or compilable with the public SDK.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 922member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    That has nothing to do with the NDA. The NDA means we couldn't even discuss developing for iPhone in public. That means no forums, tutorials, books, etc. Now we can discuss it. It doesn't give us any new capabilities.



    But before we couldn't distribute source code. Can we now? It appears so. That allows projects to be hosted at places like Sourceforge or Google Code. If there are to be any books, tutorials, etc. they will likely include source code &/or websites with downloadable code.



    For example, I wrote a little app that I'd like to respond to a "shake" event. The docs & sample apps show how to read the accelerometer values, but not how to interpret a "shake". Now someone should be able to post boilerplate code for listening for "shakes".



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    dkoesdkoes Posts: 12member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    That has nothing to do with the NDA. The NDA means we couldn't even discuss developing for iPhone in public. That means no forums, tutorials, books, etc. Now we can discuss it. It doesn't give us any new capabilities.



    I disagree, the NDA prohibited anyone from posting iPhone source code online since doing so would reveal parts of the iPhone SDK API to people not under NDA. If example code can now be posted online or in books, then I see no reason why code for a full application can't be posted.



    It's probably also reasonable to assume that now GPL programs can be developed for the iPhone (for example, Adium) and sold on the App Store (for those people who don't want to download and compile the source code).
  • Reply 20 of 41
    dkoesdkoes Posts: 12member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PG4G View Post


    To reply to you's guys about the iPhone OS source code, no, it is in no way in the hands of the developers. Only the coding concepts, sample code, and unrestricted API's.



    Unlike Mac OS X, many of the actual API's in use are not published or compilable with the public SDK.



    Huh? Not talking about the OS source code. Talking about application source code.



    Since SDK 2.1 is relatively recent, it's hard for me to believe that interesting and useful applications (like tethering) can't be developed using it.
Sign In or Register to comment.