The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has posted the full text of Apple’s previously-secretive iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request after NASA released an app. The EFF found the document so draconian that it ran the news under the headline “All Your Apps Are Belong to Apple.”
Among the items the EFF noted: developers are forbidden from making “public statements” about the terms of the agreement, even though the document is not defined as “Apple Confidential Information;” reverse engineering the iPhone OS or Apple’s software development kit is a no-no, as is mucking with any of Apple’s other technology; Apple can revoke an app’s digital certificate at any time and remotely disable its installation on users’ devices; and Apple is never liable to a developer for more than US$50 in damages.
The EFF summed up the one-sided contract thus: “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. Developers should demand better terms and customers who love their iPhones should back them.”