Apple iPhone Developer Contract, Cause for Concern

The non-profit digital rights group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been looking at Apple’s iPhone Developer Contract with iPhone developers and have stated that there are several “troubling” clauses which paint Apple as a “jealous and arbitrary feudal lord,” reports an article over on computer world.

On Tuesday the EFF published a January 2010 version of the iPhone Developer Licence Agreement which they gained from NASA via a freedom of Information Act request.

Senior staff attorney for the EFF, Fred von Lohmann has said, “It’s only because Apple still ‘owns’ the customer, long after each iPhone (and soon, iPad) is sold, that it is able to push these contractual terms on the entire universe of software developers for the platform.”

A number of section were question in the agreement beginning with Apple’s demands of secrecy with developers which prohibits “public statements regarding this Agreement, its terms and conditions, or the relationship of the parties without Apple‘s express prior written approval, which may be withheld at Apple’s discretion.” Which von Lohmann calls “particularly strange” due to the licence agreement itself isn’t confidential as define by Apple, which means although the terms of the agreement aren’t confidential, developers are forbidden to publicly speak about them.

Von Lohmann also argued that if Apple’s mobile devices are the future of computing then you can expect the future to be limited on innovation and competition. Of course when contacted, Apple wouldn’t respond.

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