Print 51 comment(s) - last by Pavelyoung.. on Oct 5 at 9:31 AM

  (Source: Reuters)
Apple has a change of heart with its NDA for released software

Apple has come under heavy criticism for its draconian Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for iPhone/iPod touch software developers. The NDA didn't allow software developers to talk with one another about the software applications that they were developing or the inner workings of the iPhone software ecosystem.

The backlash against Apple's restrictive software policies came to a boil when it rejected the Podcaster application and finally boiled over when Apple added an NDA to its rejection notices sent to developers whose software products were found unacceptable by Apple standards.

After being thrown under the bus by its own community, Apple has now reversed its position on its NDA for released software. The following was posted on iPhone Developer Program website:

We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone 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 don’t steal our work. It has happened before. 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.

However, the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for released software. Developers will receive a new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.

Thanks to everyone who provided us constructive feedback on this matter.

Hopefully, this move by Apple will mean less confusion in the developer community and better applications for the iTunes App Store.

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By Gzus666 on 10/1/2008 12:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, where do they get these pictures? This one is one of the best I have seen. What the hell is he doing?

By Brandon Hill on 10/1/2008 12:37:39 PM , Rating: 5
I think he's pulling another NDA out of his ass :)

By Gzus666 on 10/1/2008 12:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
Sort of looks that way too. I needed this laugh, thanks, ha. "Today in other news, Steve Jobs pulled a rabbit, and what looks like another NDA out of his ass, and left the crowd amazed".

By TechGuyCalifornia on 10/1/08, Rating: 0
By FITCamaro on 10/1/2008 12:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
ROFL! Classic.

By on 10/1/08, Rating: -1
By FITCamaro on 10/1/2008 2:50:08 PM , Rating: 4
WTF? Someone copied my name using a 1 instead of an I.

By Mitch101 on 10/1/2008 3:11:33 PM , Rating: 3
Dailytech Groupie. Maybe you need to announce a tour.

By Gzus666 on 10/1/2008 3:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
Clones Gone Bad, next, on Fox.

By PhoenixKnight on 10/1/2008 7:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

By xsilver on 10/2/2008 12:42:04 AM , Rating: 3
that is until you get axemurdered in the middle of the night by someone wanting to drink your blood ;)

By kelmon on 10/2/2008 10:26:59 AM , Rating: 2
I think I have the number of a good psychiatrist around here somewhere. Take it, I think you need it more than I do...

By bldckstark on 10/2/2008 12:56:47 PM , Rating: 2
This is not the only place that the clone has posted on Dailytech. The clone is posting non-sensical replies in an effort to discredit FITCamaro. Sounds like an excellent tactic, and it will probably work to some degree.

Just goes to show, once you set yourself apart from the crowd you become a target. Maybe we should enact copyright legislation on registered user names?

By Adonlude on 10/2/2008 8:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
So why don't the mods just delete the impersonator? Seems like a simple fair solution to this sort of juvenile behavior.

By quiksilvr on 10/1/2008 1:07:02 PM , Rating: 2

By Fanon on 10/1/2008 1:59:44 PM , Rating: 2
There's just... one more thing.

By blaster5k on 10/1/2008 2:07:17 PM , Rating: 1
This man needs a 6.

By PhoenixKnight on 10/1/2008 7:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
I concur.

By sapster86 on 10/1/2008 12:46:25 PM , Rating: 5
he kinda looks like the Internet Explorer icon...

By MonkeyPaw on 10/1/2008 12:49:16 PM , Rating: 5
What the hell is he doing?

He's demonstrating to his audience how difficult it is to right-click a two-button mouse on a PC.

By TechGuyCalifornia on 10/1/2008 12:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, that was funny!! lol...thanks for making my day..

By Lifted on 10/2/2008 6:52:56 AM , Rating: 2
LOL! Best post I've read on here in ages.

By Pavelyoung on 10/5/2008 9:31:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, because god knows that having more than one button on a mouse is beyond the apple community.

A Non-Solution
By lightfoot on 10/1/2008 12:48:35 PM , Rating: 5
Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.

Do rejected applications count as "released" or are the reasons for the rejection still covered by the NDA.

As a developer, there is no chance in hell that I would waste my time on an Apple platform if I don't know in advance what is permissable and what is not. It is total BS that Apple can reject my app just because they want to duplicate the idea. If that weren't bad enough, they then apply a total gag order on why they rejected it.

RE: A Non-Solution
By kelmon on 10/1/2008 12:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agreed. Unfortunately, given how long it has taken them to figure out that the NDA was a problem, it will probably be many months before the guidelines are corrected. If Apple is going to play the role of gatekeeper then they need to start a dialog with developers at the start of development rather than at the end and at least save people from wasting their time. In the meantime, I wouldn't recommend that anyone develops for the iPhone platform until this nonsense is sorted out. Perhaps when application submissions to the App Store dries up Apple might actually take the hint...

RE: A Non-Solution
By othercents on 10/1/2008 1:00:09 PM , Rating: 1
There is no reason for Apple to remove the NDA from unrelased applications and rejected applications. The reason is, so that Apple is able to reverse engineer the application and slap their logo in it for distribution. If Apple like something they will just reject the application and steal it. The power of the NDA.


RE: A Non-Solution
By Mojo the Monkey on 10/1/2008 4:19:29 PM , Rating: 1
You have absolutely no understanding of intellectual property law and I suggest that you stop making statements that imply otherwise.

NDA or no, your intellectual property is always yours. An NDA is not the type of contract/agreement that removes your rights to your own IP. All of the background development and documents are going to be admissible to make your case if you claim Apple stole your product under the guise of rejection.

RE: A Non-Solution
By Myg on 10/1/2008 7:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
But surely it removes your rights to talk about said programs and design? From what I understand, a case is difficult to win quickly with just evidence and no one to speak on the evidence's behalf?

But some people have jumped the gun here; we arn't talking about stealing. Apple may be cutesy with their marketplace 'scam' but they arn't stupid.

Seemingly they are just trolling for concepts and ideas that they are unable to think about themselves and then use this 'claim' of theirs to prevent it from being released so they can design/reverse engineer their own version of it. Seems like a normal corporate thing to do these days...

Why are we suprised at such behaviour?

RE: A Non-Solution
By Mojo the Monkey on 10/2/2008 1:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
The same kind of scenario (and, hence, techniques under the law to prevent this scenario) occur in the film industry.

Example: a writer presents a script to a producer or studio, the script is rejected, and then the studio hires their own hack to write up a script with an identical plot. COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

These kinds of issues are litigated and there are ways of proving up your case. I'm not going to get into the details of this, but the point is that the kind of practice you are describing is wrong under civil law and there are remedies.

If you are suggesting that Apple is making common practice out stealing ideas, which are still under NDA, and using the NDA in turn to prevent programmers from getting what is owed to them for their ideas... then I think you are reaching.

RE: A Non-Solution
By Calin on 10/2/2008 2:40:05 AM , Rating: 2
Then how do you prove you've thought of it before, if you can't say it?

RE: A Non-Solution
By Mojo the Monkey on 10/2/2008 1:12:54 PM , Rating: 2
You dont prove that you "thought of it before". We're talking about a hypothetical situation where Apple sees your [unfinished] product, rejects it, and then "steals the idea" and develops its own version of the program.

Here, you have all kinds of data and other forms of evidence that you did, in fact, develop and present this idea to Apple before they made their version.

An NDA is not omnipotent. If a law suit breaks out, the terms of the NDA are superseded to prevent injustice. Worst case scenario, the documents would just remain confidential and closed to the public. The court would still be able to see what is really going on.

RE: A Non-Solution
By mmntech on 10/1/2008 12:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think it became a bit of a PR nightmare. Why I don't understand is why the iPhone is being treated as a closed system while their computers are (fairly) open systems. (Filevault "bug" notwithstanding) There are literally hundreds of Macintosh programs and Dashboard widgets out there that overlap with official Apple software and yet they seem to have no problem with that. Apple of course wants to control the sale of their Apps through iTunes but are they really loosing money if you use one that overlaps with an official one? It just doesn't make much sense to me.

RE: A Non-Solution
By Saist on 10/1/2008 1:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
oh good, somebody else also caught that the NDA was only dropped for released software, and had nothing to do with rejected software, which the complaint was originally about to begin with.

RE: A Non-Solution
By kelmon on 10/2/2008 3:09:46 AM , Rating: 2
No, the complaint about the NDA was always to do with developers being unable to share their experiences with other developers (i.e. discuss solutions, post tutorials, run training courses and write books on iPhone development). The rejected software issue is very recent and, as yet, it is not even clear if it represents a new and consistent policy at Apple. John Gruber requested clarification from existing Mac and iPhone developers and, apparently, the NDA text that appeared in the now famous rejection letter sometimes appears on communications from Apple to individual developers long before the iPhone arrived.

RE: A Non-Solution
By Brandon Hill on 10/1/2008 1:39:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think they are talking about firmware features. So developers are free to talk about software/features of the 2.1 firmware as it's already released.

They can't, however, talk about stuff in the upcoming 2.2 firmware which was released in beta form last week.

RE: A Non-Solution
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2008 1:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
As a developer, there is no chance in hell that I would waste my time on an Apple platform

You are not alone. Nobody writes apps for Apple hardly.

Most of the best software on the Mac was software written by other companies for BOTH platforms. Then Apple comes in and buys them out and promptly ceases the PC version.

But yes, you have to be a world class loser and hopeless Mac fanboi if you are wasting your time coding software for the I-phone. Especially under this still unnaceptable system.

RE: A Non-Solution
By rcc on 10/1/2008 1:51:10 PM , Rating: 1
Most of the best software on the Mac was software written by other companies for BOTH platforms. Then Apple comes in and buys them out and promptly ceases the PC version.

Name 3 please?

RE: A Non-Solution
By michael2k on 10/1/2008 1:58:31 PM , Rating: 5
Final Cut Pro

RE: A Non-Solution
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2008 6:09:57 PM , Rating: 3
Name 3 please?

Your joking right ?? Apple has been doing this for DECADES ! Its standard practice for them. The three Michael mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg.

Lets see, I can code programs for a platform that has the potential customer base into the millions. Or I can code for a platform where my potential base is in the thousands. Hmmm tough one !

You think all those Mac aps you know and love started out as Mac only ? Does Apple innovate ANYTHING ?

RE: A Non-Solution
By michael2k on 10/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: A Non-Solution
By Fenixgoon on 10/1/2008 8:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
and there are how many computers running windows? enough that those 30M OSX installs look absolutely trivial by comparison.

RE: A Non-Solution
By michael2k on 10/2/2008 11:49:12 AM , Rating: 2
Who cares if it is "trivial", the whole point is it is profitable. There are more PCs than XBoxes, yet writing XBox games is profitable!

There are more Macs than PS3s, XBoxes, and Wiis combined... and on top of that, people who buy Macs spend more, and are therefore wealthier, than people who buy PCs.

Even if Apple only has 8% market share in the US this year, it still pulls in nearly 1/3 of the revenue of the entire market. The same goes to software, I am sure, and why Microsoft still produces Mac Office.

So 30m OS X installs is trivial in volume, but not trivial in value.

RE: A Non-Solution
By kelmon on 10/2/2008 3:18:17 AM , Rating: 2
Thankfully, the Mac has a dedicated community of developers that are banging out some wonderful pieces of software and their numbers continue to increase (WWDC, for example, was sold out for the first time this year). Sure, Windows has a bigger user base but developers like to write applications for their preferred platform and not everyone likes Windows. What a dull world it would be if everyone did...

It should also be noted that Apple has done some wonderful work in recent years developing the Cocoa API that has enabled application development to be much faster and deliver very impressive results for little code.

RE: A Non-Solution
By rcc on 10/2/2008 3:45:50 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get your knickers in a twist. I simply wanted the names of 3.

Although from my 1 minute research, it doesn't look like Final Cut was ever released as a PC version, but the original alpha demo had one. Considering that it was Wikipedia I'll file it in the maybe right category.

For the record, I am not a Mac user. However, yes, Apple does innovate, refine, and screwup, all in turn.

On the flip side, Microsoft is well known for buying, or legally killing, products and companies and then burying them so they don't complete.

It's a dog-eat-dog world. It's good to be the big dog.

RE: A Non-Solution
By michael2k on 10/1/2008 2:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno, there are some developers making thousands of dollars a month writing iPhone apps. So long as that is true, there will be people writing for the iPhone, no matter what you believe.

By kelmon on 10/1/2008 12:48:50 PM , Rating: 2 publish some proper guidelines that clearly communicate what is and is not acceptable on the App Store and we can all get on with our lives.

Personally, I can't believe that it has taken 3-months to sort this out when the NDA should have been amended on Day #1 of the App Store's release.

RE: Marvelous
By web2dot0 on 10/1/2008 6:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
Before we jump on Apple and call them idiots, you have to understand that this is kinda uncharted territory for them.

They have the potential to take over the mobile phone industry down the road, so they are taking a very catious path. This is unlike anything else they have done thus far, where they have complete control of the platform. They don't want a IPhone clone that surpass their capability by reverse engineer their firmware, which makes it alot easier without the NDA.

I think they did the right thing and "shut it down" in the beginning and see where it takes them. Once they recognized it's not working, they did the right thing and dropped the NDA. Let's not make the same mistakes like Microsoft.

I think they realized that the best way to beat the competition is be always one step ahead of them by constant innovations.

It's easy to complain when you have no stake at the pie. The bottom line is they dropped the NDA, so people should really shut their pie hole and get on with life.

I realize that there's always something to complain about, but come on guys, they are doing what everyone wanted and still they get flamed? Doesn't make sense.

RE: Marvelous
By kelmon on 10/2/2008 10:25:44 AM , Rating: 2
I think that comment was missing the /sarcasm tag.

Seriously, as soon as the NDA was dropped my RSS reader started picking up iPhone coding articles that the authors had evidentially been waiting ages to publish. There is no reason why the NDA should have stayed in the form that it was in after the release of the iPhone and Apple has enough experience with both building developer communities and NDAs to know this.

5 Years ago when I switched to the Mac I'd have been happy to let this slide but in recent years Apple has become increasingly, well, evil, for want of a better term. The NDA issue was another bad decision that could have been handled much better.

Apple is Smart
By SpaceJumper on 10/1/2008 12:58:42 PM , Rating: 3
With the NDA in place, Apple will not be able to compete. iPhone is useless without applications.

For those who know House of Cards:
By Oralen on 10/2/2008 3:18:24 AM , Rating: 2
I would have liked to talk about Apple. Really.

But I can't afford a lawyer right now.

So... As the great Francis Urquhart used to say:

"You may very well think that. But I couldn't possibly comment..."

And meanwhile El Jobso
By phazers on 10/2/2008 5:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
grabs his nutz once again...

This must be the most famous embarrassing pic on the Internet for him :)

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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