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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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.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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