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.