The contract which each iPhone or iPad app developer must sign before submitting their creations has leaked online. Though developers are banned from speaking of the agreements they must accept, the Electronic Freedom Foundation has acquired a copy and posted some of its key points online.
So what’s instore for fledgling app makers? Well firstly, as mentioned above, developers are banned from making “public statements” about the agreement. That’s likely because what follows seems more than a little Draconian, and would likely scare the hell out of anyone planning to carve some space out on the App Store.
For instance, Apple reserves the right to reject or remove from the store any iPhone or iPad app on a whim, as they alone deem necessary. Just like last month’s adult app debacle. If you were unlucky enough to have your app pulled from the store, think again before planning on distributing it elsewhere too: if it was made with the iPhone or iPad SDK, you wont be able to distribute it anywhere else. It’s the App Store or bust.
If your app has already sold a few and is out and about in the real world on people’s handsets, don’t think you’re safely home free just yet either. Section 8 of the agreement allows Apple to “revoke the digital certificate of any of your applications at any time.” They can even disable your apps remotely, mysteriously disappearing off of the users handsets should they choose to do so.
And even if you’ve completely walked Apple’s line straight, and Apple somehow breaks your app due to a problem on their end? You’ll be entitled to a measly £33 ($50) in damages.
Sounds like a pretty rough deal if you ask me.