Apple’s protectionism woes

Some unrest has been created by the visible impact (that is, banning from the Apple AppStore) of the enforcing of certain clauses in the license agreement all developers need to sign in order to get access to iPhone development.

This license agreement has been in the news earlier. It is an interesting license agreement, since part of the agreement is that the agreement itself may not be publicly discussed (section 10.4). In fact posting this blog about it may itself be interpreted as a violation of the agreement and result in all my iPhone/iPad development being banned!

The banning of the Scratch app, based on section 3.2.2 of said agreement, has also created quite a buzz in the developers community. The ESUG mailing list (ESUG is the European Smalltalk Users Group, and a representative of a large part of the Smalltalk programmers community, Smalltalk being a programming language that seems to be violating section 3.2.2 of the license, and consequently cannot be used to program any software for the iPhone) sent some heated mails around. But this response in itself may be brought to court based on this paragraph!

A large part of the discussion is invisible to the public, because it takes place (from necessity since discussing it in the open may have undesirable repercussions…) on the Apple developers forums. To get access to these forums you need to sign the agreement!

All in all this seems a very undesirable situation, in dire need of clarification. Even the legal basis for the entire agreement may not be correct.

I suppose it can never be the intention of the license to ban freedom of speech, which can be a possible interpretation of these events. Fortunately the EFF seems to take the matter seriously.

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