Out of NDA! [Mod edit: Not really, see posts]

DoG
Moderator
Posts: 869
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #46
I find the iPhone NDA quite upsetting. Why? Because as application/game developers, we add every bit as much value to the platform as Apple, and Apple disallowing public discussion of development also hinders them as much as it does us, if, for example, we can't discuss bugs we're seeing in the OS.

Also, as it has been pointed out, it is specifically hindering independent developers who don't have much choice but to discuss their bugs/problems with a 3rd party.

I really don't know what RDF makes you think it's more of a privilege for you to develop for an Apple platform than it is for Apple to have you developing for their product. (This is the point that is really upsetting, that Apple expects you to honor their expectations without honoring yours)

Also, just because something is in a contract, it isn't automatically legal, and much less right. The applicability of various restrictions in contracts vary from state to state even within the USA, and even more internationally.

Am I happy that we got free dev tools? Sure. But tell me, what good is a phone call when you are unable to speak?
Quote this message in a reply
Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #47
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,570
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #48
I've been hesitant to link to that site because of the language, but yeah, I get a real kick out of it too!

DoG Wrote:I really don't know what RDF makes you think it's more of a privilege for you to develop for an Apple platform than it is for Apple to have you developing for their product.

The operative term in there is: "their"

The bottom line is that you don't have to sign the FNDA and develop for iPhone if you don't want to. There is no law written anywhere which guarantees you the right to call someone else's property your own, and/or treat it as such. You can claim this view as being influenced by a reality distortion field all day, but that doesn't make it so. Therefore it is a "privilege", not a "right" to develop for iPhone. If you want to develop on *their* product you have to agree to *their* terms. If you think their terms stand outside of legality, you are more than welcome (even encouraged) to take them to court over it. Wink
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 613
Joined: 2004.09
Post: #49
DoG Wrote:I really don't know what RDF makes you think it's more of a privilege for you to develop for an Apple platform than it is for Apple to have you developing for their product.

You are more then welcome to jailbreak your iPhone and do whatever you want. But with the App Store you are representing Apple and that is a privilege. Just like being listed on the downloads section of their site.

If you are unhappy with the way Apple is running iPhone development it is VERY simple, don't develop for the iPhone, there are tons of other platforms out there you can code for.

I have wasted dozens of hours trying to get code to work only after submitting it to bugreporter and learning it was/is a known issue. I could have easily of saved that time if their was no NDA. But I CHOOSE to develop on a platform that has a very restrictive NDA, no one forced me to.

I have been very frustrated by the NDA, and I could even put a cost on my troubles for lost time, but you will not see me gripping over something I agreed to get into knowing full well what it was.
Quote this message in a reply
DoG
Moderator
Posts: 869
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #50
AnotherJake Wrote:[...] There is no law written anywhere which guarantees you the right to call someone else's property your own, and/or treat it as such. [...] If you want to develop on *their* product you have to agree to *their* terms. If you think their terms stand outside of legality, you are more than welcome (even encouraged) to take them to court over it.

I am not sure where I supposedly called someone else's property my own. The point I am still trying to make is that the even the app store is of *mutual* benefit, and one party ignoring this is just blatantly insulting the other. This is not just about the money, it's also about respect. I strongly feel that all this crap is just in place to undermine the credibility of 3rd party developers, to show off who's the boss.

As for 'taking things to court', we all know there's no way in hell and indie dev can achieve anything that way.

And as for the VERY simple answer, it isn't the RIGHT answer. You are still allowed to criticize something, even if you agreed to it, be it through free will or necessity. It is a very sorry world with people just turning around at the first sign of difficulty.

If I am unhappy about something, I can't just turn my back to it, I do what I can to fix things, and in this case, the thing I can do is to argue my case Rasp

PS: consider yourselves lucky I decided to edit out the 1000 word political rant, after all Wink
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,570
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #51
DoG Wrote:I am not sure where I supposedly called someone else's property my own.

I'm sorry DoG, I wasn't trying to suggest that you called someone else's property your own, I was trying to say that to go against the terms of the agreement would, in effect, be treating it as your own.

Complaining about it is perfectly within our rights, and easily warranted in this situation. I feel it is poor business behavior on their part for not communicating to us what their intentions are, regarding the NDA. But the terms of the agreement are a matter of jurisprudence, not public opinion, and may result in financial penalties if we up and decide that we're not going to abide by them.

What if the NDA is never lifted? What then? There isn't really much choice in the matter -- either walk away because they're being jerks, or continue to play by their rules and maybe earn a little income.

Heck, for all we know, there may very well be a legitimate reason for them keeping the NDA in effect.

Quote:It is a very sorry world with people just turning around at the first sign of difficulty.
Abiding by the law is hardly "turning around at the first sign of difficulty".

Let there be no mistake about it: We *are* complaining about this as loudly as we can, but we are not going to breach the terms of the agreement by disclosing any of their confidential materials relating to iPhone.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #52
What if like 10,000 developers simultaneously breach the NDA. They can't get all of you, can they? Rasp

Do it outside of 1 Infinite Loop and bring lots of acoustic guitars and long colorful ribbons, also. Smile

Additionally, I was looking at the public part of the agreement and it seemed like it might be possible to form some sort of private "club" where you could then legally share things. But IANAL.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 623
Joined: 2007.09
Post: #53
That's a good idea if it would work(the club, I mean). Count me out for the 10000 revolting devs Rasp

- Lincoln Green
http://www.binkworks.com/
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,570
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #54
aarku Wrote:Additionally, I was looking at the public part of the agreement and it seemed like it might be possible to form some sort of private "club" where you could then legally share things. But IANAL.

IANAL either, but I got the same impression that one could have some sort of "organization" where everyone in the organization specifically signed an agreement for that organization not to violate the terms of the agreement (it wasn't clear if that was for Apple's agreement or the organization's agreement, which adds to the confusion), and would thus then be okay to discuss it [Apple's proprietary iPhone material] amongst the members of said organization. Again, I don't really understand what that was all about, but there may be hope for such a "club".

There is for sure a section that mentions that Apple can authorize funky stuff like that in writing (obviously can't quote the specifics). I don't have the resources, but perhaps someone else around here could consider starting up a private club for this and writing Apple for permission for a password protected forum which only allows others who have signed Apple's agreement? I doubt Apple's organization could be able to process such a request in a timely manner, plus I'm sure they'd need to figure out other details to protect their agreement, but maybe they'd at least be interested in accommodating the request enough that the paperwork might make it past the front door. You never know! Smile

Wishful thinking, I'm sure, but *we independent developers* are in a position where these kinds of options aren't completely ridiculous -- especially without knowledge of Apple's intentions with the NDA.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 108
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #55
I wonder if another way around it is to have developers work as separate subsidiaries under one parent company name (e.g. iPhoneMonkeyCode Management). Therefore, their products are still fully owned and submitted through their individual companies, but the parent company provides the communication channel for all subsidiaries.

The only catch in this is that it could work with individual developers, but not for fully formed companies or LLCs as it would greatly complicate many aspects of business management, open the door to ownership issues and tax complexities.

Therefore, in most cases, it's definitely more trouble than what it's worth. Wacko

ProRattaFactor
(Retro-infused games for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac)
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 108
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #56
Quote:3. Confidentiality. As a Registered iPhone Developer, you may be receiving information from Apple. You agree that all information disclosed by Apple to you that relates to Apple's products, designs, business plans, business opportunities, finances, research, development, know-how, personnel, or third-party confidential information, will be considered and referred to collectively as "Confidential Information." Information that otherwise would be deemed Confidential Information but (a) is generally available to the public through no fault or breach of this Agreement by you, (b) is independently developed by you without the use of any Confidential Information, © was rightfully obtained from a third party who had the right to transfer or disclose it to you without limitation, or (d) any third party software and/or documentation provided to you by Apple and accompanied by licensing terms that do not impose confidentiality obligations on the use or disclosure of such software and/or documentation will not be considered Confidential Information under this Agreement. You agree not to disclose, publish, or disseminate any Confidential Information to anyone other than to other Registered iPhone Developers who are employees and contractors working for the same entity as you and then only to the extent that Apple does not otherwise prohibit such disclosure in this Agreement. Except for your authorized purposes as a Registered iPhone Developer, you agree not to use Confidential Information in any way, including, without limitation, for your own or any third party's benefit without the prior written approval of an authorized representative of Apple in each instance.
I bolded the key words in the above paragraph that I think is the key factor in interpreting the NDA's confidentiality agreement. Confidentiality only applies to information moving from Apple to developer. (Also note: disclosed = make secret or new information known). How does one accurately and measurably distinguish between secret and new information from openly accessible and currently existing information?

Perhaps this is why WordPress has released their code to the public. Perhaps there's no description in the contract or statement on the developer web site that defines or explicitly states what is "secret" and what is "new." (Or, perhaps they got permission from Apple.)

Regardless, from reading this, it seems that people should be allowed to share their own code that they exclusively developed for their games/applications, just not anything that directly ties into specific development practices for the device itself that is not "publicly" available. So, there are things that can be discussed while there are other things that can not be discussed. (However, it seems that developers need device-specific technical assistance and not non-device coding approaches. Therefore, this interpretation doesn't help much for getting around device-specific hurdles. (Unless, of course, those device-specific workarounds have been made publicly available by other people at which then could be re-shared with others with no fault or breach of contract.)

Thoughts?

ProRattaFactor
(Retro-infused games for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac)
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,570
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #57
You're not supposed to quote any part of the agreement because the agreement itself is labeled as confidential. Heck, you're not even supposed to talk about specifics of the agreement. The only reason I've ever said anything about section 5.3 of the agreement is because that was publicly disclosed by Apple as pertaining to the NDA portion of the document. This situation is very very tricky.

Quote:How does one accurately and measurably distinguish between secret and new information from openly accessible and currently existing information?
Whatever Apple has already disclosed publicly is okay to talk about -- like for instance, iPhone uses OpenGL ES. But they haven't said what *version* of OpenGL ES that is. You have to make a "reasonable" effort. What that means is that you can't necessarily get away with playing dumb when you accidentally disclose confidential material. If Apple believes you might have done it intentionally they can file an injunction against you until the matter is resolved.

Quote:Thoughts?
Yes, it is riddled with gray area. I still don't see anything that would prohibit an "entity" as being a "club". As long as that club is held to the same level of non-disclosure that the terms of the agreement lay out, then it doesn't *appear* to me to be a problem. If someone wants to start said club, however, I would highly recommend getting an attorney's interpretation of it.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 108
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #58
AnotherJake Wrote:You're not supposed to quote any part of the agreement because the agreement itself is labeled as confidential. Heck, you're not even supposed to talk about specifics of the agreement. The only reason I've ever said anything about section 5.3 of the agreement is because that was publicly disclosed by Apple as pertaining to the NDA portion of the document. This situation is very very tricky.
The agreement isn't confidential. It's not secret or new information. It's a link on the log-in page before a person actually logs in. It is "publicly" accessible in nature since there is no need to sign up as an iphone developer in order to get it. It provides the verbiage/backdrop to see if the developer agrees to the terms of use before they sign up. It also doesn't state that the document itself is confidential anywhere in the document itself: http://developer.apple.com/iphone/terms/...eloper.pdf

Why are people interpreting that they can't talk about the "terms of use" agreement when Apple has made it publicly available?

ProRattaFactor
(Retro-infused games for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac)
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,570
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #59
Whoah! Blink

That's not the same agreement I'm reading! The one I'm talking about says, on the third line down from the top (in bold): "Confidential - Restricted Internal Use Only; No Redistribution" and you can't get to this one unless you sign in.

So we have a major WTF situation going on here... I don't know what to make of it just yet.

[edit] One thing that sticks out right away is that the one you're reading is labeled:

REGISTERED iPHONE DEVELOPER
TERMS AND CONDITIONS

And the one I'm reading is labeled:

iPhone SDK Agreement
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 108
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #60
AnotherJake Wrote:[edit] One thing that sticks out right away is that the one you're reading is labeled:

REGISTERED iPHONE DEVELOPER
TERMS AND CONDITIONS

And the one I'm reading is labeled:

iPhone SDK Agreement
Interesting... I wonder if the rest of the document has the same information though. That'll be the kicker!

Hmm....

Furthermore, if they are two separate documents (one accessible for non-signees (the public) and another for those that have signed up (registered developers)) which hold the same "terms of use" information, then the private one should no longer be deemed confidential according to Paragraph 3, Statement (a) of their very own "public" Terms of Use document, correct?

ProRattaFactor
(Retro-infused games for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac)
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply