The EFF has posted one of Apple's most secret and most confidential documents – its developer agreement that all devs must sign in order to access the company's iPhone SDK.
The EFF found a creative way to legally get and publish the document, an act that would surely invoke the Apple's legal wrath. Noticing that NASA had an app, the EFF used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to ask NASA for a copy, "so that the general public could see what rules controlled the technology they could use with their phones."
Originally NASA responded with a March 2009 version of the agreement but the story has been updated with a January 2010 version. Here's a direct link to the 33 page PDF document. Great bedtime reading.
The contents of the agreement are hardly surprising, the EFF’s Fred von Lohmann summed up the highlights:
- A ban on public statements, forbidding developers to speak about the agreement.
- Apps made with the iPhone software development kit can only be distributed through the App Store, meaning rejected apps can’t be served through the underground app store Cydia, for instance.
- Apple indemnifies itself against developer liability surpassing $50, meaning if developers get sued, Apple will be liable for no more than $50 in damages.
- No reverse engineering, or enabling others to reverse-engineer, the iPhone SDK.
- No messing with Apple products. That means no apps that enable modifying or hacking Apple products are allowed.
- Apple can “revoke digital certification of any of Your Applications at any time.” No surprise there: Your app can be pulled even if it’s already been approved, which we’ve already seen happen a number of times.