In response to widespread criticism from the iPhone development community, Apple (AAPL) said Wednesday that it has decided to drop its restrictive 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”, said the company in a statement. “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, Apple recognizes the fact that the NDA has “created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success”, which is why they are dropping it for released software.
Up until now, because of the NDA, IPhone developers have been legally banned from sharing programming tips. They were not allowed to openly discuss or write blog posts on the iPhone SDK and development practices. They couldn’t even simply ask questions of one another in forums or over e-mail. This, logically – led many developers to reach a high level of frustration since they were coding under very restrictive development conditions. This aspect was also seen by many as rather excessive, and more importantly, as a major obstacle in iPhone application advancement.
The Cupertino-based company said it is currently drafting a new agreement without an NDA covering released software.