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The iPhone SDK and free software: not a match

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on April 16, 2008 07:14 PM
from the article.

> But the result still would not qualify as free software, since no one could alter your source code and run the modified result on their phone.

This is fundamentally flawed on several dimensions.

1. GPL is not == to Free/Open Software. I know the GNU spinmeisters like that FUD but it is just that; FUD.

2. It is "free" (as in freedom) . It isn't "free" (as in beer). If that other person pays $99 they can compile and build/run the app on their phone too.
Seems like there is a misdirected whining here about having to pay for the dev tools. Often, freedom isn't free (as in beer).

> Those broad restrictions may be standard issue for an NDA, but they constitute a binding agreement that trumps your usual right to place a license of your choosing on your source code.

That is a exceedingly dubious statement. All of the items that Apple is restricting disclosure on is THEIR intellectual proprietary ( and maybe one of their partners who they want to work in conjunction with you with.) None of that is YOUR IP so don't have any "usual right to place" jack squat on that. It isn't YOURS. There is nothing in the quoted restrictions of Apple that mentions YOUR source code at all. So where is this imagined restriction?????

APIs are not "confidential information". The "I" in API is "interface". How can an interface be broadly useful if no one can openly talk about what it is. What Apple is trying to protect is the material behind the API; not the API itself. They are prehaps being a bit close to the vest while the SDK is in the formative stages, but long term it is a contrived reading of the restrictions that casts the APIs themselves as being national/corporate security secretes. Get real. Go try to look up information on the Mac OX API on Apple's website.


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