Apple's Mac Developer Prorgam license agreement

Evan Schoenberg, M.D. evan at
Thu Oct 28 21:42:21 EDT 2010

On Oct 28, 2010, at 12:52 PM, Ethan Blanton wrote:

> Evan Schoenberg, M.D. spake unto us the following wisdom:
>> Attached is the Mac Developer Program license agreement which I
>> propose to enter into as a representative of and on behalf of IMF. 
>> Doing so is a prerequisite to participating in the Mac App Store as
>> well as to Adium having access to various resources that Apple offers
>> its paid-program developers.
> Thank you for providing this.
> I have no particular problem with this agreement.  It does contain
> some annoying clauses, and things that I would require to have some
> oversight, but only one may be a show stopper, and that's Adium's
> problem to figure out.  In particular:
> 1) We are required to oversee the usage of Apple Development
>   software/documentation/etc. by those authorized by IMF Inc to use
>   said materials.  (p. 5, 3.1c) In my mind, this simply means that we
>   need to make sure that access to the paid materials is kept on a
>   very short leash.  I would make this a condition of entry.  (For
>   example, that you oversee such materials personally, Evan.) I don't
>   want IMF Inc to have liability because some random Adium developer
>   I don't know posts a PDF on a blog.

I'd have no problem taking personal responsibility for this.  We wouldn't be opening up the account for use by any random Adium developers, both for legal reasons and for organizational ones .

> 2) Apple can change the agreement at any time, and the new agreement
>   must be accepted before development may continue under the program.
>   (p. 9) I would require that IMF Inc approve this each time, it
>   cannot just be rubber stamped.

This is reasonable.

> 3) Apple will be receiving a license to use 'libpurple' in promotional
>   materials.  (p. 18) I'm not super happy about that, but neither am
>   I torn up about it.  They will also of course be receiving a
>   license to use 'Adium' in promotional materials, but I don't view
>   that as something IMF Inc should have a particular position on.

I understand the lack of enthusiasm.  If we went ahead with this and Adium were approved (2 big ifs), I can't envision Apple making use of the libpurple side of the license, in any case – they advertise to typical end users, and typical end users see 'Adium' and never delve as far as the About box or developers' pages to learn about 'libpurple'.

> 4) (potential show stopper) While Apple says that FOSS is acceptable
>   and makes reasonable FOSS protections, the EULA addendum says that
>   "The license granted to the end-user for th Licensed Application
>   must be limited to a non-transferable license to use the Licensed
>   Application on a Mac Product that the end user owns and
>   controls[...]".  (p. 22) This is incompatible with the GPL.  I
>   don't think Apple will allow a GPL product to be shipped via the
>   App Store.

I'm afraid you're correct. I hadn't noticed that language previously.  Let's see what the lawyers have to say before passing judgement.


>> I am not a lawyer, but I don't see anything offensive in the
>> agreement.  I'd appreciate timely feedback so we can proceed, if
>> possible.
> Note that I believe this will require a vote, which means we have to
> give several weeks for votes to come in once we finalize on language.
> Ethan

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