iphonesdkDevelopers and news outlets alike have been up in arms about the clarification made in the agreement signed by developers before receiving the SDK. Unfortunately, there have been some serious misconceptions about what, if anything, has actually changed and what it will mean for both the official development and jailbroken communities.

Section 3.2 Use of the SDK, paragraph (e) states:

(e) You will not, through use of the SDK or otherwise, create any Application or other program that would disable, hack or otherwise interfere with any security, digital signing, digital rights management, content protection, verification or authentication mechanisms implemented in or by the iPhone operating system software, iPod touch operating system software, this SDK, or other Apple software, services or technology, or enable others to do so.


This part of the agreement is listed out exactly the same in the most current SDK agreement available on Apple’s website as it is in the October 2008 version. There have been no changes made in either version that I have myself searched through, which makes it very interesting that now is when everyone takes a moment to look at it.

Paragraph (e) of Section 3.2 in the SDK agreement basically states that by signing this agreement you can’t create or assist in creating any jailbreak apps, regardless of whether you use their specific SDK to do so. As this has been part of the agreement for quite a while now and we have yet to see Apple publicly take any action against developers based on this paragraph, I find myself stumped as to why this is now considered to be an issue.

To make matters more confusing, Ars Technica has quoted a paragraph (f), which through all my searching in both documents, doesn’t seem to exist. Here is the paragraph (f) that they stated:

(f) Applications developed using the Apple Software may only be distributed if selected by Apple (in its sole discretion) for distribution via the App Store or for limited distribution on Registered Devices (ad hoc distribution) as contemplated in this Agreement.

Now, without having seen that paragraph in either agreements that I have looked through, it’s hard to give it any grounds for validity. There are no paragraphs with that wording, let alone a paragraph labeled (f) in the either documents. While it would certainly provide Apple with grounds for legal action against all developers who signed the agreement and then sold applications on the Cydia App Store or any other third party source. It will be interesting to find out where this paragraph actually came from or if it was just removed at some point from the agreement. Although, wouldn’t that mean that those who signed it when it was in there are now subject to its terms while others aren’t?

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