My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Apple and the Copyright Office - Developers Christmas bonus up in smoke

Friday, July 30, 2010

Apple and the Copyright Office - Developers Christmas bonus up in smoke


“Same thing again”

Comment by Assassin as Agent Sasko in the song Same Thing Again

It seems that the Black Sabbath of Apple has now become a Troubling Tuesday for Apple, with a ruling being handed down by the Copyright Office in the United States of America in favor of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) that reinterprets the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

This makes it perfectly legal to “jailbreak” your Apple iPhone or any smart phone for that matter as stated in the article “Feds say mobile-phone jailbreaking is OK”, published July 26, 2010 10:31 AM PDT by Declan McCullagh, Politics and Law - CNET News and further elucidate in the article “On Call: Go ahead an jailbreak, its legal now”, published July 27, 2010 2:20 PM PDT by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In.

This is a very Dark Day for Developers, both internationally and in the United States of America, as Developers live all around the world, even in Milk River, Clarendon in Jamaica, home to myself and at least three (3) other Developers on the Google Android Platform.

Jail breaking allows the more technically savvy among us who for some strange reason dislike the Apple iPhone to remove the software restrictions on the operating system that restrict users for installing Third Party application on the Apple iPhone, effectively opening up the normally closed platform to competition.

This differs from unlocking, which specifically relates to removing the SIM Locking on the smart phone as it relates to being able to access only one Telecom Provider, that being Telecom Provider AT&T.

Personally, John Public, who is a software Developer and Blogger rolled into one, is of the view that if you want to have an unlocked phone, you should buy one and not buy a locked phone and unlock it, as you are in violation of your contract with your Telecom Provider no matter if your service is a Postpaid Contract, Prepaid (Postpaid in Jamaica) or Pay-as-you-go (Prepaid in Jamaica) as this is just plain wrong.

Worse, you phone can end up “bricked”, an American colloquial expression effectively referring to you pricey phone becoming an expensive paperweight. This I would venture to say is the first time that CNET News’s opinion as stated in the article “What the iPhone-jailbreaking ruling means (FAQ)”, published July 27, 2010 4:00 AM PDT by Erica Ogg and Declan McCullagh, CNET News - Circuit Breaker is not of value to me

In my eyes, they [Copyright Office] have let down CEO Steve Jobs, all the Apple Engineers and Developers who have devoted much time and effort in the perfection of our craft as from the soundings of all of this, it will also affect Apps being built for the Apple iPad, effectively killing my Christmas Bonus from this new device platform, which John Public created to save newspapers and encourage reading in the first place.

Oh, snap!

The media seems to be glamorizing the fact that the removal of the legal cloud over ones head as it relates to criminal prosecution is a win for the customer, despite still being bound by the contractual obligations to Apple as it relates to their Apple iPhone Software License Agreement that still voids the warranty on the phone is jail broken, as obviously they cannot be liable for any problems with their device afterwards.

Thus it seems the onus is being placed on Apple Engineers to devise new methods of preventing their products from being jail broken, as the previous iOS updates are just not working.

Worse, it is unfair to us Developers, as it will allow persons to install Third Party Apps that may make the Apple iPhone unstable and thus degrade the functionality of an otherwise excellent instrument, which is now making billions for both Apple and it core of Developers.

It may see an erosion of our 70% of the retail price derived from the sale of the Apps and 60% from the advertising revenue with iAd. Quality of the user experience will be severely affected, as Developers for Apple who sell their Apps under the Apple Apps store are bound by contractual restrictions as diverse as:

  1. An effective ban of the use of Adobe Flash or the porting of Apps that were originally coded in Adobe Flash
  2. Poking fun at public figures
  3. Pornography as opposed to nude pictures or “art”

On this basis Sports Illustrated and Playboy Apps are allowed to remain as stated in the video news report “CNET Buzz Report”, aired March 1 2010, by Molly Wood, CNET News.

With the Apple iPhone 4.0 and Apple iPad selling like hot cakes since Apple debut the Apple iPad on the weekend of Saturday April 3rd and Sunday April 4th 2010 and the Apple iPhone 4.0 on Thursday June 24th 2010 and Tuesday June 29th 2010 with serious component shortages as stated in the article “White iPhone 4 faces manufacturing woes; iPad too”, published Friday July 24 2010 by  Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo News and confirmed by the article “LG overwhelmed by iPad display orders”, published by July 23, 2010 9:56 AM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

Everyone was definitely looking forwards to a Christmas bonus from the record breaking sales of these two (2) new devices.

The other smart phone platform is beginning to look even less attractive, as Google Android OS is affected by the ruling as well and has lax, less quality standards baked into their development process and is running on so many smart phones, making it very difficult to design Apps for the various screen sizes and operational parameters.

Not to mention whispering of its Apple-killing capabilities, which as far as I am concerned, are quite plausible but not slated to occur any time soon as stated the article “Out-of-stock Droid X is Best-Selling Android Phone”, published Tuesday July 27, 2010 by Adam Dickter, newsfactor.com, Yahoo News, which may explain Telecom Provider Digicel adoption of the Motorola Droid for their network.

Then again, the gravy train ride of a US$1 billion dollars in 2009 as stated in the article “Apple's Endless expanding app universe”, published Monday April 26, 2010 By Peter Burrows, Businessweek - FEATURES to Developers was bound to come to an end soon, and this is but the first nail in the coffin for Developers.

Christmas may be bright for everyone except for Developers, with Death now staring us in the Face with this recent ruling that will see the destruction of the Apps Universe that CEO Steve Jobs built.
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