Every few months, Apple updates its Developer Program License, prompting developers to review and agree to the new terms before they can continue publishing app updates.
Given the lengthy nature of the agreement (33,053 words), it's likely that most developers don't thoroughly read through the document to grasp the changes, or understand the critical business terms within. Toassist with this, here is a summary as generated by ChatGPT, with a concise summary of the key sections of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement as of December 2023.
Business Terms Summary of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement
- Scope of Agreement: This section outlines the agreement's applicability, covering the development, testing, and submission of applications for Apple's operating systems. It specifies the use of Apple's software, services, and developer tools under set terms and conditions.
- Apple Software and Services: Describes the licensing terms for Apple's proprietary software and services provided to developers. It includes limitations on the use of Apple's intellectual property and the requirement for developers to adhere to Apple's guidelines and not misuse its software.
- Your Obligations: Stipulates the legal age, accuracy of information, compliance with the agreement, responsibility for costs and liabilities, and non-interference with Apple's business practices. It also covers the permissible uses of Apple's software and services, including restrictions on illegal activities and the distribution of applications.
- Changes to Program Requirements or Terms: Apple reserves the right to modify the program requirements or agreement terms. New requirements do not retroactively apply to already distributed applications but non-compliant apps may be removed. Continued use of Apple’s services requires acceptance of new terms.
- Apple Certificates; Revocation: Covers the necessity of Apple certificates for application distribution, the responsibilities of developers regarding certificate security and usage, and the circumstances under which Apple may revoke these certificates.
- Application Submission and Selection: Details the process for submitting applications to Apple for distribution, including the need for compliance with current standards and guidelines. It outlines various distribution methods, such as the App Store, Ad Hoc distribution, and TestFlight.
- Distribution of Applications and Libraries: Explains the authorized distribution channels for applications developed under the agreement, including the App Store, Ad Hoc distribution, and TestFlight. Libraries can be developed and distributed for use with Apple-branded products, with certain restrictions.
- Program Fees: Developers must pay an annual non-refundable program fee, which is subject to automatic renewal. The fee covers licensing rights under the agreement, and developers are responsible for any related taxes.
- Confidentiality: Establishes the confidentiality obligations for developers regarding pre-release Apple information, the protection of such information, and the non-confidential nature of information submitted to Apple. Public statements about the agreement require Apple's approval.
- Indemnification: Developers must indemnify Apple against claims and losses related to breaches of the agreement, intellectual property infringement, and other specified scenarios, including defense obligations and restrictions on settlement agreements affecting Apple.
- Term and Termination: Specifies the agreement's duration and conditions under which it can be terminated by either party. Upon termination, developers must cease using Apple's software and services and destroy all related materials, with certain agreement provisions surviving termination.
- NO WARRANTY: Apple disclaims all warranties regarding its software and services, emphasizing that they are provided “as is” and the entire risk lies with the developer. Apple is not liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or data loss related to its software or services.