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  1. PreGame's Avatar
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       #1  
    According to the TOS located at Palm SDK License Agreement - webOSdev - Palm. Clause 4.3
    4.3 Applications Can Only Be Distributed Through the Palm Application Catalog. Developer acknowledges and agrees, that absent a separate written agreement with Palm, Developer may not distribute any Application except as allowed by Palm’s formal approved distribution process and channel (the “Application Catalog”). Developer acknowledges and agrees that (a) distribution of Applications will be subject to further terms and conditions, which may include a share of the revenue generated from sale of the Applications to be paid to Palm by Developer, where such terms and conditions shall be presented to Developer upon or before Developer’s request for distribution of any Application, (b) because of certain laws, regulations, as well as contractual or other restrictions, Palm may refuse to allow the distribution of certain types of Applications, and (c) distributed Applications may be viewable or inspectable by third parties, and Palm is not obligated to take any steps to obfuscate the code associated with the Applications or take any other steps to prevent third parties from viewing or inspecting Application code.
    states that by accepting the TOS you are NOT allowed to distribute / give out your application by any means other than Palm's APP CATALOG. This means that if you develop or plan to develop applications for Precentral.net or any other 3rd party webos sites, you will not be able to legally distribute applications.

    Palm seems to be taking their sweet time in adding applications to the app catalog so I would recommend using the information on http://predev.wikidot.com to continue making your applications. Right now Palm is acting like Apple and only allowing distribution of their applications via THEIR means.

    If you have already accepted their TOS you can send them an email requesting a cancellation of TOS Acception. However, if you have plenty of money and don't mind lawsuits by all means feel free to accept the TOS and distribute your apps as you wish.

    EDIT:
    This includes distribution through email for testing purposes.

    I recommend all developers post their feelings and opinions in this thread so that we have a central location to show Palm how this clause affects developers.
    Last edited by PreGame; 07/16/2009 at 12:14 PM.
  2. rmbwebs's Avatar
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    #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by PreGame View Post
    . . . by accepting the TOS you are NOT allowed to distribute / give out your application . . .
    No need to add language to it. The entire clause rests upon the meaning of "Distribute".

    There is a difference between distribution and collaboration. Collaboration is what is happening for most of the home brew apps. I highly doubt that every app in the catalog will be necessarily developed by one individual.


    Quote Originally Posted by PreGame View Post
    According to the TOS located at
    EDIT:
    This includes distribution through email for testing purposes.
    Oh really? Is that a newsflash? Thanks for your interpretation. . . I'll wait for Palm's
  3. #3  
    I think this TOS was blogged about a few weeks ago already.
  4. #4  
    I'm curious how Palm is going to enforce 4.3 in light of their own 3.3:

    3.3 Open Source Software. Developer hereby acknowledges that the Palm Materials may contain Open Source Software. Developer agrees to review any documentation that accompanies the Palm Materials or is identified in a link provided in the documentation for the Palm Materials in order to determine which portions of the Palm Materials are Open Source Software and are licensed under an Open Source Software license. To the extent any such license requires that Palm provide Developer the rights to copy, modify, distribute or otherwise use any Open Source Software that are inconsistent with the limited rights granted to Developer in this Agreement, then such rights in the applicable Open Source Software license shall take precedence over the rights and restrictions granted in this Agreement, but solely with respect to such Open Source Software. Developer acknowledges that the Open Source Software license is solely between Developer and the applicable licensor of the Open Source Software. Developer shall comply with the terms of all applicable Open Source Software licenses, if any.
    I suspect that there are many pieces of WebOS that can be integrated into an application that would force Palm to allow other distribution channels under the open source licensing.
  5. PreGame's Avatar
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       #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by rmbwebs View Post
    No need to add language to it. The entire clause rests upon the meaning of "Distribute".

    There is a difference between distribution and collaboration. Collaboration is what is happening for most of the home brew apps. I highly doubt that every app in the catalog will be necessarily developed by one individual.
    Collaboration does not require the distribution of an .ipk. You can take this information as you wish, this is merely a warning for those that wish to create applications and distribute them legally.
  6. Fishous's Avatar
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    #6  
    I sent them an email telling them they could count me out, it included this in part:

    Count me out. I'm not going to have all my effort being at jeopardy of
    palm deciding they don't want my app.

    Congratulations, you're just like Apple now.
    Last edited by Fishous; 07/16/2009 at 12:03 PM.
    Mike Dixon
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  7. PreGame's Avatar
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       #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishous View Post
    I sent them an email telling them they could count, it included this in part:
    LOL Nice one.

    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    I'm curious how Palm is going to enforce 4.3 in light of their own 3.3:



    I suspect that there are many pieces of WebOS that can be integrated into an application that would force Palm to allow other distribution channels under the open source licensing.
    Indeed this could be a loophole. Are you aware of an open source license that does not place a restriction on distribution methods?
  8. #8  
    Just FYI, if you've read the SDK agreement, then you've also seen:

    4.2 Application Signing. Developer acknowledges and agrees that Applications which access or make use of Palm’s APIs may not be installed or used on Palm Devices, except in a test environment, without first being signed with a certificate issued by or for Palm.

    That to me indicates sideloading will be allowed for testing. As far as I'm concerned PreCentral's Homebrew section is all app testing and the homebrew section won't face any legal issues.

    In that sense, Developers will be allowed to host public test builds on their website. That is huge! The biggest pitfall of the IPhone is that developers have to wait through the app store process to get new builds to the public. This clause allows developers to do just that, while they await the official update to reach the App Catalog.

    Plus, Palm has publicly said they want the App submission/update process more streamlined and faster than the iPhone App Store. If Palm can do that, I don't have any problem with the current App Catalog system.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by PreGame View Post
    ...
    Indeed this could be a loophole. Are you aware of an open source license that does not place a restriction on distribution methods?
    I don't know what open source software Palm uses on the Pre, so I don't know which ones to check; however, a quick look at the GNU GPL (I think, the most popular one) shows this:

    6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License.
    In addition, Palm's on agreement seems to be self-contridictory:

    6.2 Developer’s License Grant to Community. Developer hereby grants to Palm, its affiliates, and any developer who has agreed to substantially similar terms as this Agreement (a “Community Developer”), a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable (through multiple tiers) and transferable license, under Developer’s Intellectual Property Rights, to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare Derivative Works of, display, perform, modify, adapt, publish and otherwise exploit the DCI which Developer contributes, shares or distributes through use of the Tools (“Developer’s Contribution”) in any media formats and through any media channels now known or later developed. Nothing herein shall require Developer to make any Developer Contribution, which shall be at Developer’s sole discretion.
    So, on the one hand, Palm says you can only distribute through us, but on the other, they say you're giving them a non-exclusive license to distribute. I'm no lawyer, and have never even played one on TV, but I suspect the folks my wife works for could have fun with this...
  10. PreGame's Avatar
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       #10  
    So it sounds like if we make our application open source with the GNU license then it can be distributed however we like. Great find!
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by PreGame View Post
    So it sounds like if we make our application open source with the GNU license then it can be distributed however we like. Great find!
    Well, I would say (and it's just my opinion), that using 3.3 from Palm, it would mean if you use anything that Palm also used, that's distributed under the GNU GPL, then Palm would not be able to restrict you from distributing how you choose.
  12. #12  
    And where does this leave innerbusiness applications? We have a scheduling program wrote by me. I was planning on writing a Pre applications for distribution through the office(granted, I'm the only one who has a Pre). Does this mean I have to put it on the app store just to allow my co-workers to also enjoy my application?

    Palm needs to realize that no single distribution method will work for everyone, especially if that distribution method is controlled exclusively by one party. Something along the lines of APT or YUM would work fantastic for most people. Have official Palm standard apps, then let people install their own repositories. Sure, it's much harder to implement, but the payoff would be very sweet.
  13. #13  
    I would look at Apple and the iPhone. Think about it, the homebrew scene for the iPhone (i.e. Cydia, Installer) etc have been doing it for a long time. I suspect Apple's restrictions are even more strict than Palm and Cydia actually took things a step further by allowing people to buy apps from their "Cydia App Store". Others sold jailbroken ready software directly from websites (i.e. Intelliscreen, iRealSMS, etc).

    This wording could be legal jargon required by lawyers to protect Palm (i.e. they may not enforce these rules with legal actions unless say someone decided to create an app that did damage to phones with malicious intent), or they might have every intent on enforcing it across the board.

    Palm would be seriously foolish to start turning into the RIAA of WebOS over the use of their SDK and side-loading of applications. Let's get real, Palm is no where near where BB, MS, Android, or Apple is right now. They're waaaaaay behind the curve. Smacking down the very people that got behind your product early on would be foolish! Not to say that companies don't do foolish things but it wouldn't be smart. I'm having a hard enough time cleaning up my drool over the new Sony Xperia X2 "Rachael" running Android. And part of why I switched from the iPhone was the excessive controlling of use of my cell phone by Apple & AT&T (i.e. no slingplayer over 3G, but other phones can, more expensive data plan, the list goes on).

    I would urge one or more developers to ask for an interpretation/clarification. And hey, if all else fails I'd be willing to buy a domain and allow everyone to host/post applications acting as sort of the middleman [site] for collaborative "testing" of apps.

    Maybe PreCentral wants to stay on the up and up, but not everyone is going to want to follow the rules if those rules are so restrictive that it hinders the usability of our phones and the applications for which we want but aren't coming to fruition by means of the App catalog.

    I would ask for clarification and if they're not helpful take it with a grain of salt and move full speed ahead. They're not going to just start slapping down lawsuits they will surely get their registered agent to write up a threatening letter at which point we can talk smack about how Palm is treating the homebrew scene like step children and move to plan "B".

    Worst case scenario it will turn into a cat and mouse game like iPhone and QuickPwn, Apple updates firmware, QuickPwn updates software. Life goes on there will always be a backdoor. For example, what if you got the SDK but somehow the TOS was missing? Maybe a version of the SDK wasn't the original but you downloaded it elsewhere because you didn't know any better and the TOS was mysteriously removed from the package? Hmmm. I'm reaching but you get the idea.


    Side Note:
    I like that some senator wants to change some of this exclusivity crap. They want to stop people like Apple and Palm from having exclusive carrier contracts. That alone would cut down on some of this controlling BS.

    But now I'm also starting to see a need for some legislation that would limit the control people like Palm and Apple have over applications. I like that Windows Mobile has always been open (as far as what you can load on your phone, if someone created it and you wanted it, you could load it). Of course the idea of an App store is great makes things easier to find and install, but why can't their be competition, why must there be a monopoly on application distribution?
    Last edited by derrickonline; 07/16/2009 at 12:34 PM.
  14. rmbwebs's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by PreGame View Post
    Collaboration does not require the distribution of an .ipk. You can take this information as you wish, this is merely a warning for those that wish to create applications and distribute them legally.
    That's just my point, you are not providing "merely a warning" you are re-interpreting the language into your own words and adding terms like "give out". We are quite able to read the clause ourselves.
  15. #15  
    I personally don't think Palm is going to pull an Apple on us. I honestly believe, and it was to my understanding, that the PreCentral forums were only for testing purposes. That's the reason we weren't going all out on hosting our applications and advertising for them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was only going to load my "finished" app here so that the brave few might test it. Once they were done testing, I would wait for the App Catologue to show up so I could submit my app.

    You HONESTLY believe that Palm will say: "Hmmm... I don't like the way your app looks... sorry... We won't put it in our catalogue, tough luck. We understand that we only have 12 apps in our catalogue, but there's no way we can benefit from yours"

    I don't think Palm has the ability (nor are they at such a position, as a company) to be able to refuse ANY application being submitted. Ofcourse, if your app takes up half the Pre's resources to calculate how much tip you should pay, I think they have a legitimate and completely justified reason to deny your app.

    If we URGE palm to realize that the PreCentral forums are PURELY a TEST environment, I think we should be fine. If they REALLY want us to, we could just remove the ipk's and put up folders instead. Most of us here know how to palm-package anyway, no harm done.

    I honestly think we should stop complaining and just develop.

    Besides, who here DOES NOT want their app in the official catalogue?
  16. PreGame's Avatar
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       #16  
    We aren't complaining we are trying to make sure we are following their TOS legally. As stated above you do not need to sign your applications for testing but it does not say you can distribute your test application on 3rd party sites. It just says "distribute" and does not negate test or release.
  17. atlanta's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    Well, I would say (and it's just my opinion), that using 3.3 from Palm, it would mean if you use anything that Palm also used, that's distributed under the GNU GPL, then Palm would not be able to restrict you from distributing how you choose.
    See if you can ask and see what your wife's people say.
  18. #18  
    I would guess that suing me into oblivion for posting my app up on a forum for free isn't step #1.

    So I'm not really concerned by this...



    Let me know when an actual lawyer posts.
    Last edited by oil; 07/16/2009 at 12:40 PM.
  19. #19  
    But it shouldn't be a purely test environment. We don't want Palm as the gatekeeper of what is on our phones. I, as a user, not a developer, don't want Palm telling me what I can and can't have on my phone. I'm fine with them having a store where I can easily find a large number of applications with a certain level of quality and an easy payment system for purchasing applications through that store. That's actually quite fantastic. But if I want an application that, for whatever reason, doesn't make it into the applications store, I don't think Palm should be telling me no.

    As someone who might develop an application(and if he does, it will certainly go on the applications store), I don't want Palm telling me the only way I'm allowed to distribute my application is through them, if and more importantly when they approve of it.

    All together, it's bad for everyone, including Palm, for them to be dictating who can distribute what to who when.
  20. #20  
    Sierato:

    I think you're missing the point though I agree with many of your points. The issue is really what if you submit and app that allows someone to make a change that Palm doesn't like. It could be grounds for denial. Totally hypothetical but what if they said...we don't want people to be able to customize the "alert notification" so they rejected the MyNotification app.

    None of this would be a problem if Palm, Apple, and Android approved every application regardless and let the consumer make the decision. Granted they should at least test the app to ensure it's not some sort of trojan/virus etc. But it's the control that makes people go out and do their own thing.

    The part where I agree with you is we should stop whining and develop some apps. Try to submit to the catalog if it doesn't work out then go to plan "B". They don't have the resources to stop every application developer when they're working on a shoestring budget as it is.
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