Apple legal anger management: One step forward, two steps back

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You know, it's a good thing that Apple is a beloved, cult-like company that makes awesome products that everyone covets, or else people might start to get the idea that the company's legal department is kind of mean. Three moves this week of interest in this arena:

  • Starting on a positive note, the NDA restrictions on the iPhone SDK have been dropped in regards to applications that have been accepted and released onto the App Store. This means that all those "How to write iPhone apps and get filthy rich" books and magazine articles that have been held in reserve to this point ought to be hitting the shelves any day now. Note that this only applies to apps that are selling on the store, so if yours gets rejected, you're still not supposed to complain in public.
  • The National Music Publishers' Association aiming to increase artists' per-song download royalty from 9 to 15 cents, and Apple is threatening to shut down the iTunes store altogether if this happens. Nobody know exactly how much Apple makes on the iTunes store -- I've actually heard whispers that it's in fact a loss leader designed to sell iPods and iPhones -- but a 6-cent drop in revenue on a 99-cent purchase does seem like it would eat into what must be fairly narrow margins. Most people think this is an idle threat, though.
  • Oh, and the Apple-Psystar war still rages, with Apple's saying that Psystar's antitrust claims "ignor[e] fundamental principles of antitrust law, and the realities of the marketplace." Ouch.
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