It’s vital to release software with a set of Terms and Conditions for all the reasons outlined here (and then some).

Apple’s System

Apple has a legal framework in place for developers publishing software through its App Store.

When a developer releases software through the App Store, unless the developer specifies otherwise, the software will be subject to Apple’s standard Licensed Application End User Licence Agreement (Apple EULA).  The Apple EULA does have some benefits for developers, but in reality, it’s mainly there to protect Apple.  If you’re an Australian developer, the Apple EULA does not take your interests into account.  The most obvious problem is that the Apple EULA is governed by Californian law, which means that disputes under the agreement would be ruled by a foreign body of law.  There are also questions about whether or not certain provisions of the Apple EULA would survive scrutiny under the Australian Consumer Law.

Apple offers the option for developers to release software with customised terms (Customised Terms).  An explanation of how to do that is here.  While Apple offers the freedom to developers to use Customised Terms, by using the App Store, developers agree to make sure that their Customised Terms take care of certain issues.  Apple’s requirements are set out here.

iOS developers should be familiar with:

From the perspective of an Australian developer, there are issues with Apple’s EULA.  When you release an app, it’s a good idea to use Customised Terms.

The Android System

Apple’s app store has a heavily prescribed process for displaying your terms - the app stores for Android applications are less prescriptive.

The major app stores for Android applications are:

Google Play

A brief outline of the Google Play legal framework for developers is available here.  The main agreement between developers and Google Play is the Developer Distribution Agreement, which is supplemented by the Google Play Developer Program Policies. These terms should be reviewed to ensure that your App’s EULA is not inconsistent with your obligations to Google.

To publish a EULA in association with an App on Google Play, market standard practice seems to be the simple inclusion of a link in the  App’s “Description” and “Contact Developer” fields. Take a look at this example and this example.

Amazon App Store

The relationship between developers and Amazon’s Appstore for Android is governed by the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal Terms of Use and the Mobile App Distribution Agreement.  Again, these terms need to be reviewed to ensure that they’re not inconsistent with the EULA that you want to use with your App.

Like Google Play, market practice for displaying an App’s EULA seems to be adding a link to the app description, as in this case.

Takeaways

Android developers should be familiar with:

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