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Apple Now Requires Developers to Have Permission to Use Public RSS Feeds in Apps
1 min read

Apple Now Requires Developers to Have Permission to Use Public RSS Feeds in Apps

Brent Simmons:

NetNewsWire 5.0.1 for iOS is delayed due to an apparently new, or newly-enforced, issue: if an RSS reader includes default feeds, Apple will ask for documentation that says you have permission to include those default feeds.
 
[…]
 
Specifically, it’s in violation of legal guideline 5.2.2:
 
5.2.2 Third-Party Sites/Services: If your app uses, accesses, monetizes access to, or displays content from a third-party service, ensure that you are specifically permitted to do so under the service’s terms of use. Authorization must be provided upon request.

NetNewsWire is a good actor, in App Store terms—it takes content as-is and displays it. There’s no monetisation of the content. There’s no alteration of the content. Crucially, the included default feeds in NetNewsWire are made available publicly, for free. Asking developers to seek permission to use those feeds seems counter to the purpose of RSS.

Potential solutions:

  • A public NetNewsWire feed directory (like iOS Dev Directory)
  • Individual license agreements for each default feed
  • Scrap default feeds (no!)

I prefer the first of those options. I think it would help with feed discovery in general.

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