I really, really hope there’s a lot more to this story than what the rejection email implies:
Thank you for submitting i2Reader 3.0.1 to the App Store. We’ve reviewed i2Reader 3.0.1 and determined that we cannot post this version of your application to the App Store at this time because this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.
If you believe you can make the necessary modifications to bring your application in compliance with iPhone Software License Agreement, we encourage you to do so and resubmit it for review.
This scares me, first of all, because a lot of apps — including my own — could potentially be used in ways that violate major publishers’ copyrights (what I assume Apple means by “third party rights”). So could many of Apple’s built-in apps: Phone, Mail, Safari, iPod, Messages, Photos, Camera, Notes, YouTube, and Voice Memos.
If the word “often” is important, which is probably the intent of the rule, this still applies to at least iPod and YouTube.
Now, I’m willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt on this one because of this note in the blog post:
[i2Reader] was one of the first e-book readers for jailbroken iPhones, and a quite popular one. Finally we’ve decided to bring it to the App Store […]. Since then all we are getting from Apple are rejects (about nine of them, including the famous 17+ for included webview) […].
It sounds like there’s a lot more to the story: Apple just didn’t want this particular app, and they’re hiding behind whatever rule they could throw at it that might seem remotely valid.
This could be for any number of reasons, including:
- The app was very popular on jailbroken phones, where it really was used to read large quantities of pirated ebooks.
- Developing an app for jailbroken phones requires you to violate a lot of Apple’s terms and agreements as both a user and an App Store developer.
- The app could be undesirable or inappropriate for the App Store for any number of other reasons that would have caused nine rejections. Sure, Apple’s nitpicks can cause two or three unexpected rejections, but nine is a lot and most likely indicate some fundamental problems.
For the time being, I’m willing to chalk this one up as a fluke for which we don’t know the whole story. I hope that’s all it is.