Dave Winer on the Lodsys Mess

Dave Winer: “The gist: Apple requires developers to use an Apple-provided service in order to sell their apps in the App Store. The developers are getting sued for patent infringement for doing this. Apple itself is exempt from being sued because they did a separate deal with the owners of the patent.”

It’s true developer are required to use In App Purchasing if the want to allow you to add to an existing product. A lot of shops do this to upgrade you from the free ad supported version to the paid version that doesn’t include ads. A lot of games use IAP so you can purchase additional levels inside the game. It’s pretty slick, one tap installation.

What’s not entirely accurate is how Dave presents it. Developers do not have to use In App Purchase. You only have to use it if you choose to upgrade your application the easy, duh, makes perfect sense to me, way.

If I had this feature, I’d pull it. I’d make two versions of my application. Free with minimal features and paid, with everything. The free one would include a statement that said something like this.

“Software patents are broken. So broken, in fact, great features that would make this application better were removed because of Patent Troll, Lodsys.”

It would be something like that anyway.

I’m sure there are a few patent trolls just waiting to see how this plays out. Open floodgates, perform cashectomy, and destroy the app developer echosystem.

By Rob Fahrni

Husband / Father / Developer