Apple's petition


Shock and Awe

In May of this year, the lead programmer of the DO-RA project, who had previously worked in large international companies and operated on the iOS mobile platform, called me. He was kindly warned through Apple connect that: in actions, programs, reports and, apparently, in his intentions, signs of fraud, spam, copyright and other rights were identified with their monotonous listing in legal English.

Our programmer wrote an appeal to the company, in the spirit that the licensee did not commit any damaging actions that could harm him, his account, and even more so, Apple. And he began to expect an answer. According to the regulations, consideration of such appeals takes 10-30 days.

While the appeal was being considered, the programmer warned me about the risk of the project and suggested transferring our common user applications to my account from dashing. We did this just before the opening of our store in Amazon, where the final factor in activating the start of sales is the actual delivery of the sold, workable product to one or more logistics hubs in the North American States. By the way, the design in Amazon from Internet bloggers in a week or in a few clicks, which was written about earlier, is very different from reality. We will write separately about this and other ordeals.

In the meantime, the point is, we tested and upgraded our own user application DO-RA.Pro on the iOS mobile platform through a special developer resource - TestFlight, which allows you to check its functionality and catch various bugs on the gadgets produced by the Radio Plant before the official placement of the application in the App Store - DO -RA.Q.

However, having released several versions of our application, we noted that the time for their consideration by the App Store services had already dragged on. Previously, our applications went through the entire cycle of checks from 2 to 5 days. And here the delay is already more than 15 days! I had to write more than 30 letters during this period to the support service - Apple support to find out the reasons for the delay and what happens with the verification of our user application? By the way, our application first appeared on the App Store back in September 2011.

And suddenly, like snow on my head, I already receive exactly the same message through Apple connect - that: you, dear friend, are a scammer, because in your actions, programs, reports, signs of fraud, spam, copyright and other rights have been identified. And that by your action or inaction you can harm the reputation of our respected company, and all this in lovely legal English.

A monosyllabic, harsh thought with a soft sign at the end pierced my brain through and through, and was the most censored concept born in my head in these moments! There was a feeling that you were hit with a butt on the head with the words: - Nothing personal, only business! The letter on this occasion clarified the rights of the licensee, and that everyone can submit in their life only one appeal on this issue of 4000 characters and attach one PDF file, just in case. At the same time, no one was going to provide any explanations about license violations, vivid facts explaining the essence of the accusation, justifying the position of the licensor, other materials and other documents on the essence of your problem, so very “democratic” in the spirit of the times.

Mobilization of the mind

After analyzing specialized Forums of programmers, including on the topic of appeals, it was possible to understand what awaits us in the framework of this event. It turned out that such incidents with development licenses for programmers began in 2015, and that this is quite a routine matter. Moreover, such a solution does not depend on the location of the programmer in one or another economy of the world. Licenses for 1 year were lost: Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, American and other programmers.

However, after a year - as they wrote in the Forums, a similar letter may come that: your actions, programs, reports have identified signs of fraud, spam, copyright infringement and other rights in solid legal English, even if you haven’t touched your computer for a whole year , and were engaged, for example, in fitness. In this regard, at first it seemed to us that there is a chance to restore the lost license, but it is so small that it is easier to bite off a piece of granite.

However, looking for a way out of a hopeless situation is much more interesting than sorting out options for various ways out of the same situation. The first thing that occurred to us was to collect concentrated material about your project, where, directly on the points of the charges against you, clearly and succinctly answer that this is not so, but like that. And that, in particular, all rights, in the form of Certificates, including computer software codes, trademarks and logos, even from FIPS (Rospatent), as well as articles in respected Russian and foreign publications on this topic, including American ones, in full order . Well, that we will still fight for our right until the last programmer ...

Just in case, the appeal text had to recall that the project operator, Intersoft Eurasia, had been working since 2011, and not even a unicorn monster, but still, with a share capital of $ 10 million (for 2013 .) according to an internal peer review by Dow Jones (DJ), and has been listed on the DJ Recommended List for US Venture Capitalists. Our appeal emphasized the fact that since 2013, our industry and its technologies have had a certain interest, just American industry companies for mutual integration and obtaining a synergistic effect at the junction of technologies.

As a result, our appeal turned out on 11 pages of the font - 10.5 Times New, polished and having a chic business style of presenting the problem. All this thanks to our American project partner - Olga Sharts, CEO of California Innovations, San Diego, CA, a talented woman, an expert in international patent law. That is, in 4000 characters, allotted procedurally for electronic appeals in Apple connect, our explanations could not fit in any way.

Fearing that no one would read our essay, except perhaps artificial intelligence (opinion from the programming forums), we neatly printed our essay on the form, attaching the color DO-RA Catalog of 2019 and the device with a personal tablet in a presentable box to the appeal. Fortunately, our gadget initially think of as cross-platform - for Android and iOS. However, for Apple devices in their current state, in the absence of software from the App Store, it is absolutely useless. Despite the difficulties, we duplicated everything, sending the parcel by express mail personally to the office of Tim Cook in Cupertino, California, USA.

Miracles happen

On that day, our package with a physical appeal, catalog, gadget already arrived, judging by the tracking at Apple Headquarters. Despite everything, we sent the first batch of DO-RA.Q products to the USA in Amazon, albeit without the DORA.Pro application in the App Store. Fortunately, on the same day, an official letter came to us via the Apple connect channel. I will not misinterpret it in Russian, however, here is its beginning:

Thank you for contacting the App Review Board.
We are writing to let you know the results of your appeal for your app, DORA.Pro.
The App Review Board has evaluated your app and determined that your Apple Developer Program account will not be terminated.
However, upon further review of this app, the following issue was discovered during our evaluation: ...

And in the evening of the same day, an Apple manager from San Jose, USA called me on my mobile phone and kindly informed me what needs to be done in order to no longer have problems with our user applications:

At the same time, a colleague from Apple suggested in the future as part of our project to quickly resolve issues by telephone in North American time, leaving his mobile phone (really Tim’s hand ?!).

For everything about everything, it took us some 45 days. About the same amount of time the guys from Kontur spent on defending their development license before Apple. (An article about this was published in Habré in 2015).

As a result, our DORA.Pro application was checked in Apple services for a day, and permission to place it in the App Store was received the next day.

August 4, 2019


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