Law schools may want to start introducing a new program to train lawyers in interpreting Apple’s App Store rules. The company’s latest changes, introduced to settle a Japanese antitrust investigation, add a layer of complexity to already-opaque rules. The rules have long had an element of arbitrariness, treating developers differently, as The Information’s founder has written. But the latest batch of changes—including those last week settling a developer lawsuit—only make matters worse.
For instance, the Japanese agreement this week allows developers of “reader apps”—those apps that let people access previously-purchased content or subscriptions—to put a link inside their apps to outside websites where users can pay for their content. Japan’s Fair Trade Commission indicated e-book apps were covered by the changes. That makes sense: You can read previously-purchased books on apps like Amazon’s Kindle.