Publishers Upset Over Apple's Opt-Out Terms for Inclusion in iOS 9 News App

Apple News IconApple recently sent a mass email to news publishers to introduce them to Apple News, an upcoming Flipboard-inspired app for iOS 9 that will deliver curated news and magazine stories with custom layouts, photo galleries, videos and animations optimized for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The email has ignited some controversy in the news and blogging community over the past week, according to the BBC, which reports that some writers are disappointed about Apple's decision to automatically include a website's RSS feeds in Apple News unless they specifically opt out by replying to the email.

"Let me get this straight, Apple: you send me an e-mail outlining the terms under which you will redistribute my content, and you will just assume that I agree to your terms unless I opt out?" wrote Plausible Labs programmer Mike Ash on his personal blog. "This makes typical clickwrap EULA nonsense look downright reasonable by comparison. You're going to consider me bound to terms you just declared to me in an e-mail as long as I don't respond? That's completely crazy. You don't even know if I received the e-mail!"

Some bloggers argue that not all publishers are guaranteed to see the email, which could easily be overlooked or buried in a spam inbox, leading to their content being featured on Apple News without their knowledge or explicit consent. Apple also has permission to place advertising next to or near a publisher's content without providing any compensation, and will pass on any legal fees to publishers.

  • You agree to let us use, display, store, and reproduce the content in your RSS feeds including placing advertising next to or near your content without compensation to you. Don’t worry, we will not put advertising inside your content without your permission.

  • You confirm that you have all necessary rights to publish your RSS content, and allow Apple to use it for News as we set forth here. You will be responsible for any payments that might be due to any contributors or other third parties for the creation and use of your RSS content.

  • If we receive a legal claim about your RSS content, we will tell you so that you can resolve the issue, including indemnifying Apple if Apple is included in the claim.

  • You can remove your RSS feed whenever you want by opting out or changing your settings in News Publisher.
  • Apple News is highlighted as one of the main features on the iOS 9 preview page, so it is no surprise that Apple is attempting to have as much content available on the platform at launch as possible. It is clear, however, that many publishers would have appreciated the terms of Apple News being set on an opt-in rather than opt-out basis. Apple so far has not commented on those concerns.

    Top Rated Comments

    PilotC150 Avatar
    92 months ago
    If it's a public RSS feed, then is there really a problem with what's Apple's doing? They're just using content that's publicly available content and providing it to Apple users. They're not charging for it, nor are they redistributing content that's supposed to be behind a paywall.

    To me it seems the email was just to let the publishers know that Apple is using the content that's already being provided and allowing the providers to opt-out if they wish. As long as Apple isn't claiming that they created the content (and giving credit to the creators) then I don't see what the problem is.
    Score: 99 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    rbrian Avatar
    92 months ago
    Isn't that what rss is for? Why provide such a feed if you don't want anyone to use it? And didn't Flipboard do the exact same thing years ago? I'm just guessing here, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'd be more annoyed if I was Flipboard, who seem to have been Sherlocked...
    Score: 79 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    bennibeef Avatar
    92 months ago
    But... isnt this what RSS feeds are for?

    Yeah, that doesnt sound very nice if you read there may be ads next to your stuff, but I mean, when I use an app that reads RSS feeds and displays ads.. whats different?
    Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    edgr.sanchez Avatar
    92 months ago
    The RSS feeds that Apple will be using to add content to Apple News is the same RSS feed that I, a regular guy, can parse and add into my own app right?
    Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    Pbrutto Avatar
    92 months ago
    What next? A free U2 album I didn't ask for?
    Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
    edgr.sanchez Avatar
    92 months ago
    Isn't that what rss is for? Why provide such a feed if you don't want anyone to use it? And didn't Flipboard do the exact same thing years ago? I'm just guessing here, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'd be more annoyed if I was Flipboard, who seem to have been Sherlocked...
    If it's a public RSS feed, then is there really a problem with what's Apple's doing? They're just using content that's publicly available content and providing it to Apple users. They're not charging for it, nor are they redistributing content that's supposed to be behind a paywall.

    To me it seems the email was just to let the publishers know that Apple is using the content that's already being provided and allowing the providers to opt-out if they wish. As long as Apple isn't claiming that they created the content (and giving credit to the creators) then I don't see what the problem is.
    That's exactly what I was thinking. They're using the RSS feeds provided by the news sites.
    Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)

    Popular Stories

    maxresdefault

    M2 13-Inch MacBook Pro With 256GB SSD Appears Slower Than Equivalent M1 in Real-World Speed Tests

    Monday June 27, 2022 1:57 pm PDT by
    Benchmark testing has indicated that the 256GB variant of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 chip offers slower SSD performance than its M1 equivalent, and now real-world stress testing by YouTuber Max Yuryev of Max Tech suggests that the 256GB SSD in the 13-inch MacBook Pro is also underperforming in day-to day-usage. The M2 MacBook Pro with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM was slower than the M1 MacBook ...
    M2 Pro and Max Feature

    Apple's Upcoming M2 Pro Chip for High-End MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Will Reportedly Be 3nm

    Monday June 27, 2022 7:31 am PDT by
    TSMC will manufacture Apple's upcoming "M2 Pro" and "M3" chips based on its 3nm process, according to Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes. "Apple reportedly has booked TSMC capacity for its upcoming 3nm M3 and M2 Pro processors," said DigiTimes, in a report focused on competition between chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung to secure 3nm chip orders. As expected, the report said TSMC will...
    iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

    iPhone 11 Pro vs. 14 Pro: New Features to Expect if You've Waited to Upgrade

    Monday June 27, 2022 11:22 am PDT by
    With many customers choosing to upgrade their iPhone every two or three years nowadays, there are lots of iPhone 11 Pro users who might be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro later this year. Those people are in for a treat, as three years of iPhone generations equals a long list of new features and changes to look forward to. Below, we've put together a list of new features and...
    original iphone 2007

    15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

    Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
    Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
    tesla carplay hack

    Tesla Apple CarPlay Hack Updated to Work With Any Tesla Model

    Monday June 27, 2022 3:38 am PDT by
    Polish developer Michał Gapiński has released a new and improved version of his "Tesla Android Project" which brings Apple's CarPlay experience to more Tesla vehicles than ever before. According to Gapiński, version 2022.25.1 provides "100% functional CarPlay integration for any Tesla," and comes with several new features and bug fixes. The project now supports DRM video playback so that...
    13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

    Base 13-Inch MacBook Pro With M2 Chip Has Significantly Slower SSD Speeds

    Sunday June 26, 2022 2:52 pm PDT by
    Following the launch of Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip, it has been discovered that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read/write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation model. YouTube channels such as Max Tech and Created Tech tested the 256GB model with Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test app and found that the SSD's read and...
    maxresdefault

    Video Comparison: M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

    Tuesday June 28, 2022 2:45 pm PDT by
    Apple last week launched an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is the first Mac that is equipped with an updated M2 chip. As it's using a brand new chip, we thought we'd pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the prior-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see just what's new. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For the video comparison, we're using the...
    iPhone vs Galaxy Larger

    Apple Executive Says Samsung Copied the iPhone and Simply 'Put a Bigger Screen Around It'

    Tuesday June 28, 2022 8:59 am PDT by
    The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern today shared a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone ahead of the 15th anniversary of the device launching on June 29, 2007. The documentary includes an interview with Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak, iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell, and a family of iPhone users. One segment of the interview reflects on Android smartphones gaining larger...
    widgets ios 16 feature

    Gurman: iPhone 14 Pro to Feature Always-On Display Showing iOS 16's New Lock Screen Widgets

    Sunday June 26, 2022 7:36 am PDT by
    iPhone 14 Pro models are widely expected to feature always-on displays that allow users to view glanceable information without having to tap to wake the screen. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman said the feature will include support for iOS 16's new Lock screen widgets for weather, fitness, and more. "Like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 14 Pro will be...