Forbidden content in AppStore

AppStore, like any other app market, regularly checks the latest apps for compliance with internal rules before they even arrive on the platform. The point of introducing regulations regarding the banning of certain types of content is quite obvious: Apple's goals and mission are aimed at creating a safe and respectful environment for all users.

The presence of forbidden content usually appears either when the developer does not want to "deprive" the application of elements already included in it, or when, on the contrary, the developer is not aware of such restrictions.

Inappropriate and unsuitable content

One of the most common and implicit restrictions on the content contained in apps is the prohibition of elements that exceed the bounds of "ethics". Thus, inappropriate content includes material that:

  • are provocative or pornographic (obscene);
  • are defamatory or offensive;
  • promote violence;
  • violate moral principles;
  • advertise or promote illegal substances (e.g. alcohol, drugs) or services outside the law (child exploitation, sexual exploitation);
  • call for the violation of the law.

Malicious software

Applications are also forbidden to contain any malicious software, malicious code, or other internal components that could potentially or actually harm or destroy Apple's software, services, products, data, systems, networks, or other components. Internal components" may include viruses, Trojan horses, backdoors, and any other source of DDoS attacks. 

It is worth noting that this list is not exhaustive. Apple provides for a ban on all software and components that could in any way harm Apple, developers, and users.

Content that infringes third party rights

You must either own the content that makes up your work, or have permission from its owner to use it in your app.

The audio component of the app is given special consideration. As with all other content, original recordings and music must be either owned by you or licensed on a fully paid-up basis, as Apple disclaims any obligation to pay any fees, royalties, or amounts to you or any third party.

In cases involving distribution of your application outside the United States, the mounted phonograms and compositions included in your application must:

  • not fall under the repertoire of an organisation that collects or licenses mechanical reproduction or performance rights;
  • be provided under an exclusive licence for use by each relevant rights holder in your app ("in cases of licensing").

Thus, the extent to which it is possible to prevent an app from being "banned" from the AppStore depends on how careful you are about creating and developing your app. It is important to follow the rules and guidelines set forth by Apple and not to take actions that may violate AppStore policies, for example.

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