Getting written permission from Sony



  • Hi,

    I've been working with an IOS app to control Sony Bravia TV. I've created the remote application using the documentation provided in the following website from sony,
    https://pro-bravia.sony.net/develop/integrate/ip-control/index.html

    However, when I submitted my application into apple's AppStore, the application got rejected. Here is the following reason from Apple,

    Guideline 5.2.1 - Legal - Intellectual Property
    Your app includes content or features from Sony, or is marketed to control external 
    hardware from Sony, without the necessary authorization. The inclusion of third-party 
    content within your app, whether retrieved from the internet by the app or embedded 
    in the app, is subject to the terms of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement.
    
    Your app and its contents should not infringe upon the rights of another party. In the 
    event your app infringes another party’s rights, you are responsible for any liability to 
    Apple because of a claim.
    
    Next Steps
    
    To resolve this issue, please attach documentary evidence in the App Review 
    Information section in App Store Connect.
    

    I'm not sure this is the right place to discuss about this, but I haven't found any other place to discuss about it.

    However, can anyone suggest me what is the procedure for getting a written permission from Sony?



  • So adding a disclaimer on the product description saying that the app is not affiliated with, associated with, or endorsed by Sony Corporation, and uses the API published at that web address isn't enough?

    There are apps in the AppStore that have "Sony" in their name, e.g. "Sonymote : Remote for Sony TV". I would doubt that they obtained written permission other than what has already been published, but I could be wrong.

    @david, are you able to comment on this?

    With the "Audio Control API" the documentation itself is covered by Creative Commons, but no license mentioned for JSON examples. It might need to explicitly state that it comes under "fair use" (if that's the case) because some countries' copyright laws don't feature that provision.

    Anyhoo, I didn't see any license info on the Bravia API link above.



  • I'm not a lawyer and lawyer speech is not one of my skills, for the Audio Control API we hope we have it covered (and all examples should be OK to use, we are looking in to how to improve and clarify the current docuemntation), if there should be a problem we have the contacts to get the correct person that can authorize needed approvements and/or updates if needed.

    For the TV we are not currently working with that group and I'm currently trying to get in touch with someone how can give me an answer or at least redirect me to someone how can give me an answer of what to do or how to contact. But due to the current situation lot of people are working from home and it takes some time to get in touch with the right people.



  • Thanks, @david.

    Regarding the Audio Control API it doesn't explicitly say that one can re-use the JSON examples, and that the API is licensed under the CC 4.0 Attribution - No Derivatives license which prohibits people from doing the following: "produce and reproduce, but not Share, Adapted Material."

    I presume this is to stop people sharing modified versions of the documentation. Maybe I'm being pedantic, but perhaps a blurb on that page saying people can re-use the examples in their products, might clarify things a bit, e.g. explicitly state that using the examples is "fair use" or something?



  • Thank you guys for your quick replies. I already had the disclaimer on the product description about my app not being associated with Sony Corporation.

    However I have submitted the application again with a message to the Apple reviewer team about having this disclaimer in the description. I'll let you guys know how it goes.



  • @baker-anas still haven't got a answer for you, still waiting for people to get back to me. Just a thought is to emphasize that you are only communicate with the API documented at the pro-bravia via local area network (LAN). Have no idea if it will help in this case. I know that the AppStore submission process can in some cases be a bit unclear and at some times frustrating... sometimes things just passes even if you expect them to not...



  • @david , @grolschie :

    Sorry for being late on the result. It took a while from Apple to get the response. I had replied to the app review team about the disclaimer on the Application description but no luck. Application got rejected again.

    However I tried to dig a little bit about this issue on the internet and found some discussion about the similar issue on some other threads.

    https://community.lifx.com/t/app-store-rejection-permission-from-lifx/5830

    On that thread a LIFX Employee took the responsibility and provided permission to those who were getting app rejection from Apple.

    I wonder if I can get such permission from Sony? Or is it not possible for a third party developer like me to create such Application which controls Sony devices?



  • @baker-anas no luck with the TV team, checking with some other legal teams if I can find a more general solution/responce...

    If I could I would gladly have given you a written permission my self but unfortunately that is out of my authority currently.



  • @david : Thank you for your concern regarding this. I hope you will find someone who can give us the proper permission for publishing app in AppStore.

    In the meantime I will periodically check this thread for any updates.