Apple lied. Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d "welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else". Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.
Just last week, Epic agreed with Apple that we would play by the same rules as everyone else.
Late last night, Apple informed Epic that Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals, which could be as long as a 5-year process.
This is another extraordinary anticompetitive move by Apple, demonstrating their power to reshape markets and choose winners and losers.
It’s also a loss for fair competition and consumer choice. The loss of Fortnite as an iOS metaverse competitor alongside Roblox and PUBG Mobile has significant implications for the evolution of the new medium of our era.
Why did Apple break its promise to allow Fortnite back under its rules? Apple cites three reasons: 1) they won, 2) Epic "statements since the court’s decision", and 3) the way we launched direct payments in 2020.
Apple always claimed they expected to win, and Apple has known about Epic’s payment system since 2020. The only change since September 10, when Apple last offered to welcome Fortnite back, is that Epic appealed the decision and made "statements".
What "statements" are we talking about here? All Apple cites is a quote they fabricated, claiming I said said Epic "[w]ouldn’t trade [an alternative payment system] away to get Fortnite back on iOS."

What did I actually say?
If Apple is now blacklisting companies for making statements, where does that policy lead them? To ban Spotify? Match? The New York Times?
Fortnite should not be blacklisted for challenging an agreement containing terms the court found to be unlawful which Apple forces on all developers as terms of access to iOS. We’ll fight on. The need for regulatory and legislative action is clearer than ever before.

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More from @TimSweeneyEpic

9 Sep
More insight on Apple lobbying! This practice of simultaneously engaging deeply partisan political lobbying groups on both ends of the political spectrum is really strange in the tech industry.
On one hand, they have the Chamber of Progress (, "a new tech industry coalition devoted to a progressive society"). On the other extreme, they have ALEC (described in…), both involved in wildly unrelated social and political causes.
The right to petition government is a fundamental right in a democratic society. So, Apple has every right to lobby. But why wrap it up in partisan politics like this? Why not just advocate directly for one's views, in one's own name, or together with other like-minded companies?
Read 4 tweets
13 Aug
No surprise. Apple has long made personal privacy part of its very DNA. Engineers chose to join Apple for less pay and a tougher work environment because they believe in product excellence and chose to serve on the front lines of privacy as a human right.
The US constitution protects against arbitrary government search of one’s home and personal effects. Data one stores privately and doesn’t share is a personal effect. Apple backdooring iOS to examine personal iCloud data is a suspicionless search of personal effects.
Governments want this search capability but many, including America, are constitutionally prohibited from it. Perhaps Apple thinks that if they give governments this massive surveillance gift at this critical time, regulators will look the other way on their antitrust abuses.
Read 5 tweets
8 Aug
So how should powerful tech companies reason about matters that balance individual freedom and collective safety? We should start with the underlying legal standards, especially when a policy may involve government reporting or policing.
An individual has strong legal protections of privacy in their personal effects and in personal communication through the post. There are very different standards in publishing material, engaging in commerce, communicating with groups of unknown third parties, and so on.
People have strong expressive rights in a public commons, and less so on private property. We should be more honest about which online venues really are commons and which are company property in 2021. The answer can’t be that corporations reign over the whole internet.
Read 5 tweets
7 Aug
I've tried hard to see this from Apple's point of view. But inescapably, this is government spyware installed by Apple based on a presumption of guilt. Though Apple wrote the code, its function is to scan personal data and report it to government.…
This is entirely different from a content moderation system on a public forum or social medium. Before the operator choses to host the data publicly, they can scan it for whatever they don't want to host. But this is peoples' private data.
Apple's dark patterns that turn iCloud uploads on by default, and flip it back on when moving to a new phone or switching accounts, exacerbate the problem. Further, in many contexts Apple has forced people to accumulate unwanted data, as with mandatory iCloud email accounts.
Read 8 tweets
15 Jun
An axiom is an assumption that something is true. A theorem is a claim that something is true. A proof is a series of steps that show exactly how a theorem follows from axioms. These notions were clearly laid out in Euclid's Elements around 300 BC.
In programming, a native is a function or type provided by a compiler. A type is a claim that value of that type exist. A type-checked expression establishes that a value belongs to a type. These notions came about in the 1950's as compilers were developed.
These notions of proofs and programs turn out to correspond. This was proven by Curry and Howard from the 1930's through the 1960's, starting even before programming languages were invented.
Read 6 tweets

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