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code 177 on talk.maemo claims:

Today my Nokia Store / Ovi Publisher account was disabled and locked out, because I am not a corporation.

Nokia does not recognize individuals or sole proprietorship as valid business entities, and as such only corporations may publish through the Ovi store. Needless to say, as a legitimate businessman, I feel incredibly let down by Nokia, and the Ovi policies. These policies are going to prevent 95% of application developers from publishing through nokia, leaving only the choice of giving our work away for free (which is fine if you’re into that), or trying to establish an independent distribution channel which is going to be incredibly difficult.

Nokia should ensure that they either recognise sole proprietorships as legitimate business entities, or make it very clear – and i mean 72px font clear, that they do not allow individuals to publish through the store.

This is pretty disturbing news as one of the main highlights of the N900 was that Maemo is open-source and that home-brew applications can be easily installed without going through procedures like Apples iPhone policy apps.

Only corporations can sell applications through the n900 Ovi store when it’s released. Individual developers who are not incorporated as companies cannot sell apps through the ovi store, they must either give their application away for free, or find an alternative, unofficial method of distribution and payment.

If Nokia do not find a solution to this, the N900 as an application platform has seen it’s best days already.

Thanks Johnathan Blake for the tip

EDIT: Chanse Arrington, an employee of Nokia have stated through twitter than Ovi store isn’t the only way to deliver applications, and free applications will be available through Maemo.org.

I guess the rules exist to have some uniformity else if left all open, it would look pretty messy. I am just glad that they aren’t being like Apple and are truly keeping it open-source. Kudos, now, if only we could actually get the n900

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3 Comments

  1. It is possible this will be considered a mistake and Nokia will re-instate the independent developer accounts. Perhaps some rookie did this and they will be over-ruled.

    Failing that, perhaps the independent developers can put their heads together and form an independent application store. Ovi doesn’t have to be the only game in town. In fact, it might be better if it wasn’t.

    Cheers!

    Brad

  2. The Ovi Store has nothing to do with Maemo being open source or not. Besides, Ovi is a new store compared to other online stores like Mobihand and Handango. Not to mention that most open source software is not overly concerned about selling their apps in an app store.

    Plus, do they really expect that developing for Maemo is going to make them much money right now? It is the first Maemo version with cellular and in the US, it is only compatible with the 4th largest cell carrier, T-Mobile (as far as 3G goes). This is not an iPhone, BlackBerry, or even a Windows Mobile device.

    In short, there are going to be growing pains with the Ovi Store and I’m sure they will fix it eventually. Jumping on Nokia without ever really hearing from them is really not the best way to handle with these new problems. Working with Nokia and the Maemo Community team is going to pay off a lot more in the end.

  3. There is another issue. I would like to offer my GPL application for sale via Ovi.

    My app will be available for free from other sources but if a number of consumers are happy to pay a nominal sum (cf iPhone app store) that will buy me a few drinks then I’ll be happy.


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