I submitted a RSS reader app, but it just got rejected from the App Store, with this cited:

8.5: Apps may not use protected third party material such as trademarks, copyrights, patents or violate 3rd party terms of use. Authorization to use such material must be provided upon request

We found that your app contains features that may infringe on rights owned by various news and media outlets.

Specifically, we found that your app provides users with a news feed generated from them.

Please provide documentary evidence of your rights to use this content.

Acceptable documentation includes a copy of your contract with the copyright holder or a detailed authorization letter from the copyright holder to your company. Please make sure the documentation you provide specifies the rights for commercial use as the App Store is considered a commercial environment, even if you choose to offer your app for free.

I'm wondering how all of the other many many RSS reader apps got approved, so that I can figure out what to do to get mine approved too.

My app just generates a feed based on interests you select. And that feed pulls from RSS.

Would greatly appreciate any help at all, thanks!!

  • It might help if you can give us more information on your app and why it got rejected, it shouldn't have been because it draws information from external pages... there are already a lot of apps that aggregate data from around the web. Is the app and all of its components entirely your own creation?
    – JamiePatt
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 11:39
  • @InfluenceJamie Thanks for the response, I added a whole bunch of extra information. Have any thoughts?
    – SRMR
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 15:34
  • @InfluenceJamie and yeah the app and all components are entirely my own creation
    – SRMR
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 18:35
  • @influencejamie any thoughts on this?
    – SRMR
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 14:22
  • 1
    I would really like to know what happened with this application. Did you manage to release it? If yes, how? Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


What Apple are saying is that the content your App would be pulling through is the property of the news / media outlets who produce it. As to not infringe on their copyright, you need to get approval from these news outlets that you can then show Apple to get your app approved.

Getting the news outlets to agree might depend largely on how you pose it to them, you want them to perceive being included in your app as beneficial to them. I don't know how the app is structured but maybe if you pull through teaser content for example and have links through to more content then that's where you can present a benefit to the news outlets. You need to contact someone in upper management in the first instance, someone who has the authority to authorise your use of the content, and maybe pitch it to them as follows:

Hi _________

My name is __________, I'm the head of ________ Software. I'm contacting you because of your role at ____________. My company has recently produced an app that aggregates news stories and provides links through to the media outlets who produced them, we're now looking for strategic relationships we can develop with key content producers to ensure our service always has the best array of content. We don't intend charging news outlets for displaying their content as we plan to monetize the app through other means, which means this service provides free promotion of your content. I believe that your organisation might be a really good fit for this service and was hoping we could have a phone conversation to discuss the matter further.

Please let me know when would be a good time for me to give you a call and I look forward to telling you more about our application.


Hopefully that gets you started...

  • thanks for the response! Was wondering the technical aspects of just having that content in an app, because I guarantee not every app in the App Store that shows third part websites has an agreement with that website you know?
    – SRMR
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 22:44
  • I get what you're saying, but they probably were able to show Apple some agreement(s) between them and third party content producers... or they were loaded into the app store when Apple took was less conscious of this type of infringement. Either way it is the property of the content creator so if you're going to pull it through to your app without permission then you will be encroaching on their IP.
    – JamiePatt
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 23:30
  • 1
    Do you think the RSS terms of use that is listed on their website would qualify as an "agreement"?
    – SRMR
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 21:44

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