10-08-2008 03:33 PM
If someone creates a company which business is to develop software and creat applications for BlackBerry (using BlackBerry JDE, MDS Studio, etc) is free to do that or are there some legal issues related to RIM?
10-09-2008 07:35 AM
First: I am not a lawyer, so keep that in mind.
Second: BlackBerry application development is (almost completely) license- and royalty-free. You can download the development environment and simulators (Email, MDS, and devices), look through the Java APIs, code and compile and package an application to do anything you want it to do. No holds barred. The application will run on the simulators without any modification, straight out of the JDE (or just after the RAPC step, if you're doing command-line builds using Ant or something equally fun). The only hiccup comes when you try to run the application on a real device. This act may or may not require you have Research In Motion "sign" your application digitally, in order to allow your application to take advantage of "secure" APIs. Basically, some of the API calls are protected from use by applications, unless your application has been signed by RIM. To do this, you apply online at blackberry.com, pay a fee, and receive "keys" that will allow you to enable your application to access the APIs that are protected. The reason why the APIs are protected is that RIM wants to keep track of programs that access "critical" aspects of the device or its contents (like email, contact lists, etc.). There's also a library of code on the device that can do encryption; to get signed to use that library, you would contact Certicom and get licensed by them, usually for a fee.
Signing your application is a fairly simple process. You launch the Signature tool, load your application into it, and click "Request". The Signature Tool makes a hash of your application and transmits that over the Internet to RIM's signing servers, which return one or more (depending on how many different APIs your application is going to access) signatures which the Signature tool adds to your application file(s). Your application is never transmitted to RIM.
Beyond that, there are no license or legal issues related to RIM.