June 20, 2020 | 11:09am | Updated June 20, 2020 | 1:28pm
A federal judge has denied a request by the Trump administration to halt the publication of a new memoir by former national security adviser John Bolton.
Team Trump had argued the book should be halted because it includes classified information. US District Judge Royce Lamberth disagreed in his decision, handed down Saturday.
“While Bolton’s unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns, the government has not established that an injunction is an appropriate remedy,” Lamberth wrote.
“With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe — many in newsrooms — the damage is done. There is no restoring the status quo,” the judge wrote.
Though the judge handed Bolton a partial victory, he noted the White House was likely to ultimately win the case, and slammed the former ambassador for pushing the book through to his publisher before the government had completed its security review.
“Bolton was wrong,” noting Bolton “stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security.”
Bolton, who served from April 2018 to September 2019, gives a brutally critical account of the Trump administration.
Revelations that include an accusation that Trump tried to get Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win reelection with strategic purchases of US agricultural products, have already begun to leak out. Bolton also accused the president of being “stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House.”
Though he lost the case, President Trump spun the court decision as a win for his administration.
“BIG COURT WIN against Bolton. Obviously, with the book already given out and leaked to many people and the media, nothing the highly respected Judge could have done about stopping it…BUT, strong & powerful statements & rulings on MONEY & on BREAKING CLASSIFICATION were made… Bolton broke the law and has been called out and rebuked for so doing, with a really big price to pay. He likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him!” Trump said.
Earlier, as he has with past aides who have penned critical accounts of their White House work, Trump offered a blistering attack of the new book online.
“Wacko John Bolton’s “exceedingly tedious”(New York Times) book is made up of lies & fake stories. Said all good about me, in print, until the day I fired him. A disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war. Never had a clue, was ostracized & happily dumped. What a dope!” he said in a Thursday tweet.
Bolton’s lawyers bristled at the notion their client had flouted his “contractual prepublication obligation” to the government, noting in a statement to The Post, “The full story of these events has yet to be told—but it will be.”
Apple is threatening to remove Hey.com from the App Store if the ambitious new email service doesn’t begin offering an in-app subscription and sharing a cut of its revenue, according to an executive at Basecamp, which makes Hey.
David Heinemeier Hansson, the CTO of Basecamp, said that Apple is acting like “gangsters,” rejecting a bug fix update and asking the company in a phone call to commit to adding an in-app subscription to prevent it from being removed. “I was taken aback by how brazen that threat was,” Heinemeier Hansson told The Verge. “I thought you were supposed to wrap the threats in euphemisms or something. But it was pretty clear.”
In an email to The Verge, Apple said that it requires all developers to follow strict guidelines around business models. The company declined to comment specifically on Hey, but said that App Store review guidelines require an in-app purchase option if an app wants to offer access to content purchased on another platform. Apple suggested the call to Hey’s team was not out of the ordinary, saying it always works with developers to bring them into compliance. Apple also told Protocol that the app shouldn’t have been approved in the first place.
Wow. I’m literally stunned. Apple just doubled down on their rejection of HEY’s ability to provide bug fixes and new features, unless we submit to their outrageous demand of 15-30% of our revenue. Even worse: We’re told that unless we comply, they’ll REMOVE THE APP.
— DHH (@dhh) June 16, 2020
The rejection comes the same day that the European Union opened an investigation into Apple’s App Store and Apple Pay practices. Apple has “obtained a ‘gatekeeper’ role,” EU antitrust head Margrethe Vestager said, “We need to ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers,” such as with subscription music.
Hey.com launched yesterday. The new email service offers an alternative to Gmail for $99 per year. To continue using the app on iOS, you have to sign up through the company’s website. Apple initially approved the app on Friday, according to Heinemeier Hansson, but upon review of a bug fix update on Monday, Hey was rejected for not including an option to sign up within the app itself. A second version was rejected on Tuesday.
Apple takes up to a 30-percent cut of revenue on in-app purchases and subscriptions, so developers try to avoid signing up users within their app whenever possible to avoid the steep tax. Netflix stopped offering in-app subscriptions on iOS in 2018, and Spotify charges extra to make up for the lost revenue. It’s a scheme that developers have complained about for years, but Apple has made few concessions. Only recently have select companies gotten a special deal letting them bypass the cut in some cases.
Like any good mafioso, they paid us a visit by phone. Stating that, firstly, that smashing our windows (by denying us the ability to fix bugs) was not a mistake. Then, without even as much of a curtesy euphemism, said they’d burn down our store (remove our app!), lest we paid up.
— DHH (@dhh) June 16, 2020
Spotify complained to the EU about Apple’s practices last year, leading to the investigation that was announced earlier today. Apple defended itself on Monday with a press release claiming the App Store facilitated $519 billion in purchases in 2019.
While Apple told The Verge that apps must offer an in-app subscription option, the company does make exceptions for a variety of apps. Those exceptions include music, video, and magazine apps, among a few others, but email apps are not one of the approved exceptions. Despite this, some subscription email apps, such as Newton, are available in the App Store and don’t offer their service via in-app purchase.
“Apple has been capriciously, inconsistently, and in a few cases, cruelly, enforcing their App Store policies for YEARS,” Heinemeier Hansson wrote on Twitter.