War of the words

Apple is trying to block a book about the App Store

“Hey Siri, what’s the Streisand Effect?”

A former manager of the App Store in Germany is about to sell a library’s worth of his book about working for Apple’s wildly successful digital marketplace thanks to his former employer’s attempts to block its circulation. Apple claims the former employee, Tom Sadowski, divulges trade secrets in his book that he’s contractually bound to keep.

It’s probably relatively bland — We’re not expecting any massive revelations out of Sadowski’s book beyond the odd tip on how to give an iOS app the best chance possible in the App Store. But even those are going to be based on the App Store of Sadowski’s time there. Or, worse, it might reveal some less-than-savory tactics by Apple, which has long been at loggerheads with companies like Spotify about the pound of flesh it demands of subscription fees.

But it’s already on shelves — Apple’s trying to get the memoir — App Store Confidential: A personal look behind the scenes of Apple's most important business — pulled from shelves and wants its publisher, Murmann, to not only agree to halt publication of the book but also to “destroy all manuscripts” of it, according to Apple Insider.

That suggests Apple wasn’t privy to its contents before it hit shelves. But also that putting the genie back in the bottle is going to prove impossible, and the book is likely to be a surefire best-seller or, if pulled, a popular PDF on Torrent sites. Sadowski and Murmann, meanwhile, must be feeling very excited about all the free publicity they’re getting. Hopefully, the sales of the €18 title (or €12 for Kindle, about $12.97 USD) are swift enough to cover the inevitable legal fees.

And you can bet there are going to be legal fees. Because we suspect Apple’s lawyers are really expensive and really good, which doesn’t only make them potentially tougher to beat in court, but means a bigger bill if you lose and the court orders you to pay Apple’s costs. Furthermore, Apple’s pockets are notoriously deep.