The news that Apple's contract with developers of apps for the iPhone has leaked to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) appear to have caused consternation at Apple's head office.

For the first time, Apple's strict controls on the contracts' contents have been displayed for all to see. EFF has pointed out that some of the clauses, such as the use of the apps store as the exclusive medium for developes' apps, the confidentiality agreements, the ban on reverse engineering and the less than generous indemnity payments don't do much for Apple's reputation.

Fearing that the contract's details may have demonstrated that Apple was a bit of a soft touch, the company has despatched its top lawyer, Mr Nick Mephistopheles to put the record straight.

We are concerned that many users have considered Apple as an organisation that’s been far removed from the commercial cut-and-thrust” said Mephistopheles smoothly, “On reflection, the clauses in the developers' contract are perhaps a little too beneficial to developers and we want to make sure that Apple's interest are held paramount"

The first change is that Apple will, in future, own the rights to any further apps that developers wish to develop, regardless of whether they’re for the iPhone or not. “We’re obviously aware that developers will wish to run their apps on other platforms and earn revenue from doing so. We don’t wish to stop that, all we’re asking is a small royalty for every app that’s sold,” he said, stroking his horns. “It’s not too much to ask

We also are introducing a fee to submit an app to our apps store. We believe that not charging for this is undervaluing the Apple brand. At a time when Apple fan-boys will happily pay is for Apple-branded merchandise, it seems only reasonable to charge a fee for Apple-branded software. It might seem a bit of an imposition at first, but those black turtlenecks don’t come cheap"

Perhaps the most controversial of the new measures is that the developer and his immediate family are loaned in toto by Apple. “we feel that this is the only way to keep some of the developers under control - we developed the new iSoul application to keep tabs of everything they’re doing.We want to ensure that they're doing nothing to harm the Apple brand at any one time. We'd obviously like to tap into their thought patterns so that any ideas they may have will also be the preserve of Apple. Obviously, the technology's not quite there yet but we're working on it

And for those developers who break the terns of their contract? Mr Mephistopheles has a ready-made answer. “We've prepared a suitable punishment for anyone straying from the true Apple path. They will be condemned in the lowest pit of hell, forever booting up Vista, before installing perpetual SP upgrades, all the time watching true believers brandish their iPads tantalisingly just out of reach"

With that final flourish, Mephistopheles was gone, leaving just a faint whiff of sulphur and an Apple logo slighly burned into the carpet