Start alienating your developer base and there's two ways to handle it: the right way, and the current Apple way. Delicious Monster's Wil Shipley offers up what should be required reading for both Apple PR and App Store staff, on how to go about the right way: let the market decide. Apple, much to their discredit on this one, has chosen pretty much the exact opposite. Macrumors reports:

Apple has now started labeling their rejection letters with Non-Disclosure (NDA) warnings: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MESSAGE IS UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE

That's right. Apple's answer to upset developers? Shut them up. It's the business equivalent of not only Apple putting their heads in the sand, but yanking the developers heads down with them. iSigh.

And if developers choose to use (or abuse) the Ad Hoc distribution method to provision 100 specific licenses at a time as a way of circumventing the App Store? Well, Podcaster got away with it for a while (read: 13,000 whiles!) but TUAW now says Apple has turned off the spigot on that one as well. Podcaster: no more licenses for you!

NetNewsWire's Brent Simmons says this behavior is beneath the Apple he knows and loves. John Gruber, by way of linking to Simmons' article, says the situation is beginning to give him "the Fear". We know how, and what, both of them feel.

Hey, Eddy Cue: Didn't Apple put you in charge of the App Store? You did great on iTunes and are fixing the MobileMe. Can't you put foot to trouser seat on this fiasco before it drives all the best developers (and customers!) to You Know Where?