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A fellow developer friend of mine and myself have been working on an iOS app for the last months. We have put a considerable amount of work into it, utilizing GitHub for source control. We share our code through GitHub, but kept the project public since we are not willing to pay the fee to host private projects on Github. Now we don't have any problems with people looking through our code. In fact, that is one of the other reasons why we kept our project public. We want to be able to share our code to the world once we launch the project to the public.

However, we are concerned that someone could steal our code before we public it to the Apple App Store. We are worried that someone publishes or submits our app as their own to the app store before we do. How can we make sure that this is not allowed? What kind of license would allow an open-sourced project to be protected in a way that the owners maintain those publishing permissions? What kind of suggestions do you have for open-sourced projects that still want to maintain ownership of their projects?

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...but kept the project public since we are not willing to pay the fee to host private projects on Github

This is tangential to the rest of the answer, but there are numerous services that allow free hosting for private git repositories, including Bitbucket and GitLab. Github is great for project visibility and accessibility, because so many people are on it already, but if your goal is to reduce accessibility (i.e., privacy) then that factor has minimal (perhaps even negative) weight.

However, we are concerned that someone could steal our code before we public it to the Apple App Store. We are worried that someone publishes or submits our app as their own to the app store before we do. How can we make sure that this is not allowed?

If haven't licensed your code to anyone, then no one can legally republish it. If someone does illegally republish it, then you can issue a DMCA takedown notice to the App Store.

What kind of license would allow an open-sourced project to be protected in a way that the owners maintain those publishing permissions?

Such a license could not satisfy the OSI's Open Source Definition. Under an open source license, everyone must have rights to republish the work:

3. Derived Works The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.

Rationale: The mere ability to read source isn't enough to support independent peer review and rapid evolutionary selection. For rapid evolution to happen, people need to be able to experiment with and redistribute modifications.

If you are interested in restricting how downstream recipients can republish your work, then you are not interested in licensing your software at open source as the OSI (and FLOSS community at large) defines the term.

What kind of suggestions do you have for open-sourced projects that still want to maintain ownership of their projects?

If you choose to use an open source license, you may exercise trademark control over your project's name, so that no one else can republish it with the same (or a confusingly similar) product name. Your project is yours and trademark gives the legally ability to have your unique work recognized as yours, but if you license your software under an open source license, there is, by design, nothing to stop someone else from forking your software and calling it by a different name.

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It seems that you and your coworker have other problems to solve first that are not license related

You seem to look for an answer where you can open your code to public to avoid paying fees on a private github repo, at the same way you want to keep things closed and benefit from "free code hosting", using the excuse that you are acting in a good will and in a "near future" you will release the source code to all... Pretty much a proprietary software

Take a look at this answer that is posted at opensource.org FAQ:

Can Open Source software be used for commercial purposes?

Absolutely. All Open Source software can be used for commercial purpose; the Open Source Definition guarantees this. You can even sell Open Source software.

However, note that commercial is not the same as proprietary. If you receive software under an Open Source license, you can always use that software for commercial purposes, but that doesn't always mean you can place further restrictions on people who receive the software from you. In particular, copyleft-style Open Source licenses require that, in at least some cases, when you distribute the software, you must do so under the same license you received it under.

Basically, every Opensource software can be forked, and you can only trully enforce name change and make the license be the same.

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