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  • App Removed At Competition's Request... Does That Seem Right To You?


    A cautionary tale is being served up today by our friends from AppVault, who shared for all to see on their website that Apple pulled the plug on "AppVault" in the App Store because the competitors from "AppBox" issued a complaint and notified Apple.

    Late last night, we found out that AppVault was removed from the App Store – because our main competitor, AppBox, complained that AppVault was too similar and infringed on their copyright.
    Although the two apps have some noted similarities (as the folks at AppVault openly admit), if we go down the path of "similarities" being sufficient to restrict the introduction of an app into the App Store, the total number of applications presently available would be immediately thinned out to a mere fraction of its former self.

    First, a point on US copyright law. In the US you can’t copyright ideas – rather copyright protects things like code, images, etc. All of the code and artwork in AppVault was developed by us from scratch – so there is no real issue there.
    This development could very well leave no shortage of developers feeling both disheartened and concerned about their own applications in the wake of Apple's decision to remove an app for what seems to be no good reason other than the fact that AppBox issued a complaint. Is that all it takes to get Apple to shoot down your competition in the App Store? If this is Apple's new policy, I hope Cupertino is ready for a deluge of similar "complaints" from developers who will likely want to see their competition kicked to the curb.

    We provided the marketplace with better value, and a better product, which was our genuine intent – and it seemed our customers agreed. Two days ago we passed AppBox in the rankings in the App Store, and both reviewers and bloggers consistently agreed that AppVault was a far better deal. This was great – we felt like we had succeeded in our goal to provide the best value in the App Store. However, the developer of AppBox submitted a complaint to Apple that our apps were too similar and demanded for AppVault to be pulled from the App Store. Although we pointed out that his demands were not grounded in copyright law and even worked with him to address some of his issues, about a week later Apple pulled us from the store without even talking to us first or providing a reason.
    As the blog post goes on to note, there are other examples of Apple quickly buckling to pressures from developers who made a stink about rival apps in the App Store. But just because AppVault isn't the first to be removed without "potential good reasoning," that doesn't make it any easier for the developers behind AppVault to accept the cards they've been dealt. And they are certainly making their thoughts on the matter known to all.

    Although I appreciate Apple wanting to stay out of a dispute between two rivals, the policy to pull an app from the store on complaint by a rival isn’t impartial – it is taking sides. It allows an app developer to dictate the marketplace, forcing a poorer quality product on Apple’s customers and taking away a customer’s right to choose.
    Image via AppVault
    This article was originally published in forum thread: App Removed At Competition's Request... Does That Seem Right To You? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. a17o17ymous's Avatar
      a17o17ymous -
      Man, that is BS. That's not right at all. What about all the Twitter Apps? They don't complain about others developing apps doing the same thing.
    1. bengo's Avatar
      bengo -
      Damn! This should clear up all those fart and flashlight apps then!!!!
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      I also agree... not right at all. With almost any search these days, you're results will be numerous apps with similar features.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      1 app being deleted because another 1 was to similar? I remember an article in the summer that said there were 106 tic tac toe apps and that number has probably grown
    1. dbizzy1's Avatar
      dbizzy1 -
      That is completely jacked...as a developer I one would never stoop to that level and blatantly hate on another app when they clearly have a better product, and the fact that apple actually approved this request is more than unsettling.
    1. klouud's Avatar
      klouud -
      I bet the porn apps won't have this problem. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

      tim
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      It happened almost as soon as the App Store opened with iBeer. Remember?

      Anyway, that's like saying we can only have one crossword or Sudoku app. Considering that nearly every app I have ever used has had serious user interface and usability flaws, that would be the death-knell for the App Store. As it stands, I usually have to try multiple ones and settle on the one with the least flaws or made by a more responsive publisher who will update to address complaints or improving competition. Competition = GOOD.
    1. davshirley's Avatar
      davshirley -
      I wasn't there but what probably happened is Apple received a DMCA Takedown notice. They then complied to keep themselves from being held liable. Anyone can file a takedown notice. It takes almost nothing. AppVault now has a file a Put Back notice and then apple returns their app to the store and lets appvault and appbox slug it out in court if they choose to do so. Either way apple remains immune to any prosecution that way.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      There is no shortage of drama surrounding Apple and its' AppStore.

      AppBox are fools and Apple should have addressed the issue in a far better manner than just removing it. Like everyone is saying, there are tons of apps in the AppStore that are similar. This is no different and should be allowed. We the customers have the right to choose!

      Quote Originally Posted by davshirley View Post
      I wasn't there but what probably happened is Apple received a DMCA Takedown notice. They then complied to keep themselves from being held liable. Anyone can file a takedown notice. It takes almost nothing. AppVault now has a file a Put Back notice and then apple returns their app to the store and lets appvault and appbox slug it out in court if they choose to do so. Either way apple remains immune to any prosecution that way.
      If what you say is true than i really hope that App returns because i'd like to install it.

      Quote Originally Posted by klouud View Post
      I bet the porn apps won't have this problem. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

      tim
      Porn apps? You mean those apps with girls in bikinis? lol that's not porn.
    1. automoglow's Avatar
      automoglow -
      just put it in the Cydia store!
    1. symondavis's Avatar
      symondavis -
      Ok so when I launch my App, I'm going to complain to Apple that the other Apps on the App store are copying me by being an App for the iPhone.

      When does this madness stop?
    1. gunnysir's Avatar
      gunnysir -
      Don't buy the AppBox and tell all your firends not to buy it. When the well dries up under protest, they will buckle.
    1. love2drive2fast's Avatar
      love2drive2fast -
      Quote Originally Posted by hollow0 View Post
      If what you say is true than i really hope that App returns because i'd like to install it.
      +1 on that !!!


      Quote Originally Posted by hollow0 View Post
      Porn apps? You mean those apps with girls in bikinis? lol that's not porn.
      Yeah, they don't allow "porn" in the app store ... lmao
    1. plcrules's Avatar
      plcrules -
      Quote Originally Posted by klouud View Post
      I bet the porn apps won't have this problem. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.
      Quote Originally Posted by hollow0 View Post
      Porn apps? You mean those apps with girls in bikinis? lol that's not porn.
      Quote Originally Posted by love2drive2fast View Post
      Yeah, they don't allow "porn" in the app store ... lmao
      lol thats funny im gonna make that my new signature
    1. mmaroney1's Avatar
      mmaroney1 -
      What a shame. It's not like there's 128397123712 identical twitter apps or anything.
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      i know rite
      and fart apps and flashlite
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Business Studies lesson

      Competition is healthy in the market place remove it, and we end up with lower quality products because "they" (the companies) don't have to put in the effort to win customers. which causes people to stop buying the product/s

      It's bad business, Apple needs to reconsider it's decision!!!Competition
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      yet another reason why Im starting to dislike Apple. if the next gen iphone is not much better than the 3GS Im seriously thinking of getting the Nexus One by Google.
    1. stlcaddie's Avatar
      stlcaddie -
      Apple is just protecting there selfs. I'm sure it will be back up soon. They ain't that bold Just smart.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by love2drive2fast View Post
      +1 on that !!!




      Yeah, they don't allow "porn" in the app store ... lmao
      lol