App Store Cracks Down on Copyright, Ejects 900+ Aggregator Apps, Rejects E-Books
A couple new and interesting cases of App Store rejection, including the stripping Perfect Acumen and owner, Khalid Shaik, of their developer account, and ejecting their 900+ application already in the store, and the blanket rejection of E-Books -- both nebulously tied to copyright infringement or the fear thereof.
Details after the break...
First one comes via MobileCrunch and tells of the aforementioned Khalid Shaik who, using a team of 26 Indian and Pakistani based programmers, turned out a mind-numbing (in more ways than one) 943 apps in the last year. These apps aggregated text or images from the Internet around topics like army news, wrestling news, sexy ladies, etc. and typically sold for $4.99. The only problem, of course, is that Shaik didn't own the rights to the content he was using, and when you start trying to profit off racy pictures of young starlets you pull from the internet, the copyright police will come knocking. (Though apparently other developers were incensed over his marketing methods, and many users were none to pleased with the quality of the apps they purchased).
Apple claims it received complaints about more than one hundred of Shaik's apps, and since Shaik has failed to respond, they've stripped his company, Perfect Acumen, of their developer license and removed his apps from the App Store.
MobileCrunch points out similar developer, Brighthouse Labs and their 1000+ apps have yet to be removed, though Apple may simply be at an earlier point in their internal, infamously opaque ejection process for Brighthouse.
Second, Erica Sadun at TUAW has learned that Apple has begun a blanket rejection of E-Books and E-Book readers due to concerns about copyright infringement. TUAW says there's no evidence to suggest Apple is trying to bully the deck clear in order to launch E-Books as part of iTunes to coincide with their mythically rumored iTablet.
Apple could be responding to the recent Amazon Kindle debacle, where 1984 and Animal Farm were yanked from the service due to copyright infringement claims -- not all books enter the public domain in all countries at the same time, apparently.
Apple cannot police the developers and will not allow possibly fraudulent postings on their store. Apple does not want to be in the position of vetting rights claims.
By letting E-Books and E-Book readers into the App Store, Apple will no doubt get DMCA (or equivalent) take down letters by publishers who believe their rights are being infringed. However, this is a cost of doing business everyone from YouTube (which is built into the iPhone) to niche forums face (many of which can be access by the also built-in MobileSafari browser).
Set yourself up as lone gatekeeper, it's hard to feel sympathy when you start cutting corners to get your job done...