One of TiPb's favorite iPhone games, indeed the game that cost some of us fingerprints on our index fingers, StoneLoops! of Jurassica has been pulled from the iTunes App Store following a copyright infringement complaint from Luxor-maker MumboJumbo. According to the developers' blog Casual Games Harmony:
About 3 weeks ago we have learned that MumboJumbo supplied Apple with a formal complaint and a request to remove StoneLoops! from the AppStore. The reason? Infringing Luxor copyright, confusing customers, stealing Luxor’s look & feel and even stealing their source code! This might sound absurd to anyone who knows both games but apparently Apple decided otherwise as we’ve been requested to prepare a formal response, which we did. We described how ungrounded each claim is and supplied various materials to back our claims.
The developers responded, denying all but one complaint (the word Luxor appeared in the text of a quoted review, which they offered to remove). Apple, it seems, removed StoneLoops of Jurassica anyway. This led to the developer further pondering that:
if Apple stands by its decision this will create a dangerous precedence. If you are a developer and have an application in the AppStore you should quickly request Apple to remove the apps of your competition, before someone else requests to remove you! I don’t believe this can get any more absurd, but this is exactly where this reasoning is getting us.
Copyright and infringement is a messy, litigious business, one which Apple puts itself squarely in the middle of by virtue of acting as sole App Store custodian. How can they determine merit all on their own, and avoid action by either affected party regardless of what they decide?
We love StoneLoops! We want it back immediately, but more than that -- we need a better way for these disputes to be handled. Is there one?