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Apple IP infringement policy leaves developer in no-mans land

Apple IP infringement policy leaves developer in no-mans land

An iOS developer has taken to the web to criticise the way Apple handles copyright infringement claims, stating his app has been wrongly pulled from the App Store despite continuous communication with the Cupertino giant.

Dean Herbert, who created the now absent osu!stream for iOS, states that another iOS developer falsely claimed his assets had been used within the game without permission.

Having originally been contacted by Apple back in December 2012 regarding the complaint, Herbert reports on his blog that attempts to communicate with Apple proved fruitless, calling into question the manner in which the firm deals with copyright issues.

A question of permission

The complaint against osu!stream was made by Alek Nilsen, who claimed that the game included a 'spinner circle' graphic he'd made from scratch.

However, Herbert states that the original version of the graphic had actually been based on designs created for osu! PC by a designer named Xiao, and that he had permission to use them in play.

What's more, Herbert claims the original graphic by Nilsen isn't even original, but rather a compilation of "skins using other skinners' graphics – often without their permission".

Despite explaining this repeatedly to Apple – and engaging with Nilsen himself – no resolution could be found. Indeed, it appears Apple was unable to get to grips with Herbert's line of defense in the first place.

Deaf ears

"During this time, the complainant – obviously unhappy with Apple doing nothing to inflict harm on me – took to spamming my blog and email accounts, launching denial-of-service attacks on osu! and other malicious behaviour," detailed Herbert.

"This was a significant time sink, but as per my usual strategy I blocked and ignored this as much as possible. I also avoided making any further direct contact with the complainant."

Herbert received another email from Apple on 4 January 2013, informing him that the firm would be removing his game from the App Store because the dispute "could not be amicably resolved between the parties".

In the post, Herbert claims to have "replied several times to AppStoreNotices via email, giving a full history and evidence of the fraudulent nature of the claim" and "contacted Apple Developer Support via phone multiple times" who told him they can "only contact AppStoreNotices by email via the same process I take, and therefore would not be of any help."

"I read through all the documents available on Apple's site but none mention the full process for IP infringements," concludes Herbert.

"I will try my best to get things straight again, and hopefully have a few updates to the app itself which will make up for lost time."

[source: PPY]


What do you call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with video games and Sean Bean? That'd be a 'Chris Kerr'. Chris is one of those deluded souls who actually believes that one day Sean Bean will survive a movie. Poor guy.

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Mat Annal
As a developer I feel your frustration at something out of your control effecting your revenue like that!

Oddly we have found the opposite frustrating however! No matter how much evidence I seem to send Apples way that another studio has ripped off one of our games, they do not seem to be willing to take the game in question down.

Most annoyingly I have the game on my phone in case I need to gather more evidence and it push notifies me daily....girrrr!


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