Apple IP law disarray forcing devs into the arms of lawyers, says osu!stream studio

Giant needs to clarify its position

Apple IP law disarray forcing devs into the arms of lawyers, says osu!stream studio

Last week, we were contacted by a developer who had seen his game pulled from the App Store on the back of what he believes are false claims of IP infringement.

Apple took osu!stream offline, Dean Herbert claims, despite him repeatedly contacting the giant to prove that suggestions an asset from the game had been lifted from another were unfounded.

However, despite talking both with Apple and the developer behind the claim repeatedly after he was first contacted in December 2012, Apple killed osu!stream at the start of 2014, citing an inability by both parties to resolve the issue "amicably."

In response, Herbert says he contacted a lawyer with Apple now blanking all requests for contact. But is there anything he would have done differently? And how exactly can Apple help resolve these issues around IP better?

Pocket Gamer: Were you initially surprised by the way in which Apple dealt with the claim made against you?

Dean Herbert: Initially not so much, but I was very surprised when my app was suddenly removed from the store.

Do you feel that the IP protection policies Apple has in place means that those accused of copyright infringement are essentially guilty until proven innocent?

This seems to be the case, yes. From a legal standpoint this may make sense, but my own common-sense says that this really shouldn't be the case.

How are you attempting to fight the claim now that Apple has removed osu!stream from the App Store? What avenues are left open to you?

The only option left seems to be taking the legal path. I avoided this until now because I really dislike the idea of suing someone, but I am left with no other choice.

Dean Herbert

I'm talking with some lawyers now to figure out how to move forward.

After dealing with this situation for such a long time, what advice would you give to a developer who's about to find themselves in a similar position?

Even if the claim is complete nonsense, make sure to follow through as early as possible. Don't sit on it because Apple does act.

If you are unable to reach an amicable resolution with the other party, consider legal action or start working on another app, because these seem to be your only choices here.

Have your unsavoury dealings with Apple changed your opinion of the company?

No. I understand the reasoning for this is likely due to the underlying IP law. It does lower my motivation even further to develop for app store platforms that are controlled by third parties, though.

Does Apple needs to rethink its IP infringement policies in order to give developers more protection and peace of mind?

I think it would be very beneficial for developers if Apple gave some pointers as to how these cases need to be resolved.

I for one never felt the need to involve the law, and would have done so earlier if Apple told me exactly what it was looking for to consider the issue resolved.


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.