Software on Apple’s App Store may be reviewed by human editors and approved before distribution, but one business owner claims the iPhone maker is not doing enough to prevent copyright infringement. The Roanoke Times published a piece this week highlighting the issue of paid iOS apps scraping content from the web and packaging it in paid apps. While developer relations issues often get a lot of attention, the problem with the App Store according to Brian Raub is not a story heard often… Expand Expanding Close
It appears it’s not just governments who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near technology – it’s also courts. The UK’s High Court recently overturned legislation permitting citizens to duplicate copyrighted material for their own private use, and TorrentFreak confirmed with the UK Intellectual Property Office that the ruling really is as dumb as it sounds.
“It is now unlawful to make private copies of copyright works you own, without permission from the copyright holder – this includes format shifting from one medium to another,” a spokesperson informed us.
The IPO specifically notes that copying a CD to an MP3 player is not permitted. This means that iTunes’ popular ripping feature, which Apple actively promotes during the software’s installation, is illegal.
The ruling would also effectively outlaw Time Machine (as it copies music files), and the current behaviour of both iTunes Match and Apple Music, each of which copies music to a cloud server. And it’s not just citizens who fall foul of this law – Apple does too … Expand Expanding Close
A report from MacStories yesterday claimed that many third-party websites selling developer access to Apple’s iOS betas are no longer live.
The blog apparently contacted the websites’ owners. It soon confirmed with at least one that Apple recently submitted a copyright infringement claim, so the website’s hosting service immediately took the page offline. A Wired report from last month by Andy Baio first spotlighted the trend of websites that sell developer access to iOS betas by doling UDID activations to any paying user. Apple restricts UDID activation to registered developers.
The Wired report allegedly sparked a flurry of website takedown requests. The CEO of Fused, a hosting service, even admitted to the MacStories, “Apple has been fairly heavy-handed with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requests to the ones we host”:
After noticing several of the sites mentioned in Baio’s article had become unavailable in recent weeks (activatemyios.com, iosudidregistrations.com, activatemyudid.com, udidregistration.com, instantudidactivation.com), we reached out to some of them asking whether Apple was behind the takedown of their “services”, which infringed on Apple’s developer agreement. While most of our emails bounced, we heard back from one of the site owners (who asked to remain anonymous), who confirmed his hosting provider took down the site after a complaint for copyright infringement by Apple. Similarly, the CEO of Fused tweeted in a reply to Andy Baio that Apple had been “fairly heavy-handed” with DMCA requests to UDID-selling sites hosted on their network.
In the email, the site owner said that their website made $75,000 since last June, when Apple released the first beta of iOS 6 to developers. “We do not believe our service was infringing and our services did not violate their guidelines for iOS 6″, the site owner commented, adding that they will soon launch another similar site, “with better and more secure data lines to handle Apple”.
The owner of another site replied to our emails with a “no comment”. According to him, “the Wired article has caused all these sites to go down”.
Indeed, it appears Apple has started taking action against these sites recently, and more precisely after Wired ran the story on UDID activation.
To install an iOS beta, developers must register their account with Apple and receive UDID activation for $99 a year. Third-party websites, on the other hand, sell UDID activation for a cheaper price—usually around $10.