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Pulse iPad App Removed From The App Store After New York Times Complaint

June 9th, 2010 06:22 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Pulse iPad app removed due to copyright violation

All Things Digital has reported that Pulse News Reader, an RSS feed reader application for the iPad, has been removed from the App Store due to a copyright violation complaint filed by The New York Times.

The application is developed by Alphonso Labs, a company founded by two Stanford University graduate students and was one of the iPad apps highlighted by Steve Jobs during his WWDC 2010 keynote address. The application retails at $4 and has been downloaded over 35,000 times till date.

In the complaint, Richard Samson, the lawyer for The New York Times, has noted that the Pulse News Reader application has made use of his company's copyrighted content for commercial use. He also alleges that Alphonso Labs violated copyright in the marketing material featured on the application's App Store page. Samson writes:

"The Pulse News Reader app, makes commercial use of the NYTimes.com and Boston.com RSS feeds, in violation of their Terms of Use. Thus, the use of our content is unlicensed…I note that the app is delivered with the NYTimes.com RSS feed preloaded, which is prominently featured in the screen shots used to sell the app on iTunes…We hereby demand that you immediately and permanently remove this app from the iTunes site."

Pulse iPad app removed due to copyright violation

Following the complaint, Apple had notified Alphonso Labs of their decision to remove the Pulse News Reader app from the App Store until the issue is resolved. The developers are now learned to be working with Apple to offer a modified version of the application that shall not come pre-loaded with content from The New York Times.

While the modified version of the iPad app is likely to be released on the App Store shortly, AllThingsD has noted that the original version of the app has mysteriously made it back to the App Store. It is not yet clear if Apple restored the application back to the App Store or if this has been done erroneously. New York Times believes its an error:

"We want to be clear that we are willing to work with Pulse, but only under our terms of use," said Robert Christie, a spokesman for the Times Company.

On Tuesday afternoon the app reappeared in the App Store. When asked about the reversal, Mr. Christie said: "We think it has been reinstated by error, and we have asked Apple for an explanation."

We will let you know if there are any further updates. But from Alphonso Labs points of view, it probably was the worst time that their iPad app was removed from the App Store, especially after the publicity it attracted.

Do you think NYT was right in pulling the iPad app from the App Store? Should developers get an opportunity to fix such issues rather than removing the iPad app?

[via All Things Digital, Pulse (iTunes link)]

Source: Pulse iPad App Removed From The App Store After New York Times Complaint

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