Android Developers Complain About Google's Response Time to Counterfeits

March 22, 2011 -

Some Android developers are not happy with the way Google handles counterfeit games or titles and they are speaking out about it. Speaking to UK paper The Guardian, Kevin Baker, developer of the Android game Sinister Planet said that a repackaged version of his game was re-released on the Android App Store under another name by a developer named Joyworld. When he complained to Google about it, it took them several days to take the app down:

"I contacted Google right away. It took Google two days to take the app down," Baker told the website. "This publisher was also selling other versions of pirated games."

"I contacted the original developers of those games but they were still being sold a week later," he continued. "You'd think [Google] might have a hotline for things like that."

Baker also said that this developer's account is still active, apparently not being punished by Google for distributing their counterfeit apps.

"Why are these accounts still allowed to be trading? It's negligent as far as I'm concerned," he said.

He said that he used the tools Google provides to prevent counterfeiting, but they did not work.

Gamelion VP Sebastian Szczygie concurs with Baker:

"We've been launching games on many different channels, but the Google Android Market is, in terms of respecting copyrights, by far worst," according to Gamelion VP Sebastian Szczygie. "Such obvious direct copyright infringements are not happening on the other app stores."

While the Android App Store is having its share of growing pains, it is not the only one with problems with counterfeit apps; in February developer Wolfire had to wait days for Apple to take down a counterfeit aversion of its game Lugaru HD.

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: Android Developers Complain About Google's Response ...

First off it is best that Google makes sure that claims of infringement are properly investigated and objectivly analyzed before simply taking an app offline. I feel sorry for the developer who is getting ripped off here, but if actions were instantaneous than I could make false reports to hurt the competition.

Second thing, Google is not in the business of IP enforcement. They should not pass judgement or penalize people for their legal actions, let the law take care of that. If you have an issue with another developer, hire a lawyer, and look for injuntive relief and compensation for damages.

No tool will ever completely stop conterfeiting, and if you think you can make one that works 100% of the time, damnit you need to make it because you WILL get rich.

Taken into context, even as a developer, I consider Google's actions to be fair and respectful.

Re: Android Developers Complain About Google's Response ...

First off, Google is required to comply with DMCA take down notices immediately and all investigation is supposed to take part after that.

If they don't take down infringing content the moment they are made aware of its presence, Google is opening themselves up to massive liability and loss of Safe Harbor protection. So far they have been lucky that an EA or Activision game hasn't been ripped off in their market place yet. So far it has been smaller developers who do not have the legal power to really scare Google into submission.

If Google does get a false DMCA takedown notice and they take down a noninfringing app, the owner of the removed app has legal recourse built into law t oget just compensation from the entity that filed the bogus takedown. Google would be innocent of any wrong doing.

I guess you could compare this to Youtube in which infringing content is taken down within minutes of receiving a notice rather than the 2-3 days it take here.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Android Developers Complain About Google's Response ...

Everything you just wrote is true. However, man is the DMCA badly made and a pain in the ass.

Re: Android Developers Complain About Google's Response ...

The DMCA is worse than a "pain." It turns the basic American principle that the burden of proof should always be on the accuser on its head. All of the burden is placed on the person(s) who are the subject of the take-down notice. The fact that they have a legal recourse is no excuse for the fact that they are being acted upon purely on the notice sender's say-so, and they then have to work (and potentially incur legal expenses) just to get back to the status quo if the accusation was false.

If anything in recent memory deserves the label of "un-American," it is the DMCA. It undermines the fundamental right to be considered innocent until proven guilty and declares someone is guilty until and unless they go through all the effort to prove themselves innocent, all in the name of expediency for corporations.

It is a disgrace.

Re: Android Developers Complain About Google's Response ...

Here we go again! 

Re: Android Developers Complain About Google's Response ...

"Such obvious direct copyright infringements are not happening on the other app stores."

I beg to differ: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2011/02/03/dueling-lugarus-mac-app-store

It even took a long time for apple to do anything about that one too.

 
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