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Tasos Kleisas shares his programming experiences with the world

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Robotic Space Rock and other games fell victims of the DMCA

Today, I received a notification from google stating:

This is a notification that the application, Robotic Space Rock with package ID org.teacake.monolith.apk has been removed from Android Market due to a violation of the Developer Content Policy. Please review the Content Policies and Business and Program Policies before you create or upload additional applications. Note that repeated violations may result in a suspension of your Android Market Publisher account.

For more information, or to contact us, please reply to this email, or visit the Android Market Help Center.

Thanks,

The Android Market Team


Now my application looks like this in the developer console:



Additionaly they forwarded me a four page fax they received from Norris, McNaughlin &
Marcus P.A. who represent the Tetris Company.

Here's the fax:





As you can see there are six applications listed for infringement:
Blocks, Cubik, Net Tetris, Netblocks, Robotics Space Rock, Tetroid

Actually, my application is called "Robotic Space Rock", not Robotics Space Rock. However I do not use the tetris name anywhere in my application, and I do not copy or reuse tetris related art or sound. The game mechanics are also quite different. And the application is free.

The question is, what should I do? I am not an american citizen nor do I live in the U.S. What's your take on this?

7 comments:

Tony S. said...

Hello Taisos,

In terms of the legal steps to demonstrate that your app is not related to Tetris, Google won't start any steps for you. They simply ban the apps that appear specified in that paper.
You could hire some advocate firm to do it, but I suspect that's not in your mind right now.

Alternatively, you can offer it in other marketplaces, like Slideme.org.

Also, you can offer it for downloading here, in your blog, but keeping the link in a foreign virtual disk (like rapidshare, but non US based).

Saludos desde España!

Tasos Kleisas said...

Gràcies Tony,
I already offer the app in multiple places, slideme.org included. Of course I won't be paying lawyers to take legal action as my pockets are not deep.

Commons Guy said...

IANAL. However, IMHO, Google should allow you to file a DMCA counter-claim. That will hopefully allow your app to be distributed once again. Follow the instructions in the email to contact the Google team and ask about the DMCA counter-claim process.

You may also wish to report this to Chilling Effects.

Kevin said...

Hi,
This is Kevin writing from China, my teammates and I have an android community website-www.91android.com (one of the leading Android community websites in China), we are hoping to get your authorization to localize and post your Android application-RoboticSpaceRock on our site.

We are aiming to make our website the No.1 Android community in China mainland by publishing android news, localized applications, etc. After hardworking and popularizing for months, we have accumulated great amount of registers, and have received great attention from Android fans and media.

Now, we need to get your permission to localize your android application mentioned above and put it onto our website. What we are offering is a free service and you can regard our website as a distribution mechanism (quite like android market, but to distribute the Chinese version).

We hope and believe that we can both benefit from our cooperation.

1. We can introduce your application to the huge user group in China mainland.

2. We can attract more attention by publishing the Chinese version of your application on our website.

If you are interested, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to let me know. Look forward to your feedbacks and suggestions soon.

Best regards,

Kevin Xue

Tasos Kleisas said...

Kevin, since my application is licenced under the Apache 2.0 licence, you can just grab the code and resources from http://code.google.com/p/monolithandroid and start localizing right now. Use the version labeled as
"commit for the 1.0.8 beta release" (r125) which was the one released on the android market, because subsequent versions introduced some bugs that are not corrected yet. Good luck and keep me informed on your progress.

Gradus said...

Hey man,
I ran across this via a google news feed. Sorry your app got pulled, Tetris has no case, there is no trademark, copyright, or patent violation. The DMCA is a terribly written law. The burden of proof should be on the company that files the suit, not the developer, but what do expect in a world run by lobbyists.

Hope this gets sorted out and some of these other options work out for you!

~ a fellow android hopeful

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