Game Over For iPhone App Tris

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Noah Witherspoon, the still in college developer of the Tris Application has announced in his blog that he will be removing the Tetris like app from the iTunes store.  The move comes after receiving notice from The Tetris Company and Apple that he is in violation of trademark and copyright laws.

Witherspoon says “the approach they’re taking seems to me little more than petty bullying. They have little to no legitimate legal claim, and are, presumably, relying on my being a small developer with insufficient resources to defend myself. And — hey ho — it appears to be working. All I can suggest is that, if you have the slightest interest in playing Tris, you download it while you still can.”  He goes on to state “if Apple had not told me they’d “take action” of their own if I didn’t resolve the “dispute”, Tris would be staying up. I don’t think this will be permanent; when I have the time and can find a good copyright lawyer, I’ll be figuring out exactly what my position is and how I can make Tris available again.”

This is not the first app to be removed from the iTunes store due to outside turbulence.  Recently the BoxOffice app and Netshare were removed as well.  Apple should never allow an app like Tris into the iTunes store in the first place, if they later on would suggest it violated trademark laws.

Noah, it doesn’t seem beneficial to fight a corporation over a free app.  You should choose your battles in life.  Tetris is not bullying you around, but rather protecting their product, which is something each of us would do.  Although it is this authors belief that the United States doesn’t have any laws to protect the way a game plays, it isn’t like you changed the rules or even remotely the play of the game.  The name is even quite similar.  There is no differentiator to make your case.

It makes me wonder why a college student who obviously possess a great deal of programming talent, wouldn’t just develop his own game, instead of trying to just copy one that is already out there.


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