The Google Play Store suspended an app that mixes a internet browser with a file supervisor after a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) criticism identified that the app is able to loading a piracy website—regardless that that very same pirate website can be loaded on any commonplace browser, together with Google Chrome.
The free app, which is designed for Android TV units and is known as Downloader, had been put in from Google Play over 5 million instances earlier than its suspension on Friday, an Internet Archive seize exhibits. The suspension discover that Google despatched to Downloader app developer Elias Saba cites a criticism from a number of Israeli TV firms that mentioned the app “permits customers to view the notorious copyright infringing website referred to as SDAROT.”
Saba offered us with a copy of the suspension discover.
“You can see within the DMCA description portion that the one purpose given is the app with the ability to load a website,” Saba informed Ars. “My app is a utility app that mixes a primary file supervisor and a primary internet browser. There isn’t any technique to view content material within the app aside from to make use of the net browser to navigate to a website. The app additionally does not current or direct customers to any website, aside from my weblog at www.aftvnews.com, which masses because the default homepage within the internet browser.”
Saba additionally detailed his frustrations with the takedown in a weblog put up and a series of tweets. “Any rational individual would agree that you just can’t presumably blame a internet browser for the pirated content material that exists on the Internet, however that’s precisely what has occurred to my app,” he wrote on his weblog.
Downloader remains to be obtainable on the Amazon app retailer for units reminiscent of Fire TVs, or from the Downloader app’s website as an APK file.
It’s a “commonplace internet browser,” developer says
Before being pulled from Google Play, the app’s description mentioned that Downloader “permits Android TV house owners to simply obtain information from the Internet onto their gadget. You can enter a URL which straight factors to a file, otherwise you can sideload the net browser plugin to obtain information from web sites.”
“If loading a website with infringing content material in a commonplace internet browser is sufficient to violate DMCA, then each browser within the Google Play Store together with @googlechrome must also be eliminated. It’s a ridiculous declare and an abuse of the DMCA,” Saba wrote on Twitter.
According to the app suspension discover, the DMCA criticism was submitted to Google by a legislation agency representing HOT Telecommunications Systems, DBS Satellite Services, United King Video, and Charlton. The criticism says an “Isareli [sic] courtroom” and a US federal courtroom issued everlasting injunctions towards the location, although the Sdarot website remains to be on-line on the URL cited within the DMCA criticism.
In April 2022, a US District Court decide in New York ordered all Internet service suppliers within the United States to dam Sdarot and two different pirate providers. The blocking order issued to ISPs was later stayed, however a everlasting injunction was issued towards the website operator.
App maker’s enchantment rejected
Google’s discover to Saba mentioned that his “app incorporates content material that does not adjust to the Unauthorized Use of Copyrighted Content coverage… Your app has been suspended and eliminated as a consequence of alleged copyright infringement (in accordance with the phrases of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act).”
Saba mentioned he filed appeals on Friday by the Google Play Console and Google’s DMCA counter notification type. Saba’s Google Play Console enchantment was rejected inside about an hour, however he is nonetheless ready for a response to the enchantment filed through Google’s DMCA counter notification type, he informed Ars as we speak.
“We’ve reviewed your enchantment request however we’re nonetheless unable to reinstate your app,” the Google Play enchantment rejection discover mentioned on Friday.
We contacted Google concerning the app suspension as we speak and can replace this text if we get a response. The suspension of Downloader was beforehand reported by TorrentFreak.
Saba is hoping public consideration will trigger Google to alter course. “I appealed the app suspension with Google and was rejected inside minutes. Please retweet this and attain out to Google anyway you can as a result of I do not know what else to do at this level,” he wrote.