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Google lifts ban on downloader app, but developers still resent DMCA violations

Google lifts ban on downloader app, but developers still resent DMCA violations


Enlargement / screenshot of Downloader app on Google Play.

Google reversed the suspension of the allegedly infringing Android TV app simply because it loaded pirated websites that even a standard web browser could load. The combined web browser and file manager downloader app is back on the Google Play store after nearly three weeks.

As previously reported, Google claims that the app “allows users to browse the notorious copyright-infringing website known as SDAROT,” according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) law from several Israeli TV companies. ) has suspended the app based on the allegations of But the same website can be viewed in any standard browser, including Google’s own Chrome app.

“The app was taken down May 19 due to a DMCA takedown request,” developer Elias Saba wrote in a blog post today. “Instead of acknowledging the absurdity of the claim that web browsers are somehow responsible for all misuse of copyrighted content on the internet, Google puts the app back on the back burner. dismissed my plea for it.”

This free app has been downloaded over 5 million times on Google Play and is available on the Amazon Appstore for devices like Fire TV.

In addition to the dismissed appeal, Saba has filed a DMCA counter-notification against Google. With this, “the countdown of 10 working days has begun.” [TV companies’] “I have asked my law firm to take legal action against me,” Sabah wrote today, adding, “The law firm will take legal action against me on June 6 as the app was taken down on Friday and the Memorial Day holiday.” It’s been 10 business days with no contact from the company, so I contacted Google and said, ‘Please restore the app. “

Developers say Google made another mistake

Saba said yesterday he was informed by Google that “the app was no longer suspended, but was now rejected by Google for invalid data safety forms.” According to Saba’s blog post, this was also a mistake.

In yet another example of Google Play Store absurdity, Google determined that my app collected email addresses without declaring it. My app itself has no way of collecting email addresses, and without additional information or assistance from Google, I can only assume that Google refers to the email mailing list sign-up form on this website. not. This form loads on the web by default. Downloader app browser.

Fear that another appeal will be something like an “argument”[ing] “I accepted defeat and updated my app’s Play Store Data Safety Form to declare that the app is collecting email addresses,” Saba said. This means downloaders are now reported to be collecting and sharing personal information by the Google Play store.


“We assure you, the Downloader app itself does not collect or share any of your personal information,” Saba wrote. “Unless you plan to use the downloader’s built-in web browser to pay your taxes, but apparently, apparently, whatever happens in his web browser on the internet is somehow my app’s fault.” It seems that.”

Saba updated his data safety form yesterday and said the app was restored today.

DMCA is broken

Saba advised users who sideloaded while the downloader was unavailable to uninstall the sideloaded version and reinstall the Google Play version.

“The app has been offline for 20 days. All are DMCA broken and have no effect on people halfway around the world or TV companies who choose to abuse the DMCA for their own gain. body,” he complained. “Although he’s only been unavailable for about three weeks, the app has now lost 47% of his active users compared to the day before it was removed.”

Despite the complaint in this case blaming web browsers for the basic ability to browse the web, Google appears to follow a standard process for complying with valid DMCA requests. As Saba said in a previous article, “There is no way to view the content within the app without using a web browser to navigate to the website. will not be displayed or directed to users.” See blog at It loads as the default home page in your web browser. “

In an emailed response to Ars today, Google said it followed the process set forth by the DMCA and “allowed both parties to exercise their options under its law.” Google will forward all counter notices, such as those filed by Saba, to complainants, and will wait 10 business days for complainants to seek a court order or file a claim of infringement with the U.S. Copyright Office Copyright Infringement Complaints Board. is the standard approach.




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