Apple Launches New App and iTunes Content Infringement Tools

Today, TheNextWeb reports that Apple has improved several forms and tools on its site that developers or content producers can use to submit copyright claims for their new apps or content. The form to submit disputes based on apps is a brand new one.

In addition, Apple has introduced a new form called the “iTunes Content Dispute” tool that is for claims related to apps. Apple seems to be trying to make it easier for any claim of infringement by copycat apps to be submitted by developers. Copycat apps in the App Store have been an issue for a while now so it is good to see Apple doing something about it. The new form can be found here and states the following:

If you believe that an application available in the App Store violates your intellectual property rights, you can use this form to submit a claim to the App Store Legal Team.

Apps on the App Store are made available by third party providers. Once you have identified the app and described the alleged infringement on the following pages, we will respond via email with a reference number and will put you in direct contact with the provider of the disputed app. Any further contact with the App Store Legal team should be made via email and should include the reference number in the subject line.

After a claim is submitted, developers must enter their contact information. Apple then contacts both parties so that they can work together to resolve the dispute.

Apple has also updated the standard iTunes copyright infringement. The updated version offers much more clarity and detail and this is the tool for all other types of content that aren’t apps.


Developer Interview: Safeer Mohiuddin

Safeer Mohiuddin is a  nineteen  year old developer and the Co-Founder of  mezz. Mezz is a real-time hyper local mobile application and platform that allows you to discover and share activities, events, food and other happenings nearby.  You can follow him on Twitter    @SafeerMohiuddin.

Safeer Mohiuddin

Me:   When did you start learning how to program and how did you learn?

Safeer Mohiuddin (SM):  I started learning how to program in my freshman year at Monta Vista High School. I took one Java course and then after that I took several other programming courses at the local community college while I was in high school.

Me:   What made you interested in learning iOS development?

SM:  I got the iPhone when it first came out and it’s been truly amazing to see how far the platform and the apps have come along. I wanted to develop an app that other people would use and I thought it was something achievable in a short amount of time.

Me:  How did you think of the idea for mezz? Has the app been successful?

SM:  As a kid who has lived in the suburbs my entire life, I always wanted to experience the city life. The city life is always vibrant and there’s always things going on but it’s really hard to find about all that stuff. Over the summer, My friends and I hung out a lot but there were too many times where the conversation would go like What do you wanna do?I don’t know. Repeat that happening like 50 times in one day. Besides Xbox and movies we wanted to find something new to do. Whether it was just a pickup game, music in the park, concerts, new restaurants…we just wanted an easy way to find something to do.

We did a soft launch in Mid-November and have a couple thousand users. We are working on making sure we are providing the highest level of quality of local happenings. I believe that we are on a path to major success and that there have been certainly mini-successes that we have achieved. The most important thing at such an early stage is to get user’s feedback and improve and iterate.

Me:  How do you manage college and work on Mezz at the same time?

SM:  It’s extremely difficult. I tried it for a month and I wasn’t doing my best at school or Mezz. I needed to prioritize the two and dedicate 100% of my time to one. I decided that opportunities like this don’t come too often and took on Mezz full time.

Me:  What’s your work setup like and workflow on a given task?

SM:  I spend a lot of time thinking about the task before I actually go out and do it simply because as a small startup there is so much to do with so little resources and tasks need to be prioritized.

Me: How do you handle a deadline?

SM:  I’m very conscious of deadlines. Obviously things can go wrong and things can take longer but it’s important to stay focused. If working on a task is significantly delaying other tasks than it needs to be reprioritized.

Me:  What are your thoughts on Android’s Market potential as an actual sales drive? vs the App Store?

SM:  As a developer for both Android and iPhone, the fragmentation on Android in terms of development and the number of different markets is very distracting. It drives focus away from development.

Me:  Thoughts on an openvs. a closedOS? What benefits do you think each one brings to a developer?

SM:  This is a very feisty debate but as a developer I prefer a closed OS. If users want the highest level of experience on their smartphones than the opportunity must be given to developers to develop something that they can fully control. If there are too many variables in the equation, it is very difficult for developers to be able to develop an app with high quality standards.

Me:  Do you think a consumer cares about whether or not the OS they are using is open?

SM:  I don’t think they care but that doesn’t mean that they will be affected by it. I think many consumers don’t realize what are the end results of an open’ vs closed’ platform.

Me:  If you can share, what cool projects are you working on right now?

SM:  Right now I am working only on mezz. Mezz is a real-time hyper local mobile app and platform that allows you to discover activities, events, things to do, food and much more.   The content on mezz comes from anyone posting on mezz as well as locally relevant Tweets and other API’s. We envision mezz to be the aggregator of all local content.

In my little spare time, I’m helping a couple other people jumpstart their companies by giving them advice and support.

Me:  What are you most proud of?

SM:  When I was 16, I started buying and selling iPhones. I made enough money to buy my own car. It was a major personal accomplishment for me because it gave me a sense of ownership and responsibility. It wasn’t about getting a car because I could have easily asked my parents but more of a step towards independence and a start towards an entrepreneurial journey.


Developer Interview: iOS app developer Steve Troughton-Smith

Steve Troughton-Smith

Steve Troughton-Smith is  a twenty-two year old developer and founder of High Caffeine Content, and Mobile Architect at Tethras , a company that specializes in translating apps into other languages. In short, he make things. You can follow him on Twitter   @stroughtonsmith  .

Me:  When did you start learning how to program and how did you learn?

Steve Troughton-Smith (SS):  To be honest I can’t remember a specific timeframe. I remember, as a really young kid, programming with QBASIC on a DOS computer; nothing more complex than ‘Hello World’, or making colors appear onscreen, but I think it was the initial kickstart for me. By the time I was nine or ten I had discovered a program called REALBasic (on a demo disc that came with MacFormat magazine) and was starting to use it to learn how to write Mac OS 8 and 9 programs. REALBasic was very much like Visual Basic for Mac apps, and at the time (up to version 5) was the simplest way to get into Mac development – you could drag and drop to create your app UI and it was really learner-friendly. When Mac OS X came out, REALBasic even allowed you create Carbon applications that would run on it, with all the amazing new UI that Aqua brought. I used REALBasic up until I was 15 when I literally ran into a performance wall – I wanted to create really graphical and animated things, and it just didn’t cut it. Apple had just announced Xcode 1.0, and I decided to delve straight in and not to stop until I figured out how I could remake the stuff I was making in RB in Cocoa. In the end it turned out to be much easier than I thought, and I’ve never looked back.

Me:  What’s your work setup like and workflow on a given project?

SS:  My development machine at home is a 27″ iMac (i7, so ‘8’ cores, and an SSD); most of my development I do on that in Xcode (Mac, iOS), Eclipse (Android), or Qt Creator (MeeGo/Symbian). I have a custom built gaming PC beside it on the desk which handily doubles as a Visual Studio workstation for when I’m working on Windows Phone 7 apps. When I’m away from home, I work exclusively from an i7 MacBook Air.

I sync all my projects across computers through the cloud so that I never have to worry about copying from one machine to another. I just pick up where I left off on whatever machine is nearest.

Me:  How many electronics do you own? Why so many?

Steve Troughton-Smith:  Loaded question; I own everything I need to to make sure I can test everything I build on the widest variety of hardware/software versions. And then I own a little more for devices or OSes I love, or that intrigue me.

If you’re looking for a full list…(x) = number of devices

(2) iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, (3)  iPhone 4, iPhone 4S ,  iPod,  iPod 2nd ,  iPod 3rd,  iPod 4th,  (2) iPad ,  iPad 2,  Nokia N9,  Nokia N950,  Nokia E7, (2)  Nokia N8,  Nokia 5800,  HTC ADP1,  Nexus One,  Nexus S,  HTC G2,  HTC Sensation,  Dell Streak,  NOOKcolor,  Galaxy Tab 7,  XOOM,  Galaxy Tab 10.1,  LG Optimus 7  Samsung Wave,  PrÄ“,  PrÄ“ Plus,  PrÄ“ 2,  PrÄ“ 3,  Pixi Plus,  Veer,  TouchPad,  BlackBerry PlayBook,  Samsung Windows 8 Developer Tablet, and  Countless Macs & PCs, and probably some I’ve missed from the above.