BitTorrent iPhone App Rejected Over Copyright Claims

Yet the same developer has an app with similar functionality already selling in the App Store

By Filip Truta on May 12th, 2009 09:32 GMT
Apple has notified the developer of a BitTorrent client for iPhone and iPod touch that copyright infringement concerns cannot let it past the App Store's iron gates. Apple has thus rejected Maza Digital’s Drivetrain, saying that, “This category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third-party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.”

Aaron Scott, the developer of Drivetrain, told via an e-mail interview from Australia that Apple’s decision was “ridiculous,” according to a report over at Wired's Threat Level blog. “I do think that some people might choose to download pirated works. But they can not outlaw a program because of a few who choose to do the wrong thing. The BitTorrent protocol and client apps are not illegal,” Aaron shared.

Interestingly, the developer has an app called Trackr already in the App Store. The software is described as “an RSS reader with the unique ability to queue to torrent downloads directly from an RSS feed.”

Drivetrain, on the other hand, is an app dedicated to letting you check on and manage your Transmission BitTorrent downloads, providing all the details of the web interface in a native iPhone app that's easy to use. The app is described as “a Transmission front-end for the iPhone,” and requires an iPhone or iPod Touch running 2.1 software update or later, data connection (either 3G or WiFi), and Transmission running on a Mac with the Remote Access enabled.

The app supports Pausing or Resuming torrent downloads either individually or all torrents at once, as well as allowing the removal of each torrent individually. Drivetrain also offers an easy view to the list of current torrent activity, Upload/Download speeds, number of seeders and leechers, and more. Most importantly, Drivetrain has a built-in web browser that allows the user to find and add torrents when on the go.

Apple isn't likely to reconsider its decision to dismiss the application, as the company (undoubtedly) wishes to secure its iTunes purchases, rather than have iPhone owners downloading content for free (although illegally) via BitTorrent sites. With news mentioning Trackr (David Muzi's RSS app) as being able to “queue to torrent downloads directly from an RSS feed,” the Mac maker may also proceed to removing this application as well. Apple has a track record of rejecting iPhone and iPod touch applications that do not fall in with its policies.
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