Apple Bans Dev With 800+ Apps From App Store
Apple has banned a publisher of over 800 apps from the App Store after receiving third-party intellectual property complaints on more than 100 of his applications. It appears that Khalid Shaikh, the developer in question, merely pulled subject material from the web without providing unique content of his own, and without the owner’s permission.
Khalid’s termination letter:
Pursuant to Section 3.2(d) of the iDP Agreement, you agreed that “to the best of Your knowledge and belief, Your Application and Licensed Application Information do not and will not violate, misappropriate, or infringe any Apple or third party copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy and publicity, trade secrets, patents, or other proprietary or legal rights (e.g. musical composition or performance rights, video rights, photography or image rights, logo rights, third party data rights, etc. for content and materials that may be included in Your Application).” Apple has informed you of numerous third party intellectual property complaints concerning over 100 of your Applications and reminded you of your obligations to obtain the necessary rights prior to submission of your Applications. Nevertheless, we continue to receive the same or similar types of complaints regarding your Applications despite our repeated notices to you. The persistent nature of such complaints has led us to conclude that you are entering into the representations and warranties in the iDP Agreement in bad faith by misrepresenting that you have all the necessary rights for your submissions.
All of Khalid’s apps have been removed from the App Store and he has been banned permanently, making him unable to release iPhone apps in the future.
Khalid has already admitted that his focus was on “less product value” and “more monetization.” It is believed that Khalid and his Pakistan-based team of 26 employees managed to mass-produce 943 (cr)applications in 9 months. That equals out to 5 (cr)applications a day for 250 days, all of which simply stole content from others and tried to make money from it. While they are no longer viewable in iTunes, AppShopper.com reveals some of his titles, including Top Sexy Ladies: Audrina Patridge, an app consisting of 5 photos of Audrina Patridge taken from the internet.
The apps were priced at $4.99 each. It is believed they earned him several thousand dollars per day based on his comments.
Apple’s decision has garnered some criticism from some who say to accept hundreds of his apps and then ban the developer months later is “misleading”. While this may be true, we think it is more an example of Apple’s inability to exercise effective quality control in the approval process in that Khalid was submitting these useless and legally questionable apps for as long as he did after numerous complaints. The fact that Apple has finally taken action will leave the App Store better off as a whole. The view that Khalid and his team had of iPhone app development— placing a higher priority on making lots of useless apps just to make money instead of a few truly useful ones— is one of the biggest issues plaguing the App Store.
Better late than never.