Google un-bans Downloader app, however developer nonetheless mad about “damaged” DMCA



Screenshot of the Android TV app known as Downloader. The app presents a field that says,
Enlarge / Screenshot of the Downloader app on Google Play.

Google has reversed the suspension of an Android TV app that was hit with a copyright criticism just because it is ready to load a pirate web site that will also be loaded in any normal net browser. The Downloader app, which mixes an online browser with a file supervisor, is again within the Google Play Retailer after almost a three-week absence.

As we beforehand reported, Google suspended the app based mostly on a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) criticism from a number of Israeli TV firms that mentioned the app “permits customers to view the notorious copyright infringing web site often called SDAROT.” However that very same web site may very well be considered on any normal browser, together with Google’s personal Chrome app.

“The app was eliminated on Could nineteenth because of the DMCA takedown request,” developer Elias Saba wrote in a weblog publish at present. “As a substitute of recognizing the absurdity of the declare that an internet browser is by some means chargeable for all of the unauthorized use of copyrighted content material on the Web, Google took a backseat and denied my enchantment to have the app reinstated.”

The free app has been downloaded over 5 million instances on Google Play and is on the market on the Amazon app retailer for units akin to Fireplace TVs.

Along with the rejected enchantment, Saba filed a DMCA counter-notification with Google. That “began a 10-business-day countdown for the [TV companies’] legislation agency to file authorized actions in opposition to me,” Saba wrote at present. “Because of the app being eliminated on a Friday and the Memorial Day vacation, 10 enterprise days had elapsed with no phrase from the legislation agency on June sixth and I contacted Google to have the app reinstated.”

Google made another mistake, developer says

Saba mentioned he was knowledgeable by Google yesterday that “the app was now not suspended however that now it was rejected by Google because of an invalid information security kind.” This was one other mistake, in accordance with Saba’s weblog publish:

In one more instance of the Google Play Retailer’s absurdity, Google had decided that my app collected e-mail addresses with out declaring so. Since there is no such thing as a method for my app itself to gather e-mail addresses, and with none further data or assist from Google, I can solely assume that Google is referring to the e-mail mailing checklist signup kind on this web site, which masses by default within the net browser of the Downloader app.

Fearing that one other enchantment can be like “argu[ing] with a brick wall,” Saba mentioned he “accepted defeat and up to date the Play Retailer information security kind for my app and declared that the app collects e-mail addresses.” Which means Downloader is now flagged by the Google Play Retailer as amassing and sharing private data.

“I guarantee you, the Downloader app itself doesn’t gather or share any of your private data,” Saba wrote. “Nicely, except you propose to file your taxes utilizing the built-in net browser in Downloader as a result of, apparently, as soon as once more, what is finished within the net browser on the Web is by some means the fault of my app.”

Saba mentioned he up to date the information security kind yesterday and that the app was restored at present.

“The DMCA is damaged”

Saba suggested customers who sideloaded Downloader whereas it was unavailable to uninstall the sideloaded model and reinstall the Google Play model.

“The app was offline for 20 days, all as a result of the DMCA is damaged with no penalties for individuals, or TV companies half a world away, that select to abuse it for their very own profit,” he complained. “Whereas it was solely unavailable for about 3 weeks, the app has now misplaced 47 p.c of its energetic customers in comparison with the day earlier than it was eliminated.”

Google appears to have adopted its normal course of for complying with legitimate DMCA requests regardless that the criticism on this case primarily blamed an online browser for with the ability to browse the net. As Saba advised us for our earlier article, “There isn’t a solution to view content material within the app apart from to make use of the net browser to navigate to a web site. The app additionally does not current or direct customers to any web site, apart from my weblog at, which masses because the default homepage within the net browser.”

In an e-mail response to Ars at present, Google mentioned it adopted the method set out by the DMCA and “allowed each events to train their choices underneath that legislation.” Google famous that its normal method is to ahead any counter-notification just like the one Saba filed to the complainant and wait 10 enterprise days for the complainant to hunt a court docket order or file a declare of infringement with the US Copyright Workplace Copyright Claims Board.