Apple bans third-most prolific developer from the App Store

When the App Store launched, it was relatively bare, leaving it an untapped resource for new (and seasoned) developers. There have been many success stories, which have led to other developers wanting in; if you look around the store today, you might see hundreds of applications that do the near exact same job, except all by the same developer. This is a classic example of monetizing the community, without regard for quality, and Apple seems to have had enough of it. TechCrunch's MobileCrunch division is reporting that the developer Khalid Shaikh, responsible for 943 applications, has been banned from submitting any further products to the App Store.

Shaikh has been submitting to the App Store for just short of nine months, so as MobileCrunch calculates, with 250 days and 943 applications, that's about 5 applications a day, every day. And, sadly enough, they were pretty popular... no profit estimations were given, but it's suspected that Khalid was pulling in a few thousand dollars daily. Apparently, Apple claimed that they, "continue to receive the same or similar types of complaints regarding [his] Applications despite [Apple's] repeated notices to [Khalid Shaikh]." So, without a forewarning, they banned him from the Store and notified him via email, which we've included below for reference.

Shaikh said that he was going for lower product value and higher monetization, which means he prefers to build a large number of applications and set a fairly hefty price for them. This shows, as he doesn't provide much support for his business, and a large portion of applications have bugs. As you can understand, other developers were quite annoyed at his behavior as well, as much of his software is simply just aggregated news feeds or other very simple examples. If you look for the developer Brighthouse Labs on the App Store, you can find another operation similar to the one Khalid had going.

Situations like this point out some issues with Apple's reviewing process with the App Store, which a large amount of developers criticize, but hopefully they're learning from the experience. Again, here is Apple's email to Khalid, for you to peruse:

From:
Date: Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 4:45 PM
Subject: Notice of Termination
To: XXXXXXXXX@gmail.com

Please include the line below in follow-up emails for this request.
Follow-up: 79376777

July 24, 2009

Khalid Shaikh
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXX, California 9XXXX

Dear Mr. Shaikh:

This letter serves as notice of termination of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement (the "iDP Agreement") and the Registered iPhone Developer Agreement (the "Registered Developer Agreement") between you and Apple, effective immediately.

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.

As required by Section 12.3 of the iDP Agreement and Section 8 of the Registered Developer Agreement, please erase and destroy all copies, full or partial, of the Apple Software and any information pertaining to the services and all copies of Apple Confidential Information in your and your Authorized Developers' possession or control. After you have completed those steps, please provide certification of that destruction to Apple, as provided in Section 12.3 and Section 8. Finally, please note your additional obligations on termination as set forth in those same sections. This letter is not intended as a complete statement of fact with respect to the subject matter hereof, and nothing in this letter should be construed as a waiver of any rights or remedies Apple may have in connection with this matter, all of which are expressly reserved.

Sincerely,

Worldwide Developer Relations (WWDR)
Apple Inc.

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