Apple removes BitTorrent apps from the App Store

Surprise, surprise, the IS Drive that Neowin reported last week, has been removed from the Apple App Store. According to the author of the app, Derek Kepner, via Macworld, Apple called him to let him know they are going to remove the application from the App Store.

“Just got a call from Apple. They're taking IS Drive down. I'm seeing what I can do. I have a feeling I won't be able to change their mind,” said Derek Kepner on Twitter.

The “IS Drive”, also known as, ImageShack Drive, allows users to download BitTorrent files to their accounts. The application doesn't actually contain or break any piracy laws, but Apple states that the program could be used for illegal purposes, and have since removed the application from their store.

The $5 application uses ImageShack's torrent services, which requires users to pay a subscription fee, and as Derek says, “Users who are interested in piracy aren't going to pay those subscription fees.” He went on to say that many users legitimately use ImageShack's IS drive for legal purposes, and Apple is punishing not only the author, but many users because others may use it for illegal purposes.

This isn't the first time Apple has removed BitTorrent applications and definitely isn't the first time Apple has accidentally approved an application onto the App Store without fully checking the source code. Many users have slipped passed applications that use non-public API's and have hidden features within them that allow you to do miscellaneous things with them.

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Marketng strategy n° 1515656
How to create some more buzz around a platform?
Create a case (approve a controversial app) and dismiss it (remove the controversial app) shortly after. People will talk about it a lot.

The application doesn't actually contain or break any piracy laws.

Erm, it doesn't contain any piracy laws... what does this mean?*

*aka, a double rainbow statement

I'm not surprised, they're Apple, closed to defend their store's ecosystem. They don't support great audio formats like FLAC for the same reason, flac is spreading a lot in the illegal scene and not. Instead they support their crappy and slower Apple Lossless. Seriously i hope one day they'll change this attitude to open up a bit more.

SuperZod said,
I'm not surprised, they're Apple, closed to defend their store's ecosystem. They don't support great audio formats like FLAC for the same reason, flac is spreading a lot in the illegal scene and not. Instead they support their crappy and slower Apple Lossless. Seriously i hope one day they'll change this attitude to open up a bit more.

As great as FLAC probably is, not all of us have the storage for such large files.

LiquidSolstice said,
As great as FLAC probably is, not all of us have the storage for such large files.

Lossless audio compression usually implies big files, and the Mac crowd are used to their Apple Lossless and MPEG-like.

LiquidSolstice said,

As great as FLAC probably is, not all of us have the storage for such large files.

you can't deny storage is cheap nowadays, if you asked me about lossless compression back in the 90s i would have told you "no way, no space" but now it's pretty accessible to anyone. I understand though that on portables with the increase of flash memory it's still limited but not for long. I believe lossy was good back in the days where space was an issue, as soon as flash memory gets big updates, usb3 offering fast transferts and fast internet connection spread, this discussion will be history =) @tiagosilva, well it's true there is Apple Lossless but it's closed and not as fast as flac is.

SuperZod said,
@tiagosilva, well it's true there is Apple Lossless but it's closed and not as fast as flac is.

I know. I only use open formats.

Are they going to remove safari from the iphone/ipad because "Apple states that the program could be used for illegal purposes"?

Are they going to remove the phone facility on the iphone because "Apple states that the program could be used for illegal purposes"?

Are they going to prevent users from using text messaging on the iphone because "Apple states that the program could be used for illegal purposes"?

Mention BitTorrent and everyone screams illegal. It is not illegal to "use" BT.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.

It can be used for illegal purposes, huh? Quick get rid of the camera app! It can be used to make child porn!

Sraf said,
It can be used for illegal purposes, huh? Quick get rid of the camera app! It can be used to make child porn!

Right, comparing the best and most used way to share illegal content with a camera doesn't seem ridiculous at all.

chAos972 said,
Apple has a phobia of Bittorrent apparently.

I highly doubt Microsoft will be allowing BitTorrent apps on Windows Phone 7 either. Even though there is some legal content out there on torrent sites, you have to admit that the vast majority of the content is warez or other pirated material. These companies don't want to be seen as promoters of that.

chAos972 said,
Apple has a phobia of Bittorrent apparently.

except for hackintosh nobody want to download their crap anyway.

roadwarrior said,

I highly doubt Microsoft will be allowing BitTorrent apps on Windows Phone 7 either. Even though there is some legal content out there on torrent sites, you have to admit that the vast majority of the content is warez or other pirated material. These companies don't want to be seen as promoters of that.

I don't think this is all about piracy. The way BitTorrent works, it brings networks to their knees even if the transfer is going slow. Its just a protocol that requires a LOT of overhead.

joker999 said,
Lol so sad huh?
But these people who already bought the app, does Apple remove remotely the app from their iPhone? or what they do?

Quattrone said,
But these people who already bought the app, does Apple remove remotely the app from their iPhone? or what they do?

I would like to know this, hopefully it pops up somewhere else and I can use Installous bye bye apple!

witalit said,

I would like to know this, hopefully it pops up somewhere else and I can use Installous bye bye apple!

No, these App's aren't remotely removed from iDevices.
I know because a while back they removed "WiFi Finders" from the app store, and I still had my purchased Wifi finder app on my device. WiFi finders are now allowed on the app store again I think

Quattrone said,
But these people who already bought the app, does Apple remove remotely the app from their iPhone? or what they do?

They can remove them if they want to. They have the power to remote remove them if they deem the app is "harmful" for users.

I bought Resident Evil 4 when it first came out, and later that day it was removed for some weird reason. Then it took several months to make a re-appearance. That entire time I had it, they didn't remove it from my iPhone.