Update: All the coverage today must have sped up Google’s process. A week after being pulled over an Apple copyright complain, Themer is once again available over on Google Play. The original story follows below.
Popular Android customization app Themer was suspended from Google Play on the night of February 2 due to its “Seven” theme, several icons of which Apple claimed infringed on its copyrights. A week later, and creator MyColorScreen still hasn’t heard from Google to indicate if and when the app will be reinstated.
MyColorScreen co-founder and CEO Ashvin Dhingra explains:
So when will Themer be back on the Play store? It’s frustratingly impossible to predict. Someone at Google must first confirm that the content in question has been removed and follow their own internal procedures before they flip the “on” switch. It’s likely that we are in a queue, waiting with other apps that require evaluation.
Dhingra notes that “Seven” is just one of over 200 themes available in Themer, and was immediately removed after the problem was brought to its attention. MyColorScreen was under the impression that Themer would be back in Google Play “in a few days.” Unfortunately, while legal representatives from Apple say they have no remaining concerns, Google has yet to respond to MyColorScreen’s attempts to clear up the mess.
The team of 12 behind Themer isn’t interested in releasing the APK because it does not want to circumvent Google Play for one simple reason: existing users would not get any updates. The next version offers memory and battery optimizations, new customization options for the app drawer, and tons of bug fixes. It’s almost ready to go, but naturally getting back on Google Play comes first.
The full email MyColorScreen received from Google, sent on February 3, is below:
This is a notification that your application, Themer Beta, with package ID com.mycolorscreen.themer, has been removed from the Google Play Store.
REASON FOR REMOVAL: Alleged copyright infringement (according to the terms of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act).
All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and payment transaction fees) from you.
Please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy to ensure that your applications are compliant with our policies.
The DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. Click here for more information about the DMCA, and see http://www.google.com/dmca.html for the process that Google requires in order to make a DMCA complaint.
Google may reinstate your application into the Google Play Store upon receipt of a counter notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and (3) of the DMCA. Click here for more information about the requirements of a counter notification and a link to a sample counter notification. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel.
Please note that we have included a text copy of the Infringement Notice we received for your reference.
The Google Play Team
Text copy of DMCA complaint:
subject_lr_dmca: Your Request to Google
represented_copyright_holder: Apple Inc.
location_of_copyrighted_work: The original artwork for the following
infringed iOS7 app designs may be viewed on any iDevice running the iOS7
Notes (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871602)
Stocks (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871786)
Newsstand (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871650)
Maps (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871438)
Camera (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871668)
Photos (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871779)
Settings (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871669)
description_of_copyrighted_work: Apple Inc. is the sole and exclusive owner of the copyright in the original artwork for the app designs in its iOS 7 operating system. The foregoing application being distributed on Google Play intentionally includes unauthorized reproductions of Apple’s copyrighted apps, including its icon designs for Notes (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871602), Stocks (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871786), Newsstand (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871650), Maps (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871438), Camera (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871668), Photos (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871779), Settings (Copyright Reg. No. VA1871669) and other features. This application violates Apple’s copyrights, in addition to other Apple IP rights. (This app developer’s unauthorized reproduction of Apple’s multiple copyrights may be viewed in-app by first downloading and installing the app, allowing Themer to create widgets on one’s device, and loading the “Seven” theme from the list of the “Most Popular” category under the Browse Themes.)