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Pulse gets kicked from App Store despite Jobs' support

updated 10:25 am EDT, Tue June 8, 2010

New York Times alleges vague violations

A popular news reader for the iPad, Pulse, has been pulled from the App Store despite being featured in yesterday's WWDC keynote, reports note. Pulse displays a graphic grid of stories, making for a sometimes easier and more visually appealing presentation of RSS feeds. Since its release, the app has been downloaded over 35,000 times, and occasionally topped the list of paid titles at the App Store.

Despite being praised by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the app was removed yesterday following a complaint to Apple from the New York Times. "The New York Times Company believes your application named 'Pulse News Reader' infringes The New York Times Company's rights," reads a message passed along to developers Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta. It is not clear which rights the app might be violating, as it draws on publicly available feeds without scraping.

The Times itself recently published a blog post in support of the app. Management could theoretically be worried about the app competing with New York Times Editors' Choice for the iPad, from which the newspaper earns advertising money. Regardless, Kothari says that he and Gupta are contacting Apple and hope to resubmit the app without NYT material.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What rights?

    The right to pull competition off the market? If you don't want to release an RSS feed, then don't.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Boycott the New York Times until they pull their heads out of their arse and learn how to use RSS feeds.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Isn't it Ironic

    New York Times Editors' Choice looks nice, but the content is extremely limited. It's easier to use the NYTimes web site.

    I almost bought Pulse. Does Apple take away apps they pull?

    I think we need a NYTimes Shaker App.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: What rights?

    The complaint is over them using the NYT in the screen shots and pre-loading it into the reader.

    And I don't even know why Apple approved the App. Isn't Apple on a crusade to rip out apps that do little else except pull data from the web and redisplay it? Or is it only some apps that they don't like doing that?

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The arguments could be sound

    NYT is arguing copyright by saying that they have the legal right to say that someone else can't make money off their materials, via any form of distribution including RSS. And by letter of the law, they might have a winnable argument. Especially since they apparently state on the site that use of their articles, feeds etc for commercial purposes is forbidden.

    When you sign up to be a developer you state that you have appropriate permission to use any and all copyrighted materials. So Apple had no reason to believe that the folks behind Pulse didn't have such. Once notified, they had little choice but to pull the app or risk legal trouble themselves.

    So Pulse removes the NYT feed and the site loses a potential gateway for more visitors. The loss is likely more on NYTs side

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    O Dear

    Please do not recall my computer and the OS because it can display the NY Times RSS feed.

  1. Integr8d

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yet again...

    "The New York Times Company believes your application named 'Pulse News Reader'..."

    Read that again. The New York Times Company BELIEVES... Nothing has been proven. Yet Apple capitulates and keeps the smaller guy from doing business on its market. This is going in the wrong direction. But given Apple's love-in with NYT, it's to be expected.

    Until there is a judgment on RSS, Apple should stay out of it and provide an open market.

    Absolutely amazing how easy it is to knock a competitor off. But anyway, this is a lesson to everyone. This is how Apple will regulate its market -one big company protecting another.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Yet again

    The thing here is they HAVE to just toss stuff off at the sniff of copyright violation (sort of like the idiots dealing with youtube videos and the like). It's all part of the DMCA.

    And the one thing Apple doesn't want is some lawyer getting the brilliant idea of suing apple over a copyright infringement or something else due to a developer.

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