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Android account deleted after 3 years work

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by skinhat, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. skinhat

    skinhat Newbie
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    I'm an Android developer and am finding that whenever one of my apps gets over 100,000 installs it gets deleted by Google from Google Play. Today Google deleted my popular Terminator View app (can still see in the google cache at Terminator View - Android Apps on Google Play ) saying it was link spam whatever thats supposed to mean. I submitted that app two years ago so why it is suddenly link spam is a mystery. Also had it happen to an app called XRay vision which was deleted when it got over 100,000 installs. Is this Googles new policy? Whenever someone has a successful app that is beginning to taking off then delete it. I should have gone with iOS.
     

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  2. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Doubt it. Apps with over a million installs are still available.
     
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  3. GrenW

    GrenW Android Expert
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    It's more likely that this is a threshold. When you hit that many installs Google has a look at the app?
     
  4. skinhat

    skinhat Newbie
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    Its a bad policy if Google is doing this and deleting apps it doesn't like arbitrarily whenever the installs get over a certain number. Its not a good incentive to write popular apps.
     
  5. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    They'd probably argue that it's fine to write popular apps that comply with their rules - though I doubt they'd admit that they had a policy of only checking when there were a certain number of downloads!

    But if we assume the app's only now come to their attention, either because of the number of downloads or because someone got round to looking, the deletion itself may not be arbitrary. Admittedly though the little I've seen about their rules suggests they are not always applied clearly and consistently. My guess is that they may be worried about copyright infringement: I've seen others classified as "link spam" when they tread close to a trademark, even if "link spam" seems a rather "indirect" way of saying it if that is their concern.
     
  6. codesplice

    codesplice Elite Recognized Moderator
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    Did you, by chance, get permission from Annapurna Pictures (the current own of the Terminator franchise rights) for your Terminator-themed app? If not, your app infringes on that copyright, and Google was well within their rights to take it down. If they didn't remove it, the owner of the intellectual property could easily go after Google. They're not going to be liable on your behalf.

    After all, their Google Play Developer Content Policy clearly states:
     
  7. skinhat

    skinhat Newbie
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    If this is the case then why is
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.as.terminatorfree

    another Terminator Vision app ok? Seems arbitrary to me. It probably hasn't reached 100,000 installs.
     
  8. Slug

    Slug Check six!
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    Only Google themselves can answer that. For all you know, its developer has received (or is about to) the same letter.

    I think we've quashed that particular theory. Whatever their reason, it definitely isn't simply down to download numbers.
     
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  9. skinhat

    skinhat Newbie
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    I'm just going by my own experience. Seems whenever any of my apps get popular and gets over 100,000 installs Google deletes them arbitrarily.
     
  10. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Which particular apps got took down? Didn't you do something Predator themed, same idea as the Terminator one? And the Predator franchise is subject to copyright as well of course. Google is pretty hot with copyright protection these days, DMCA take downs.

    No doubt there's many apps on Play that infringe on intellectual properties, e.g. Pokemon. Could be when they reach 100,000 downloads, that's when they get Google's attention.

    FWIW your Terminator View app is available from a couple of Chinese app stores. Did you authorise them to distribute it?
     
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  11. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    It could also be thay the copyright owners only recently noticed your infringement, or only took actions when you reached 100,000. If they filed a complaint on Google, then Google will take it down. It didn't have to be their decision.
     
  12. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert
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    Think this through logically.

    If Google deletes apps automatically with over 100,000 downloads....why are there still apps with over 100,000 downloads?
     
  13. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert
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    Such as that uber lousy Facebook App?

    Although the reason stated by Google doesn't sound like copyright to me, I mean how does copyright infringement translate to 'link spam?'

    though it still doesn't translate to link spam per-se, there is this policy Google has against apps that use the camera for HUDs due to privacy concerns. IIRC, they banned such apps such as Terminator View from Google Glass due to the possibility of it being used to spy on people, so perhaps this is a new policy for phones/tablets as well?

    Keep in mind that Google Play makes me very angry most of the time to the point I use an alternative or don't use it at all except for a few paid games I still play that require updates to continue to load up. there are so many things wrong with Play Store that it is not worth using IMO

    There was an app that copied the KITT Voicebox from Knight Rider in the 80s, but it got took down due to copyright as well but the reason given to the developer I have no idea. it just went *poof* then he posted a link to YouTube where the new APK was.
     
  14. mrex

    mrex Android Enthusiast
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    Spam? what have you written to the app detail? or have couple differend accounts with same apps?

    i have seen apps like this but the detail info was like a spam. nothing to do with the app itself, only hundreds of popular words to get hits... and permissions for those apps were ridiculous...

    For example... url removed url ... check the details and permissions (all apps from the dev) for these new apps just added. need to modify accounts, set passwords...?

    im pretty sure, when google finds these apps, they are taken away.

    edit. like i said, those apps were removed. so it is only matter of time when google finds apps that are probably only for illegal activity... so maybe they have started checking apps? and it is only a good news...

    im not saying that your app was harmful or used illegal way, but something was wrong if google removed it. "spam like" sounds that details for the app were there only getting hits and nothing to do with app itself?? maybe you could put it back and be more specific with terms play store requires.
     
  15. skinhat

    skinhat Newbie
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    I want to warn developers to be careful about developing Android apps. I have been developing apps for 3 years with over 80 apps with many huge 3D recreations of towns such as this one described in this newspaper article:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/208850/software-turns-back-time-early-dunedin

    After 3 years of work Google deleted my Android account and now all my work has gone down the toilet. As you all know you can submit anything you like to Google Play but if Google don't like it they'll give you a violation and if you get enough violations they'll delete your account which is what happened to me. I hadn't submitted any new apps for over 6 months and the only apps I had submitted over the past year were bland apps like a fish tank app. It was apps I had submitted over two years ago that out of the blue recently got violations including a violation for an app with pacman like game play with an Android dessert theme because I called it 'Android Chomp Pac'. My last violation was for an app I submitted two and half years ago that recreated the red vision that you see the Terminator films despite there being numerous other Terminator Vision apps in Google Play such as:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.as.terminatorfree

    Why my app got a violation while others didn't is a mystery. Google at the very least should have a process where you can request to get your apps reviewed and give you a chance to change things rather than a sword of damocles approach where apps are deleted in a totally arbitrary fashion. Treating developers with such callousness just contributes to the perception that Google is not very nice and does what it wants. Apple atleast by reviewing apps before accepting them means Apple developers don't up losing their account.

    Here's an article about it if anyone's interested:
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/business/323435/google-action-upsets-app-developer
     
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  16. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #
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    Dang man, that's rough. I've heard plenty of such stories but most of them have included a warning notice from Google in advance to change a title or content. Sounds like you never received that which is unfortunate indeed.
     
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  17. BRAINZ2013

    BRAINZ2013 Android Expert
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    Yes a warning before . never knew they just shutdown .
     
  18. Omar Days

    Omar Days Android Expert
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    Ironic considering Google's easter egg in Lollipop is a Flappy Bird rip off.
     
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  19. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    could you NOT backup your work to some other location for safety?
    only 1 location for all your work... sounds risky
     
  20. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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  21. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    "Terminator View"...didn't we have a post before about a similarly named app being deleted by Google as well, along with the developer account, that did the same sort of thing. Could be MGM's lawyers and/or the MPAA taking an interest in these things, i.e. DMCA. Think there was a "Predator Viewer" as well taken down by Google, which could be Fox's lawyers, if memory serves.

    They haven't deleted all the "Terminator" or "Predator" things on Play, only the ones they receive DMCA take down notices for, that's what I suspect. Fan made things for personal use is one thing, but if something isn't authorized and has ads in it making money, that's commercial.

    IANAL ;)

    With YouTube and DMCA take downs, they don't tell you, the infringing content is just gone. And if you do it repeatedly, your YT account is deleted.

    The DMCA basically is the "Sword of Damocles".

    EDIT:

    With the iTunes Store, all apps are vetted and curated, and if there's anything suspected of infringing copyright it just doesn't get on there. On iTunes anything with "Terminator" in the title and looks like it has anything to do with the movie franchise, the developer is Warner Bros. which is authorized of course. Same for Predator, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc.

    Anything with "Pac" or "Pac Man", and has to do with the coin-op games, the developer is Bandai Namco, which again is authorized.
    "Another app he created called ''Android chomp pac'' had a Pacman-like character eating desserts instead of ghosts."

    I remember Acorn Computer got into trouble with that in 1982, with a game called Snapper for the BBC Micro in the UK, which was a Pac Man clone, Namco forced them to change the graphics.


    The difference between iTunes and Play is really apparent with Tetris type games, i.e. falling shaped block games. iTunes has plenty of those types of games, but it's only EA calling them "Tetris". Play there's many games called "Tetris", from dozens of different developers.

     
    #21 mikedt, Dec 9, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
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  22. Slug

    Slug Check six!
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    We did indeed... will merge both threads.
     
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