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Apps Copyright Issues for Apps

Discussion in 'Android Development' started by champ1979, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. champ1979

    champ1979 Lurker
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    What are the copyright laws when it comes to developing an App that exists in the iPhone app store for the Android platform? There's an app that I like in iPhone and I think it would be nice to have that in Android. The usability and functionality of that app is just right that I don't feel the need to change it, unless I have to due to copyright laws...any ideas?
     

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  2. KlaymenDK

    KlaymenDK Android Expert
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    Well, there's the concept, and there's the implementation.

    I'm not 100% on this, but I believe copyright applies to the implementation. That is to say, as long as you black-box it, you are free to make a clone (that's what Compaq did when they opened up the pc market). :cool:

    They might still come after you, though! I don't know what app you're talking about, and where you are located, but they might just claim they have patents (ugh!) or something and send you a C&D, in which case you've wasted a bunch of your time.
     
  3. devEndure

    devEndure Newbie
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    Every one persons work is copyrighted so for you to duplicate another app you'd have to make it unique (not completely copy) maybe adding more features, have different layouts, options, etc.. Add a twist to the app or they can turn around and sue you.
     
  4. LeonR

    LeonR Newbie
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    I have been wondering this aswell. I mean, theres more than one FTP program, more than one Internet explorer.. I don't really understand where crossing the line is.

    I've had an idea for an app, and its done on the iphone, cant find it on Android though....so where does that leave my idea for example?

    It sounds a bit of a unknown area.
     
  5. KlaymenDK

    KlaymenDK Android Expert
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    When I mentioned the software patents "scary monster", I'm sure it's not relevant between small-time (;)) Android developers so I wouldn't worry "too" much about it. Sorry for scaremongering.

    If I were you, I'd go ahead and write my app.
     
  6. cloneman315

    cloneman315 Lurker
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    so how do you go about copyrighting your app?someone said once it hits the market.
     
  7. Kinglink

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    Here's a thought. Is this a pay app or a free app? is it written by a single person or an established company (this is vague)? Is it just a functionality app, or do you see the person trying to make money off of it.

    What I'd do if it's a free app, is contact that owner and see if he has plans to bring it to the Android? You never know, maybe he doesn't but he'll let you have to code to do it yourself.

    I think a big piece of it is intent. Are you trying to get rich off the app or are you trying to stop them from making money? If so, you're probably going to have problems if they want to make a case about it (and that's a big if).

    Or are you just finding something that's useful on the iPhone and want to do it on the Android? In that case, it's less likely to be a problem. As others have said, make sure your app is different (doesn't have to be in a big way, just make it different in some minor way)

    We have a number of android apps that are actually pay apps that are rip offs of Bejeweled with their own twists and no one is suing anyone. Puzzle quest is just also a rip off of Bejeweled.. As long as you aren't trying to steal everything from the app you should be ok.
     
  8. KlaymenDK

    KlaymenDK Android Expert
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    Is that sentence finished ... ?

    Anything you create, even a simple grocery list, is under your copyright. :) A teacher couldn't publish a student's essay because the student has copyright on it. A program you write is under your copyright, even if you give it away for free.

    The reason most people don't know this is because most of those who create mainstream "content" (ugh, hate that term, but consider books, music, news articles) are quite literally being "owned" by their employers, and have signed over copyright to them. When "Joe&Guitar" makes a record deal with EMI, he's probably not going to retain copyright (until he becomes a Big Name and has the clout to renegotiate).

    Read up on licenses! Preferably the likes of Creative Commons, BSD, and GPL...
     
  9. cloneman315

    cloneman315 Lurker
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    I would be the app owner myself
     

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