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Apple Accepts, Then Rejects BitTorrent iPhone App

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the make-up-yer-mind-wouldja dept.

Iphone 163

An anonymous reader writes "Apple recently approved an iPhone app called IS Drive, which lets users check and manage downloads from ImageShack.us, while also offering users the option to use the company's BitTorrent service to download files to their ImageShack account. Once Apple got wind of what the app was capable of, however, it was promptly removed from iTunes."

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Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808398)

Apple keeps an iron grip over apps. It's weird that they would approve something like Bittorrent at all!

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808424)

Yes because anything delivered over BitTorrent is inherently evil and breaking copyright laws.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (2, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808450)

To be fair, the app in question duplicated functionality: it communicated with other machines over the internet to perform specific tasks. Apple can't allow any apps to do that! I'm glad there aren't any other ones breaking the rules like that...

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810606)

"To be fair" - to whom??

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (2, Interesting)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808506)

It's a common problem with censorship, tools and information which can be used in both legitimate and illegitimate ways are often blocked completely.

No good reason to bittorrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808766)

Except when using you're using your Maemo Linux-powered N900 to download Blender Foundation's Sintel using Transmission from the default repository. Hmm...somebody hasn't been rejecting apps according to the universal (Apple) standard for app rejection.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810254)

While the official reason is Apple's concern that the tool is often(though not exclusively) used by pirates, I suspect there is another reason here. Apple needs to maintain a good relationship with carriers, and anything that uploads a lot of data - like a torrent client - will overload their cells with ease and thus require costly upgrades.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810372)

My mistake - I misunderstood the functioning of the program. On further examination it becomes apparent that it doesn't actually use much bandwidth at all.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808466)

Apple is a company that has many employees under it's wing. Despite what you might have been lead to believe, Steve Jobs doesn't personally approve or reject of every app. People make mistakes, news at 11.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810452)

Well then. Stuff is either "curated" or is isn't. Not everything can be high profile enough to come to the attention of senior management and get extraordinary review.

Trojans, Fart Apps, AdWare & BitTorrent client are all things that can slip through those cracks.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808490)

Apple keeps an iron grip over apps. It's weird that they would approve something like Bittorrent at all!

From TFA ...

Kepner theorized that the app was able to sneak in past Apple’s censors because he avoided using the word “torrent.” Well played, Sir Kepner. Well played.

So, the way he described it, they didn't quite realize what it was actually doing. The reasoning from Apple was:

this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.

I can see why they don't want to get embroiled in any of the legal stuff associated with Torrents. While they do have non-infringing uses, I can see a company like Apple just deciding they don't want to risk the legal actions which could result.

The *AAs aren't above suing absolutely everyone who had anything to do with distributing anything which can be/is used to do filesharing. Apple doesn't want to jeopardize their iTunes contracts by appearing to support that.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808638)

The *AAs aren't above suing absolutely everyone who had anything to do with distributing anything which can be/is used to do filesharing. Apple doesn't want to jeopardize their iTunes contracts by appearing to support that.

That's funny I can't recall BitTorrent, the business that makes and publishes the actual BitTorrent and uTorrent clients that most people use, ever being sued by either the MPAA or RIAA. It didn't jeopardize their ability to get deals to sell MPAA member movies in their store. You're suggesting that Apple has less pull with the studios than BT?

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808734)

Don't be silly, the vast majority of users use bit torrent to pirate software/music/movies/books.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808802)

please advise of the sources you used to gather this information and come to this conclusion.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809240)

Logic.

Go to any torrent site (excluding ones that advertise the fact that they only serve legal torrents) and tell me how many legal vs. illegal torrents you find.

BT Junkie, Demonoid, and Pirate Bay. Go ahead, check.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809492)

You mean torrents that link to illegal content, not illegal torrents.

And a large portion of the torrent users that share legal content don't manually download the torrent files, so that sample is biased.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1, Flamebait)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809602)

Semantics (accurate, but semantics nontheless.) Insisting that torrents are more frequently used for legal vs illegal file sharing is ignorant at best and putting your fingers in your ear shouting "LALALALA" at worst.

The general "you", not "you, icebraining".

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809634)

Yes, but that's a little tangential to the issue at hand because those legal users who don't manually dl the files are usually using the technology baked into another piece of software and, as such, aren't using a general purpose torrent client at all...

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808866)

Just like the vast majority of internet users use it to get some porn.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809144)

Also 99% of Americans are pink elephants (I'm one of the other 1%) and 84% of statistics are made up on the spot. Got some numbers to go with that or have you just been drinking the litigation industry's flavor-aid?

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809320)

Play stupid all you want, how about you show some numbers to prove otherwise? It's rather easy to go to any torrent site and see how many users are downloading pirated goods.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809802)

And, it is rather easy to go to any Linux distro site and now even commercial software developers' sites and find bittorrent links to legitimate product.

Sure it is in the minority now, but that is true of any kind of download technology.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810150)

And it is pretty easy to find out how many active wow players there are. All of their updates are done through bit torrent.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810710)

Yes, but few if any actually use a third party torrent client to do so.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808680)

I can see why they don't want to get embroiled in any of the legal stuff associated with the Internet. While it does have non-infringing uses, I can see a company like Apple just deciding they don't want to risk the legal actions which could result.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808812)

Well, I'm sure that if Apple could find a market-acceptable way to do it, they'd restrict internet access on the iPhone to a safe subset enclosed by a Great Applewall. But people gotta facebook and tweet and whatever.

For <made up statistic>90 percent</made up statistic> of the Internet-using world, the Internet is just what appears on a browser. The fact that many non-browsers applications also use HTTP or HTTPS as their backside protocol emphasizes that point of view. The ideal universe for many providers of devices, content, or communications is where nothing exists except HTTP or HTTPS, and all the tame sheeples don't know that anything else exists. Including downloading anything except more applications for which you pay good money to the appropriate gatekeeper.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808778)

so true. it's not like the whole ipod business was built on piracy or anything. i mean ask anyone with a few thousand tracks on their players.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809126)

so true. it's not like the whole ipod business was built on piracy or anything. i mean ask anyone with a few thousand tracks on their players.

Ummm ... I've got something like 6,000 tracks in my iTunes library. Not a single one was pirated -- they're all rips from CDs that I own. I've bought several hundred CDs over the last few years. I know several people with thousands of tracks ripped from CDs in their collection.

iTunes has sold a couple of billion tracks as I recall. The iPod business was built on ease of use, and the ability to buy the music you want and get it in a convenient format. I think the actual software had something to do with it, since it is pretty easy to use.

Apple has never encouraged people to share music, and they've never made it difficult to work with your own CDs or buy new tracks.

They sure as hell didn't build their iPod business on piracy. Now, since they've always allowed you to add DRM free MP3s to your collection, some people may have pirated -- but, Apple never steered them in that direction. It certainly was never part of their business strategy or something they encouraged.

Hell, my cable company does more to suggest that I can be downloading movies and music than Apple does.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (2, Interesting)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809272)

so true. it's not like the whole ipod business was built on piracy or anything. i mean ask anyone with a few thousand tracks on their players.

Ummm ... I've got something like 6,000 tracks in my iTunes library. Not a single one was pirated -- they're all rips from CDs that I own. I've bought several hundred CDs over the last few years. I know several people with thousands of tracks ripped from CDs in their collection.

Are you in the UK? If so, yes, you're a pirate. Because, over here, copying tracks from a CD (which you own) onto an iPod (which you own) using a PC (which you own) is unlawful.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809626)

iTunes has sold a couple of billion tracks as I recall. The iPod business was built on ease of use, and the ability to buy the music you want and get it in a convenient format. I think the actual software had something to do with it, since it is pretty easy to use.

Of course, the iTunes Store was launched two years after the iPod.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810082)

Are you able to PROVE this at a moments notice when searched? nope? Well then you're illegal, you dirty stinking pirate.

This is how the law works, if you dont like it then fight it.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808880)

Horse apples! All Apple is saying is that they want to be the only ones to be able to infringe on third party rights. Steve Jobs self-righteous BS is just that. Look at the $650+ million judgment against them just last Friday.

If Apple is so concerned about third party rights they may want to start with leading by example. Steve Jobs is a fraud.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

index0 (1868500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808892)

Is that why macs don't come with the tool 'wget'? cause people use that tool to "steal" ?

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809082)

...but is does come with "curl".

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808898)

I'm sure that probably is the reason they pulled it, however, to be fair shouldn't they disallow all forms of digital transfer protocols that are often used for the "purpose of infringing third party rights"?

This would of course include FTP and HTTP but I don't see them stopping people from using either of those.. especially HTTP.

Bittorrent gets a bad rap now because it is one of the best file transfer methods/protocols at the moment and is therefore often used for the third party infringement they speak of. However, it isn't the only way to get copyrighted files (pirating has been going on for far longer than Bittorrent has been popular) and one day, when something better comes along, pirates will move on to that just like many moved to Bittorrent.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809348)

From a company perspective, it boils down to frequency.

Bittorrent has many legitimate uses, but it is (MUCH) more frequently used for illicit/illegal purposes. In essence, the legitimate use is the exception, not the rule.

FTP and HTTP also have many legitimate purposes, and those legitimate purposes is their most common use.

It's like Wal-mart deciding not to sell bongs. Sure, there are legal uses for bongs, but that's not their typical use, and having them available is bad for their corporate image because of the stigma attached to the item. Even though you CAN commit crimes with many other items sold in their store, it's still not quite the same situation.

That said, don't take this as a post in support of Apple. I'm just explaining their motives. The fact that your decision to have certain software installed on YOUR device is dependent upon the motives of the device's manufacturer is reason enough to look elsewhere. With my Android phone, even if Google decides not to have a Bittorrent app in their store (which I could understand), that DOESN'T mean that I can't install one on my phone . . .

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808934)

I hope they don't have an ssh or telnet applet, because that is also a tool many hackers use.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810338)

They have several ssh programs, and they all suck. I just want one that can forward a port through an SSH tunnel, so I can use it to tunnel web-traffic through. I don't want to let just anyone running a public hotspot poke around my browsing.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809328)

I can see why they don't want to get embroiled in any of the legal stuff associated with Torrents. While they do have non-infringing uses, I can see a company like Apple just deciding they don't want to risk the legal actions which could result.

Tbh, that is a really poor excuse. A plain web browser is probably the most used tool for copyright infringement yet they still supply one. Even more, they actively develop one.

If they start to disapprove of apps because they can _possibly_ be used for copyright infringing actions then they should remove Safari, iTunes, iPhoto...

As for BitTorrent itself, well, it is actually nowadays used for all kinds of completely legal things. Some companies for example use it internally for spreading large files, like f.ex. disk images, so that the central server can still use its bandwidth for more important things. Various kinds of free movies, books et al are spread via BitTorrent. All kinds of free tools and alternative OSes are distributed that way. Hell, there's even plenty of free music around and some of it too is distributed via BitTorrent. As such I see this as nothing more than a strawman argument on Apple's behalf.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809716)

like f.ex. disk images

Please, never do that again. Federal Express has nothing to do with what you're writing. Use "e.g." when you mean "For example".

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809388)

Are you going to tell me that I couldn't find any popular MP3 as a webdownload through google in 5 seconds? Should Apple ban webbrowsers too then? Oh well, what do I care, It's not like I would ever restrict myself to using an iPhone while phones with Android are available.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809822)

I can see why they don't want to get embroiled in any of the legal stuff associated with Torrents. While they do have non-infringing uses, I can see a company like Apple just deciding they don't want to risk the legal actions which could result.

That's a pitiful excuse and rationale if Apple subscribes to that line of thought. I don't see lawsuits directed at BitTorrent, Inc. from the entertainment industry popping up left and right for providing the uTorrent client... and they actually develop and maintain the program, Apple would just be hosting and distributing a completely legal application. What's next, US citizens can sue local and federal governments for providing a perfectly legitimate and useful medium such as the interstate because they're supporting drug trafficking?

Apple faces no real legal actions as far as copyright infringement goes by hosting and distributing a third party application that supports a completely legitimate and standardized protocol, unless they have some contracts that say they won't support any P2P mediums (other than their own) or some garbage like that between some record labels. I can't say I'd be surprised if that were the case, observing the entertainment industry's track record of shenanigans over the last few years.

Most likely, Apple doesn't want to bring the AT&T network down into shambles and expose AT&T's over subscription practices more so than it already is... while simultaneously blemishing Apple and Job's image and ego respectively. I doubt AT&T could support a popular BitTorrent application across the iPhone user base, it would probably be disastrous for their network. I could also see concerns over the livelihood of their iTunes contracts if iPhones became popular BitTorrent clients, but the excuse provided by Apple for rejecting such an application is complete and utter garbage. This is exactly why I'll never purchase an iPhone; it's far too political for my tastes.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810202)

should Dell also ban you from installing utorrent on any computer you bought from them?

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810340)

I can see why they don't want to get embroiled in any of the legal stuff associated with Torrents

Nobody has ever or will ever get in trouble for distributing a torrent app.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811010)

Nobody has ever or will ever get in trouble for distributing a torrent app.

OK, then perhaps you can explain why they could sue limewire [mashable.com] but not torrent?

Honest question? Was limewire providing servers or something tangibly different?

Sometimes it seems that if you can get a sympathetic judge, you can argue all sorts of things in court. Sometimes, they'll even find in your favor.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810702)

WTF? This is +4 insightful?

The apps you are talking about are all clients. They are not servers. By your post, it seems all bittorrent clients are mired in legal battles. Also, as per your post, I am sure *AA will go after Microsoft any minute for letting their OS users install torrent clients!!

Stop being apple's bitch.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811122)

By your post, it seems all bittorrent clients are mired in legal battles.

No, I postulated a possible reason why Apple might not want to have anything to do with that kind of filesharing. Nothing more, nothing less. Deal with it.

Stop being apple's bitch.

Awww, you wanna be my bitch? How cute. Maybe we could cuddle or something after dinner and you could give me backrubs?

Please, piss off and have a nice day. Do try to be less of an ass if you can.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (2, Informative)

alexhs (877055) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808544)

FTFA, the app was previously rejected under the name "Jack Torrents".
After the last developer guideline change, it was resubmitted as "IS Drive", hiding the fact that it was actually doing BitTorrent (from the article video, isoHunt and Mininova tabs have also been hidden along the name change, for example).
That's why the app got approved...

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810126)

But it's not actually 'doing BitTorrent' anymore than your remote control is 'doing TV reception'.

Re:Seems strange they approved it at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810548)

FTFA, the app was previously rejected under the name "Jack Torrents".

Interesting name. Jack Torrance [wikipedia.org] .

Bandwidth (1)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808406)

I would not waste the scarce AT&T bandwidth on torrents.

Re:Bandwidth (2, Insightful)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808476)

The ImageShack servers do the torrenting. You just tell them what to download so you can download it straight from them later.

Re:Bandwidth (1)

f0rk (1328921) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808508)

I, on the other hand, would waste all of my unlimited bandwidth, if i could.

Re:Bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808634)

Unlimited bandwidth, at 1KB/s....

Re:Bandwidth (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808688)

So... 2.6 GB/month? That's pretty awful.

Re:Bandwidth (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808808)

I, on the other hand, would waste all of my unlimited bandwidth, if i could.

Reminds me of the SNL sketch where the people who "ruin it for the rest of us" talked about their adventures. Why gas station bathrooms now have locks, etc.

See Tragedy of the Commons [wikipedia.org] , except with out the economic benefit from depleting the common resource

Re:Bandwidth (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808930)

I would not waste the scarce AT&T bandwidth on facebook.

FTFY.

That said, the torrenting isn't done over-the-air. It's a proxy torrent system, with ImageShack doing the torrent download.

bittorrents bad, mmmkay... (joke) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808442)

You know, guns are bad too so cops probably shouldn't have them.
Morphine and other pain relievers are bad too, because some people abuse them. The hospitals probably shouldn't be using them.

How many types are secretly banned? (2, Insightful)

burris (122191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808488)

From Apple via the TFA:

We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.

In addition to the published list of restrictions there is a second, secret, list of types of application that Apple has chosen not to publish. There is no way to know if your type of application is on that list without submitting a fully working application.

Re:How many types are secretly banned? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808628)

Well, we should've known their recent spate of openness was too good to be true.

Re:How many types are secretly banned? (5, Informative)

Thinine (869482) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808678)

No, Apple recently released all of their criteria publicly, and this standard was on that list. http://developer.apple.com/appstore/guidelines.html [apple.com]

Re:How many types are secretly banned? (0)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808690)

2.4 Apps that include undocumented or hidden features inconsistent with the description of the app will be rejected

Actually, there seems to be a pretty good, clear way to know if your app will be rejected. Following the App Store Review Guidelines helps a great deal.

Re:How many types are secretly banned? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810008)

And when that isn't enough, there are these helpful guidelines for rejection:

Does it do something similar to an Apple application but better?
Will it invite attention from whiny outraged political groups, such as the American Family Association or RIAA?
Will it divert revenue that might have otherwise had gone to Apple or AT&T or other carriers?
Does it contradict an established Apple ideology, publicly stated or inferred?

Re:How many types are secretly banned? (1, Troll)

Exitar (809068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808742)

It's not so hard.
If your application do something useful, it's probably on their list.
If it's only nice looking fluff, it will be accepted.

Re:How many types are secretly banned? (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809080)

TFA was referring to the refusal given to DriveTrain as an example of why Torrent apps have gotten turned down in the past.

As Kepner chose not to publish what Apple sent him, we can only speculate as to the reason why it was pulled. Besides, the bit of the article you clipped did indicate what Apple told the developer when it was refused. You may not agree with the reason, but there was one: no secrets there.

Why? (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808608)

I see some arguments about Apple not wanting to get involved in the *AA legal debate with torrents, but I don't understand how that's related to them at all.

Are we so far gone that we can't even have a torrent app because we *might* pirate things with it? I'm sure there are valid use cases for having torrents on the iPhone. It should be the carriers that get angry about torrents, not your friggin OS/hardware provider. You don't see Microsoft getting angry about uTorrent, it's the ISPs. What's going on here?

Re:Why? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808630)

Apple doesn't want an application install vector that they don't control.

Re:Why? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808942)

Apple doesn't want an application install vector that they don't control.

What does this app have to do with install vectors?

Re:Why? (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811080)

Then why do they allow apps to use http?

Re:Why? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811136)

That's a loophole they can't close. It's a tradeoff point between locking the device down and letting users install what they want.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808846)

Are we so far gone that we can't even have a torrent app because we *might* pirate things with it?

While we'll probably never know due to the lack of transparency about the whole process, it's likely due to AT&T. Their network can't very well handle the traffic it has now and certainly won't be able to handle pegged upstream and downstream connections from the growing number of iPhones.

As an iPhone user who has been experiencing more and more slow network connectivity, I could care less if someone has a BitTorrent application on their phone installed via Cydia but I certainly don't want the majority userbase accessing it to peg their connections to download *anything* legal or illegal content aside.

Re:Why? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810546)

While we'll probably never know due to the lack of transparency about the whole process, it's likely due to AT&T. Their network can't very well handle the traffic it has now and certainly won't be able to handle pegged upstream and downstream connections from the growing number of iPhones.

The phone doesn't do the torrenting, it just remotely controls the torrent client that runs on imageshack's servers (and their bandwidth).

Re:Why? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810560)

Skype was allowed onto the app store once they had established that it could only operate over wifi. Why not the same for this?

Re:Why? (1)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811098)

That restriction's been lifted. Skype happily works over 3G now.

Re:Why? (1)

RCourtney (973307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810826)

Except that it doesn't use AT&T's network to download torrents, it lets you start downloads with ImageShack doing the downloading. Think of it like the iPhone as a remote control for torrenting - it controls the torrents, but does not actually receive them. From TFA...

Earlier this week, Apple approved an iPhone app called IS Drive, which lets users check and manage downloads from ImageShack.us, while also offering users the option to use the company’s BitTorrent service to download files to their ImageShack account.

Total breakdown of their vetting process. (2, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808622)

Once Apple got wind of what the app was capable of...

Isn't the whole purpose of vetting apps to figure out what they are doing (and that no "bad" behaviour is included - no malware)? It seems that if this app gets through the vetting process, from the of it doing only what it's advertised to do, that there's something terribly wrong with Apple's vetting process.

Re:Total breakdown of their vetting process. (0, Troll)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808832)

Knowledgeable people in QA are very hard to get.
They probably just make sure:
1-they got their $
2-the forms are filled out OK
3-it installs OK (no errors or breaks iOS)
4-that they can remotely remove it.

It doesn't take a "Genius" to do this. (Pun intended)

What does the app do is an after though

 

Re:Total breakdown of their vetting process. (2, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809450)

From the description in the article, especially the phrase "sneak in", it sounds like he deliberately obfuscated the functionality of the app. It's happened a few times before- an app is submitted with a questionable feature disabled, then once it's in the wild a switch is thrown on a server and suddenly it's capable of more than was ever shown to Apple. The vetting process being susceptible to targeted attempts to circumvent it does not mean that a "total breakdown" occurred.

Gulf Oil BLOWOUT News Please : (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808636)

Let Slashdot inform people instead of mind-numbing iPhone, iPad, iCrap-Google drivel.

Is oil still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico?

Yours In Moscow,
Kilgore Trout, C.I.O.

So What About VNC (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808676)

So does that mean that Apple will disallow VNC apps? Because, you know, those can also be used to manage BitTorrent downloads.

Re:So What About VNC (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808782)

Web browsers can too. Some bittorrent clients have a web interface.

Everything is worthless without Bittorrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808728)

Face it. The future is (already) Bittorrent/P2P.. only jurisdictional aggression is left to cumber (but not stop) that trend from becoming the fact of our time... everything that doesn't support it is doomed to be transition technology.

The 1% of Torrenters (1)

ViViDboarder (1473973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808804)

Using BT legitimately will have to wait until they are home to download their Linux ISO! Such injustice!

It's a shame that a few bad eggs ruin it for the rest of us...

Re:The 1% of Torrenters (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808874)

Hooray for pulling numbers out your ass.

Re:The 1% of Torrenters (1)

ViViDboarder (1473973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809110)

I had to reach deep for it.

It wasn't supposed to be serious. I just don't see this as such a big deal when Transmission has a perfectly capable web interface that works on the iPhone and Android. Also, Apple sure doesn't want to piss off the RIAA.

Do you have numbers on illegal vs. legal torrents? I can't find any decent sources.

Re:The 1% of Torrenters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809950)

Hooray for pulling numbers out your ass.

Sure, I'm certain he wanted to use the most likely far more accurate "0.004%" or so, but you have to admit, that'd look far more lame in a subject header.

Punishing one person for the acts of another... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809230)

I see you're from the "punish everyone whether they're guilty or not" camp.

Then you blame the punishment of innocent people on the acts of completely different people -- rather than correctly blaming it on your braindead enforcement of robotic policies.

Torrent use (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808814)

But...but...I use BT to download World of Warcraft patches and Redhat ISOs! This is inhumane! You've crippled the iPhone!

I don't see what all this fuss is about... (1)

Codename Dutchess (1782238) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808864)

Is there really no open source, or homebrew torrent client for the iPod / iPhone? Just jailbreak and install that? And if there isn't, why doesn't someone make one? Jailbroken iPod Touches / iPhones are prevalent enough for this to be feasible, aren't they? Or am I missing something completely here?

Obious Reason (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808888)

To everyone planning on blasting Apple for rejecting the app, please check the submission guidelines they recently published. The reason this app was rejected is spelled out in clear detail there - the developer has nobody to blame but themself for the app's rejection. They knew they were submitting an app that wouldn't be approved because they hid certain functionality, which is precisely the reason the app was going to be rejected.

2.4 Apps that include undocumented or hidden features inconsistent with the description of the app will be rejected.

When you do something against the rules and get caught, don't be surprised that there are consequences. Don't want to play by those rules, then don't. That simple.

Re:Obious Reason (2, Funny)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810764)

Don't want to play by those rules, then don't. That simple.

Seems to me they didn't want to play by those rules, and didn't.

Re:Obious Reason (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811104)

I think you are a little confused here... the reason it got rejected originally was the loose connection with bittorrent. This had nothing to do with obfuscation (aside from the fact that the developer tried to hide the bittorrent aspect in the second release) - the second one was rejected for the same reason as the first one, namely because it had something to do with bittorrent.

Yes, they knew they were likely to get rejected, but not because they hid a feature - they knew they would be rejected because Apple didn't like the feature they hid. Saying they got rejected for hiding a feature or misrepresenting features is BS - Apple had already shown that they would reject the app if it said exactly what it did.
The one and only reason for the rejection is that Apple doesn't want anything to do with bittorrent used on "their" hardware.

Of course, the developers could just make a web-based interface accessible through a browser to do the same thing (by the sound of it this would be pretty straightforward), but then they wouldn't be able to charge for it as easily.

Closed Systems = Closed Wallet (3, Interesting)

tomweeks (148410) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808980)

Well, this just validates what most FOSS advocates preach... closed systems are self serving and antagonistic toward freedom. This is one reason why I've never financially supported Apple products (since the introduction of the Mac in the 80s).

Tweeks

Re:Closed Systems = Closed Wallet (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809180)

I'm not as pure a FOSS adherent as you — all my personal computing devices are from Apple — but I definitely agree that without FOSS we'd have less freedom and innovation in computing today.

Re:Closed Systems = Closed Wallet (1)

tomweeks (148410) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809764)

Maybe we should view it as a market of freedom... as long as there IS choice (i.e. it exists), you don't HAVE to chose one over the other. The slippery part is for those who only use proprietary systems. The use of proprietary systems tends toward vendor-lock, which leads to more of the same. As long as you keep at least some mix of FOSS in there, at least you have options.

Tweeks

Re:Closed Systems = Closed Wallet (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810662)

Except the problem with systems built on binary compatability is that they tend to favor a single dominant vendor.

If that single dominant vendor produces an open system, there is at least the possibility for 3rd party apps.

Otherwise, the platform tyrant is free to suppress any dissent to their "curation" of content at their leisure.

Censor-ware should really grate with the artsy fartsy types (the real ones anyways).

Predictable slashdot reaction (0, Flamebait)

greghodg (1453715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809278)

Whatever. Aside from slashdot readers, there are exactly six people who care. When are "you people" going to get off your high horses and accept that the vast majority of people do not give a crap about any of the things you hold so dearly. Namely, all software should be open source, all digital media should be free, and you should be able to run whatever you want wherever you want with no restrictions.

wait (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809954)

"download files to their ImageShack account"

then I get to download it to my local? that's like me asking you to pick me up so I can drive you to the store.

min[us 4, Troll) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810128)

Caught wind of it? (1)

ntheory (1381059) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810782)

I thought they were actually reviewing applications over there. What exactly does the approval process achieve?
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