Tetris APOCALYPSE hits Android Market – 35 clones removed

Looks like the recent roaring success of Android has drawn attention to some of the slightly shadier practices of a few developers, with a DMCA copyright claim filed with Google today wiping an astonishing 35 Tetris clones from the Android Market.

The complaint has been explained, in part, by the developer who’s responsible for one such homage to the ancient puzzle game, over on Slashdot:

“I am one of the developers of FallingBlocks, a game with the same gameplay concepts as Tetris.

“This night, I have received an email warning that my game was suspended from Android Market due to a violation of the Developer Content Policy. When I received the email, I already imagined that it had something to do with it being a Tetris clone, but besides having the same gameplay as Tetris, which i believe cannot be copyrighted, the game uses its own name, graphics and sounds. There’s no reference to “Tetris” in our game.

“I have emailed Google asking what is the reason for the application removal. Google promptly answered that The Tetris Company, LLC notified them under DMCA to remove various Tetris clones from Android Market. My app was removed together with other 35 Tetris clones”

And here’s Falling Blocks. You can understand why the Tetris copyright holders might be a little bit annoyed:

falling blocks android 2 falling blocks android 1

Expect the fallout from this to be rather huge. Falling Blocks is a very popular – and free – Android game, which has racked up over 50,000 downloads so far, according to third-party Market monitoring tools. It’s removal is going to leave an extremely large, L-shaped hole.

Link via AndroidGuys.

8 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. I fear the pac-man clones will be next!

    Reply
  2. “You can understand why the Tetris copyright holders might be a little bit annoyed”

    Well, no. You can’t copyright a game concept. Names, characters, graphics you can copyright, but not the idea. AFAIK, the creators have a quick way out as I understand it: contact the distributor (Google) and inform them that they to their best knowledge are not infringing on copyright and could they please restore the application? According to DMCA provisions, Google is free (even duty-bound? Not sure) to do so, and the accuser must now give actual proof of infringement to remove it again.

    Reply
  3. gpo

     /  May 28, 2010

    i guess this could be seen as a good thing, alot of clones, alot of crap.
    if they are focusing on quality why not

    (but yeah this could be unfair)

    Reply
  4. MrChaz

     /  May 28, 2010

    That doesn’t bode well for all the flight control clones/spin-offs.

    Reply
  5. Gary C

     /  May 28, 2010

    That’s OK, I’m nearly bored of Flight Controller now.

    Reply
  6. Martinf

     /  May 28, 2010

    I have just downloaded it after reading this article. It must have been restored.

    Reply
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