After 6 days of waiting, I received a reply yesterday from Google regarding the baseless removal of my Downloader app from the Google Play Store due to a ridiculous DMCA claim from Israeli TV firms. Google, after taking its sweet time, is taking a backseat to the situation and not reinstating my app at this time. Even though the claim that the web browser in my app is somehow liable for the copyright infringement occurring on some random website that I have nothing to do with is absurd to any sane person, Google is not intervening and is giving the TV firms that filed the DMCA notice their allotted 10 business days to either file “an action that seeks a court order to restrain” my app or file “a claim of infringement with the US Copyright Office.” Meanwhile, my app will remain suspended for at least two more weeks while it continues to bleed the user base I’ve spent over 5 years serving.
The response I received yesterday to the DMCA counter notification I filed on May 19th, after my initial appeal was rejected, is as follows:
Thanks for reaching out to us. As described in 17 U.S.C. § 512(g), we’ll forward the counter notification to the complainant. If we don’t receive notice that the complainant has filed either an action that seeks a court order to restrain the allegedly infringing activity or a claim of infringement with the US Copyright Office Copyright Claims Board within 10 business days, we’ll reinstate the material in question.
The Google Team
I understand that with even a remotely valid DMCA complaint against an app, Google is expected to act as a neutral third party that passes a counter notice to the complainant and wait for legal action to be taken or not, although, I would have expected such a simple task to take less than 6 days. However, there has to be a line drawn where obviously frivolous complaints with no merit get dismissed for abusing the DMCA, you know, like the claim that a web browser with no association with a piracy website at all is to blame for said website.
Were I to submit a DMCA complaint stating that Google Chrome is infringing on my copyright because Chrome users can use it to navigate to a website that is using my copyrighted photos without my permission, which happens all the time, you can be certain that Google Chrome would remain available and my absurd DMCA complaint would be tossed out, as it should be. Yet the exact same complaint against me and my app is treated as valid and has suspended my app for what will be a minimum of 3 weeks.
After tweeting an update that Downloader would hopefully return in 10 business days, someone who certainly had good intentions replied to say I had “won,” but, thanks to Google, there’s no way for me to come out of this situation as a winner. After 6 days of waiting for Google to decide to not help, my app has already lost 36% of the active Google Play users it had the day before it was suspended. That’s because, despite there still being millions of Android TV devices with my app still installed, it is primarily used by people initially setting up a new device, which are precisely the people who can’t get it anymore. So, even a relatively short suspension period of just 6 days so far has already had a devastating effect on my app’s active users. I don’t want to think about what another 2 weeks are going to do, but, thanks to Google treating an abusive DMCA notice as valid, I’ll find out soon enough.
The DMCA system in place at the Google Play Store is truly broken if an absurd complaint, that is recognized as senseless by anyone with even a remote understanding of how the open web works, is able to take an app down for a minimum of 3 weeks. Assuming the law firm representing Israeli TV companies isn’t stupid enough to actually take a web browser to court for letting users access websites of their choice, my Downloader app should once again be available in the Google Play Store in 10 business days or about 2 weeks. In the meantime, you can still install it from the Amazon Appstore on Fire TV devices or sideload the APK onto Android TV devices, but I urge you to only download the APK from here to avoid the possibility of installing a malicious clone.
Thank you to everyone that has been tweeting and commenting in support of my Downloader app during this situation, especially the numerous writers and publications, like TorrentFreak, Ars Technica, and Android Police, that have written great articles about how ridiculous it is to take down a web browser for providing access to the internet.
Hi Elias. You are a credit to all of us . Your enthusiasm in helping users is fantastic. Pity Google would not take the time to clear up the music icon that is continuously popping up on notification’s on Firestick. This would be just a walk in the park for you to fix,Google have been trying for past 3 months reporting that it has been fixed a no of times. We’re all are 100% behind you .
Thanks, I appreciate the support!
Is it the New Version 1.4.4. Or is it the old version 1.4.3. Like the one in the Amazon store.
If it is and you want the latest version of Downloader then follow the videos in YouTube like tech doctor UK or similar videos and or Google search howvto get it.
The newest version for Android TV is v1.4.4 which can be downloaded at https://www.aftvnews.com/downloader.apk
The only difference between v1.4.4 in Google Play and v1.4.3 in the Amazon Appstore are some changes to how file access permissions are handled, to be compatible with Android 11 and Android 12 devices. There are no Amazon devices running Android 11/12, so I didn’t bother updating the Amazon Appstore version for no reason. The two versions are functionally the same.
OK. Thank you for the information. Now we know why the difference versions in the Amazon Store and the Google Play Store.
Che fesserie e come successe per i masterizzatori sia CD che DVD e Bluray, “ti compri il masterizzatore perché cosi copi i film e i CD Musicali?, no mi compro il masterizzatore perché cosi posso fare le mie copie di backup di tutto ciò che ho sul mio PC”. Quindi etichettare un applicazione illecita perché molti altri ne fanno uso illecito non ha senso, quindi banniamo i browser web perché ci sono siti pirata che trasmettono in streaming, oppure banniamo le chat perché ci sono i pedofili, ma andate a fan…. , e lasciate vivere le persone.
uve been readibg its not commong nack