Within hours of Apple accepting P2P management application IS Drive into the App store, they withdrew it yesterday over potential piracy concerns. But the logic behind the withdrawal is hard to follow. If Apple refuse to publish an application that allows iPhone users to manage BitTorrent downloads on their Mac, surely it has to withdraw every application – such as LogMeIn Hamachi, Chicken of the VNC which allow users to remotely connect to their Mac and download files. Even a simple browser like Safari could “potentially” be used to download illegal material.
It seems what has happened here is that Apple approved it but then ran a mile after seeing the word “BitTorrent” used in the application’s description submitted by the developer Derek Kepner. Which raises the question, don’t they check the descriptions submitted by developers before they are released into the App store? This rejection on what are effectively use of language grounds is especially ironic when you consider Kepner was well aware that using the word “torrent” could have Apple running for the hills. He told Torrentfreak:
I didn’t see any reason for the app to be rejected in Apple’s recently released guidelines. So, I was very careful with this release to not use the dirty word ‘torrent,’ and I’ll continue to carefully add new features, so stay tuned.
There are a huge number of applications that can be used for illegal purposes. Is it really Apple’s role to say users can’t be trusted to use applications legally? And if so, where should they draw the line? It seems that the line at the moment is word “torrent” because As Macworld report, this isn’t the first time that Apple have rejected a torrent application. Back in 2009 they rejected Drivetrain which would have allowed users to manage Transmission from their iPhone.
But since you can effectively do exactly the same thing by logging into your Mac with other applications, the withdrawal of IS Drive makes little sense.