Google has removed the web browser from its Play Store following a DMCA request that accuses the app of infringing the copyrights of works owned by Warner Bros.
Elias Saba, an independent developer, has had his app removed from the Google Play Store after a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint accusing him of having access to the Warner Bros. Entertainment website.
The “Downloader” app has been removed again from Google Play
The app in question, which combines a web browser and file manager, was suspended last May after Israeli TV companies accused it of being able to be used to load pirate websites. The comment was lifted three weeks later by Google.
Today, “Downloader” has once again been removed from the Google Play Store, but for a reason that is less clear to understand: because it offers the ability to download the Warner Bros. website, like all web browsers.
“Your app contains content that allegedly infringes the copyrights of others and violates applicable copyright laws in the relevant country/jurisdiction,” Google told the developer.
The DMCA complaint was filed by MarkScan, a “digital asset protection” company that owns Warner Bros. Discovery appealed. But such a complaint must identify the copyrighted work that has been infringed, which is not the case here. There are no details except the link to Warner Bros. Home Page.
It goes without saying that the developer of the “Downloader” application, which has been downloaded more than 10 million times, is angry about the lack of verification by Google, explaining that in this case “no application from the Google Play Store is safe from being suspended with just a few clicks and a withdrawal request.”
Google rejects the developer’s appeal
It took Google just 24 minutes to reject Elias Saba’s appeal. But the developer also filled in Dispute Notices Form Which gives the plaintiff 10 business days to file a lawsuit.
“Since my app still does not contain copyright infringement content and it never did, I face a new DMCA takedown which will hopefully mean the app will be restored within the coming weeks,” Ilyas Saba.
Thanks to this procedure, the application was resubmitted last May, without the complainant taking any legal action. Google recognizes that the DMCA complaint system is routinely abused, but says it has an obligation to trust the assertions copyright plaintiffs make in takedown requests.
Google asserts that the company “reviews takedown requests associated with Google search results using a combination of manual (human) review and automation” to ensure “that the takedown request contains the elements required by the DMCA.” On the other hand, Mountain View does not itself verify whether allegedly infringing URLs contain illegal content.
On the same topic: Play Store: Google is becoming more demanding with Android apps
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