iOS Taking over an app in the app store

MTShipp

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 25, 2009
693
81
Raleigh, North Carolina
A developer was using open source code and some of their own GUI customization to publish an app in the App Store for iOS. It was a decent app and I really liked it. However, inexplicably the dev has removed it from the App Store and it is gone now.

Is it fair, legal, and right for me to now use the same open source and my own GUI customizations to upload my own? Neither they did nor will I charge, it will be a free app.

Since my app will be very similar to the previous, would it be OK, in other devs opinions, for me to do it?
 

Mascots

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2009
1,608
1,303
I think you're fine. Just check the licenses on the open source components you're using.

On the same note, I recently had the same thing happen to me only without open source code so recreating it all.

Hate when that happens but always love the possibility to learn and customize to my own liking!
 

PhoneyDeveloper

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2008
3,114
93
The app name is copyrighted, even if it's no longer on the store. You can certainly use the open source code if you abide by its license. IANAL but I think it's a grey area about duplicating the UI of an existing app. As a practical matter though it's very unlikely that you would be sued for copying a free app that's been removed from the store.

You might make an effort to contact the author. Maybe they had a reason to remove it that you'd like to know about or maybe it's going to return in some other form. Maybe they would hand you the source.
 

MTShipp

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 25, 2009
693
81
Raleigh, North Carolina
I think you're fine. Just check the licenses on the open source components you're using.

On the same note, I recently had the same thing happen to me only without open source code so recreating it all.

Hate when that happens but always love the possibility to learn and customize to my own liking!
The app name is copyrighted, even if it's no longer on the store. You can certainly use the open source code if you abide by its license. IANAL but I think it's a grey area about duplicating the UI of an existing app. As a practical matter though it's very unlikely that you would be sued for copying a free app that's been removed from the store.

You might make an effort to contact the author. Maybe they had a reason to remove it that you'd like to know about or maybe it's going to return in some other form. Maybe they would hand you the source.
Thanks for the replies. Makes good sense. The original author is in India and I have not been successful in making contact. I’ll document reasonable attempts and then move forward on my own.
 
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