Technology

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Apple today announced that it has removed the Game Boy iGBA emulator from the App Store for violating the company’s App Rating Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but did not provide any specific details.

iGBA functionality
iGBA was a copied version of developer Riley Testut’s open source GBA4iOS application, which was long distributed outside of the App Store. The emulator soared to the top of the App Store charts after its release over the weekend, but social media users complained the app was a blatant scam covered in ads.

“So apparently Apple has approved a knockoff of GBA4iOS,” Testut said in a post on Threads on Saturday. “I didn’t give anyone permission to do this, and yet it’s now at the top of the charts (despite being filled with ads and tracking).” He joked that he was “very happy that App Review exists to protect consumers from scams and scams like this.”

It’s unclear whether Apple removed iGBA because it believed the app had hijacked GBA4iOS. We have asked Apple for clarification on the removal of the app and will update this article if we receive additional information on the decision.

iGBA allows iPhone users to play Game Boy games by loading free ROMs downloaded from the web. ROMs can be found online for a wide variety of games, including those from the popular Pokémon and The Legend of Zelda franchises. The emulator can still be used by those who installed it on their iPhone before it was removed from the App Store.

On its US customer support website, Nintendo states that downloading pirated copies of its games is illegal. It’s unclear whether Nintendo sent a complaint to Apple regarding iGBA and whether that may have been a factor in the app’s removal.

An excerpt from Section 5.2 of the Application Review Guidelines, relating to intellectual property:

Make sure your app only includes content that you created or that you have licensed to use. Your app may be deleted if you have exceeded limits and used content without permission. Of course, this also means that someone else’s app can be deleted if they “borrowed” from your work.

iGBA appeared in the App Store just over a week after Apple updated its app review guidelines to allow “retro game console emulators,” but it’s inevitably not yet certain of what exactly Apple will allow after quickly deleting the app.

As for Testut, he later created another Nintendo game emulator called Delta, distributed outside of the App Store. Delta will also be available on Testut’s alternative app marketplace, AltStore, on iPhones in the EU. It’s unclear if it plans to make Delta available in the App Store after the rule change.

News Source : www.macrumors.com
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