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Thread: HeliAttack ripped and ported to iphone - how to take legal action?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayDream's Avatar
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    HeliAttack ripped and ported to iphone - how to take legal action?

    One of my / our old flash games just got ripped in the most obvious fashion:
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/heli-...25823?mt=8#100

    It is a 100% rip of the squarecircle/ myself flash collaboration from 2005 called "HeliAttack3". They had the nerve to rip the art 1:1 and add some ugly hud elements and a few bad additions (like an ufo) and even kept the name.
    http://www.google.com/url?q=http://w...NucWfH2TbOiOkg

    The guys behind it (riseuplabs) seem to be from Bangladesh. Their website and the facebook and twitter page look rather unprofessional but they have a few iphone apps out on the app store, so I assume they know what they are doing...

    I emailed apple with a complaint last week but the game is still available... Facebook and twitter seem to have taken down the pages though and I contacted the Bangladesh company to take the game down as well... Instead they had the nerve to give away promocodes on toucharcade yesterday - a thread I got taken down as soon I got knowledge of it.

    Understandably I am rather pissed off now... and am wondering what kind of legal action I can take and how? Not only did they take my art and rip the game but also did a bad job at it - ruining the brand name...

    I would appreciate some advice in how to handle legal action with countries like Bangladesh...

    Thanks,
    Chris
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    Last edited by DayDream; 02-17-2010 at 01:00 PM.

  2. #2
    When you know are. Son of Bryce's Avatar
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    Contact Apple first. They don't take lightly to copyright violations and the like. Hopefully they'll just take it down immediately.

    Actually, nevermind. You did that already.

    Sucks that this happened. I'm not a lawyer, but I would suggest you contact one to see what you could reasonably do.

  3. #3
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    I already saw Pred posting about it elsewhere and replied there, but yeah, wanted to say it again: this is quite disgusting.
    I was already annoyed when we were working on Puzzled Pet Planet and meanwhile some other guys put up a clone of Puzzled Sheep but at least those cloners made some unique art and gameplay changes.
    Even if that surely lead to quite some revenue loss for us this here is even way more blunt and annoying thievery and its ridiculous they both stole your assets and the game name, too.
    I actually tried it and i totally agree, the controls are awful just like the other few things they changed/ added, its really quite bad for your heli attack brand name.
    Its crazy they haven´t contacted you to ask for permission, a possible coop or anything like that but just grab your game and copy most of it 1:1.

    I´m not sure how to deal with such issues in those regions, i guess you have to look for a law firm that is versed in international business and can send them more official warnings if your own cease and desist letter doesn´t help.


    Sad, a cool heli attack version on iPhone would have been great, this thing here is just really bad.

  4. #4
    2KHeroes / Sylvaniah designer luxregina's Avatar
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    it really sucks
    I think going through Apple was the right thing to do, though - they are quite touchy with these things. Hopefully they are just processing your claim, hence the delay.
    Maybe send them a second mail to follow up on the situation ?

    Unfortunately, legal action will be expensive, and you won't get your fee funds back before a while, so I'd try anything before hiring a law firm.

  5. #5
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    I saw that the other day, and to be honest thought "Sweet", as I thought it was an official port.

    I don't know what you can do from a legal point of view, I think getting Apple to remove it is the best you're going to get to be honest.

    Squize.

  6. #6
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    man this sucks! it is such a blatant ripoff!
    i'm pretty sure apple will take this down but trying to sue a company in bangladesh would be extremely difficult
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  7. #7
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    iTunes can't find the game on either the UK or US store so I think it's been removed mate..

  8. #8
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    no it hasn't. go into itunes and search for heli
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  9. #9
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    My bad, I only followed the link Chris posted.

  10. #10
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    The description they've put of it looks like something a 12 year old would write.

  11. #11
    Senior Member random10122's Avatar
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    Just wanted to drop in and say best of luck with getting it removed.

    Although i have seen other cases where Apple will remove the app but let the original poster of it keep the money they have made :-| I fear this may happen quite a bit once CS5 hits the pirate bay..

    Hope it all gets sorted, keep us informed!

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Sietjp's Avatar
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    "The item you have requested is not currently available on the US store".
    I guess Apple have removed the app. Good news then.

  13. #13
    Please, Call Me Bob trogdor458's Avatar
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    Well darn
    HeliAttack was a game I played all the time when I was littler (grade school, I think)
    Not the 3rd one of course; the second one
    Loved the series
    Shame to see something like this happen

  14. #14
    formerly hooligan2001 :) .hooligan's Avatar
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    That sucks daydream, my misses is a lawyer. I'll try get her opinion on the matter.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member DayDream's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys... I am really surprised with the lack of action by apple... They are aware of the problem for a week now and have still not taken the game out of the store...

    Obviously copyright doesn't mean anything anymore as long as apple makes money... Looking at all the ripped stuff apple is selling for thieves - eg. the mario sound board - how obvious can it get.

    I am utterly disappointed in apple and their support of smaller developers. Sadly it's all about the big names and the big money.

  16. #16
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    You need to hire lawyer who can then put together scary-looking notice and send it to Apple. If you are just some guy telling them about some game, they really don't care.

  17. #17
    n00b yellowman's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience a while ago. I Emailed Apple at copyrightagent@apple.com and all they did was to put me in contact with the developer who made the ripoff. And then I had to convince/nag him to take it down, luckily he did... But I mean.. it doesn´t really feel like a good way to handle these kind off issues.

    What do Apple care as long as they are making money off it...

    Hope it works out for you!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    No no no, keep nagging Apple. Get all parties involved in the matter. Write professionally, specifically and in detail. Make phones calls if you have to. If you still visit IndieGamer.com then you must have seen the thread about StoneLoops? StoneLoops was not even infringing on Luxor and yet MumboJumbo got Apple to take the game down.

    Just keep at it and get all parties that worked on Heli to be in on the complaint, not just you. You can even mention that though you wish to avoid lawyers at this point, you will have no choice but to do so as a next step.

    Cost: A couple hundred $ to get a lawyer to draft a Cease & Desist notice.

  19. #19
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    can you believe this. all they did was change the name. still ripped graphics. seriously dd i'd get a lawyer mate. spend the money. this is so blatant it's not funny. they even have a "lite" free one (i added a nasty review).
    go to the appstore and search for "fighter vs heli". seriously this is outrageous
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  20. #20
    An FKer
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    That is absolutely insane what people would do to go through to earn some money. But realistically, what can you do? You're out of their law and they're out of yours ... unless you contact someone in Bangladesh to handle the matter.

    Else, you're just dealing with Apple who has to deal with a million other customers. That's discouraging, but I hope they deal with these idiots soon.

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