Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Developers continue to create, and Apple continues to approve, apps that attempt to cash in on media brands

Demonstrating once again that Apple will force media properties to protect their own names inside the iTunes App Store, the company once again approved the release of an app bearing the name of separate media property.

This time the app is Drudge Report Plus. The paid iPad app ($1.99) is from Bluewater Publishing, a company that has 17 total iPad apps, and 45 iPhone apps. Most Bluewater apps are not free, and each app states that there is a support page for it -- but the reality is that most link to a website called Investment for Wealth, under the URL "".
Bluewater Publishing is the name under which David McMahon releases applications inside iTunes. While most of the apps link back to his investment site, a few appear to have actual support pages -- but those apps cost considerably more. Some link to pages that might have existed, but certainly do not anymore.  (At least one app had a dead link due to a typo in the URL.)

The good news is that few people appear to have been drawn into these apps (though the Drudge Report Plus app already has a one-star review from an unfortunate buyer which calls the app buggy and poorly designed).

The bad news is that no one seems to be minding the store at Apple. These apps may function properly, but the bait and switch (linking and pushing an investment site) is certainly a violation of the developer license. And if it isn't, it should be.

The release of this new app is a reminder yet again that media properties need to be vigilant in protecting their media brands -- even if it is Drudge.