HomeWinBuzzer NewsApple Removes Game Boy Advance Emulator from App Store for Copyright Infringement

Apple Removes Game Boy Advance Emulator from App Store for Copyright Infringement


has recently approved, and then promptly removed, a Game Boy Advance emulator named iGBA from its App Store. According to MacRumors, the removal came after allegations surfaced that the app was a clone of an existing open-source emulator, GBA4iOS, developed by Riley Testut. The incident has sparked discussions about copyright, emulation, and Apple's app review policies.

Copyright Infringement Allegations

The controversy began when it was discovered that iGBA closely resembled GBA4iOS, a project led by developer Riley Testut. Testut told The Verge that iGBA was an unauthorized clone of his work, which utilizes the GNU GPLv2 license. This license requires any derivatives of the software to acknowledge the original source, a condition iGBA allegedly failed to meet. Apple cited violations of its App Review Guidelines related to spam and copyright as the reason for the app's removal. Specifically, the guidelines mandate that apps must only include content created by the developer or for which they have a license.

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Developer Responses and Privacy Concerns

Following the app's removal, Mattia La Spina, the developer behind iGBA, expressed regret over the app's impact and reached out to Testut via email. Aside from the copyright issues, there were also concerns regarding user privacy. iGBA's App Store listing indicated the collection of potentially identifiable data, although users reported not being prompted for location data permission, contrary to what was expected.

In parallel, the broader context of Apple's decision to allow emulators on its platform is noteworthy. This change comes amidst regulatory scrutiny and legal challenges, including the EU's Digital Markets Act and a lawsuit from the US Department of Justice, pushing for more openness in the App Store's operations. Despite these pressures, the introduction and subsequent removal of iGBA highlight the complexities of balancing innovation, copyright, and user safety in the digital marketplace.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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