Earlier this evening, out of the blue, I get an email from AppsLib.com indicating that my registration for the site was successful. A few minutes later, I got an email stating that Gas Up had been uploaded for review, potentially making it a “Vetted” app for the ArchOS tablets.
The problem is, I didn’t register with AppsLib.com, nor did I upload a copy of Gas Up to them for review and testing. This wouldn’t be a problem if Bad Luck Software were a real company, with employees, but considering that all of BLS consists of me, my imagination, and my often tired [if not broken] fingers, this is a bit of a problem.
What I think has happened is that they have some how managed to skim applications en-masse from the Android Market, and automatically started the registration process and approval process on hundreds if not thousands of apps found there. Now, considering that I haven’t yet completed beta 5 of Gas Up, which will offer some stability improvements among other things, I wouldn’t bet it passing any serious testing such that ArchOS/AppsLib may be planning. So why would I submit it for such testing?
What’s even funnier, is that as I wrote that last paragraph, I got another email stating that Gas Up runs properly on Archos Tablets. In fact “Suzane” said “Your application is very funny and well done!” While I like to think my sense of humor is pretty good, and that the stories I write have some amount of twisted humor, personally I don’t find anything funny about Gas Up.
Well, getting around to the point of this little entry, I’ve now sent them two emails requesting that Gas Up be removed from AppsLib.com because I didn’t authorize it to be distributed through any means other than Android Market. Perhaps if they had contacted me first, requesting permission to add it to their application marketplace, or for me to join them and do the upload myself, I might have considered allowing it. Yes, Gas Up and I could benefit from additional distribution avenues, and it might even be important if Gas Up were a paid application. But I’m committed to keeping Gas Up free for as long as I develop and own the rights to it. (I will acknowledge that the more people use it, the higher the chances are that I’ll get donations, but I’m trying to make a point here…) Just grabbing my app from the Market or from an installed device, uploading it, and then sending me emails like this is something I asked for amounts to piracy and fraud. And it ticks me off that a company trying to be legitimate would go about something this simple the wrong way.
I’m not impressed by this, and though I had thought to buy an Archos tablet at some point, I’m now going to steer clear of them.
8/17 12:33 am Update: At approximately 5 am, Monday August 16th, I received an email stating that Gas Up would be removed from AppsLib.com, and as of now at least it is indeed gone. After a weekend of thinking about this, I really wish they had taken a different approach to getting my app on their systems; if I had been approached first, I’m sure they wouldn’t have gotten my ire, and I wouldn’t have had to worry and wonder about the steps necessary to get it forcibly removed from their systems if they failed to cooperate.