Apple rejects BitTorrent control app Drivetrain [Updated] | iLounge News

Apple rejects BitTorrent control app Drivetrain [Updated]

Apple has rejected iPhone developer Maza Digital’s Drivetrain application, a remote control for Transmission, a BitTorrent client for Mac OS X and other platforms. After an initial email stating that Drivetrain required “unexpected additional time for review,” Maza then received a rejection email from Apple, stating that “this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.”

Calling the rejection “ridiculous,” Maza notes that “a BitTorrent client or the BitTorrent protocol are not illegal (and does not infringe on third party rights),” and points out that Drivetrain does not download anything itself, instead allowing users to manage the activity of Transmission, including controls for stop, start, and delete; while it allows users to upload .torrent files to Transmission, it does so by sending links to Transmission instead of downloading/uploading files itself. Maza suggests that Apple “seems to have decided that any app that has anything to do with BitTorrent (even if the app does not download/upload anything!) is treated as doing something that ‘is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights,’ and will therefore likely be rejected.”

Update: iPhone developer David Muzi contacted iLounge to point out that his iPhone and iPod touch RSS application Trackr, currently available on the App Store, also lets users remotely queue torrents to start downloading to a computer running uTorrent or Transmission—functionality similar to what Apple rejected in DriveTrain. Trackr sells for $2.99.

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BOOOOO - let the app pass!

Posted by jay on May 11, 2009 at 10:53 AM (CDT)


Good, BitTorrent is WEAK, at best.

Posted by Mr. Simpson on May 11, 2009 at 11:25 AM (CDT)


Yes you don’t actually download anything with this app.  But by using it and BitTorrent people support piracy.  BitTorrent itself isn’t illegal, but no one can tell me that the content it delievers is not pirated.

Posted by sting7k on May 11, 2009 at 11:43 AM (CDT)


Some of the content is pirated.  Much of it (like OpenOffice) is not.

A tool can be used for good or evil.  Do we want to ban hammers and kitchen knives because people can use them to inflict harm?

Posted by otaku on May 11, 2009 at 11:46 AM (CDT)


Alcohol supports crime. Cars support traffic deaths. Planes pollute our planet.

Just because there is a way to abuse something it doesn’t mean some stupid idiots at some ugly corporation (like Apple) should be allowed to ban it.

Posted by Martin on May 11, 2009 at 11:57 AM (CDT)


Ban google too, then

Posted by antonioj on May 11, 2009 at 12:37 PM (CDT)


Can someone see if they can install it on Interactive iPhone so I can use it?

Posted by AppleiPhone on May 11, 2009 at 12:38 PM (CDT)


Hopefully this makes it’s way to Cydia.  I’d pick it up. 


Posted by Riine on May 11, 2009 at 12:43 PM (CDT)


is anyone actually worried that somehow a door is open and your privacy is compromised? ... One thing I don’t like is that someone has access to my files on my device whenever they want to or whithou me knowing that they are accessing files.

My security is more importent ... dont u think so?

Posted by dennis on May 11, 2009 at 1:29 PM (CDT)


You can open with mobile safari! So if we let apple move away with this, maybe we will see an internet content filter on next iphone/macos release. Not sure if we can start a BT Client with the next MacOS release after all? Or donwload from Amazon, cause it harms Apple Business Plan?

Posted by mpp on May 11, 2009 at 2:14 PM (CDT)


I have Trackr, works as advertised.

Very weak that Apple is playing this selective game. I thought the parental controls were going to reduce the amount of dumb rejections.

Posted by Nino D'Aversa on May 11, 2009 at 4:48 PM (CDT)


this is utter crap.  if apple uses this logic than safari should be removed from the iphone because web browsers often allow people to infringe on third party rights.  oh, and google should certainly be blocked then too, because you can find torrent files of copyrighted material on there too.

Posted by interconnect on May 11, 2009 at 7:05 PM (CDT)


Way to go Apple.  You crushed the evil BT alliance in one fell stroke <giggle>.

Just another clueless company overreacting to negative PR at the consumers expense.  Nothing new here folks.  Move along.

Posted by Raskolnikov on May 11, 2009 at 9:18 PM (CDT)


> no one can tell me that the content it delievers is not pirated.

Really? I guess I can’t tell you that I downloaded almost 6gb of totally legal music from SxSW, or that thousands of people in Canada downloaded a political populism show last year with bittorrent from the CBC. The show was made and provided via Bittorrent by the CBC. But as you say, I can’t tell you that, because you know everything.

If the networks and license holders had pulled their heads out of their butts, they could have gotten on a great distribution method that lowered their costs, had they chosen to provide high-quality video with commercials intact. Instead, they chose to fight a battle that has cost everyone involved millions and tied up courts with absurdist and unreliable accusations. But you’ve already ruled that out, we can’t tell you that. Because you, like networks still struggling to find their footing past Hulu which loses money hand over fist, have already made up your mind.

Posted by Todd on May 11, 2009 at 9:43 PM (CDT)


Apple should follow their own rules and:

1: Remove Safari, browsers are used much more often for copyright enfringement.
2: Remove any and all types of network connectivity.
3: Remove any type of storage.
4: Remove any type of audio and video recording hardware and software.
5: Remove any and all audio/video conversion or playing/viewing software and hardware.

Posted by Jan Schotsmans on May 12, 2009 at 3:11 AM (CDT)


in that case, they have to ban OSX because it can be used for watching Child-Pornography!!!

Posted by Data-Base on May 12, 2009 at 3:56 AM (CDT)


Uh oh, somebody better call Trent Reznor!

Posted by Erik on May 12, 2009 at 4:56 AM (CDT)


“Jail break” is the best!

Posted by Mike77 on May 12, 2009 at 7:37 AM (CDT)


Apple had to reject something so closely associated with direct control of download and uploads on BitTorrent.  Approving the app would also kick Apple out of any “safe harbor” defense because of the approval process.
Do you think the MPAA or RIAA would go after Maza or Apple?

Posted by Geoff on May 13, 2009 at 2:50 PM (CDT)


Piracy is wrong, mmmkay?

Posted by Tyler Francis on May 13, 2009 at 7:18 PM (CDT)

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