All good things… (you know what’s coming)

All good things… (you know what’s coming)

10/14/09

Sadly, I must inform you that my attempts at resolving the pending Legal issues with CBS have been unsuccessful and I’ve taken down Daxhotel from the App Store. The e-mail I got made it quite clear that it’s not possible to change Daxhotel in any way short of a complete rewrite to make it acceptable to CBS:

Raphael:
First, please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.
We have checked our files and have been unable to locate any record of receiving the email you addressed to "termsofuse@startrek.com" on September 24, 2005.  We also do not have any record of responding and advising that we have no objections to your proposed use of the STAR TREK properties on your website, which predated the "Daxhotel" iTunes application and can now be seen at www.sabberworm.com/daxhotel. Any proposed conclusion that no response constitutes our implied consent for you to use this content in this manner is not accepted.  We further note that the terms of use from www.startrek.com in 2005 may have permitted your personal use of some protected content, but in no way did any permissible use include publication, distribution and/or commercial use of any of the content.
Nevertheless, we have again reviewed your "Daxhotel" itunes application and underlying website and continue to object to your use of the STAR TREK properties in this manner.  You are utilizing the STAR TREK properties in a manner which is inconsistent with our exclusive rights under the law:  You use the "double parabola" logo; You use the stylized trademarks for each of the series' titles; You use copyrighted images on your website; Most importantly, you specifically state that your application is a "comprehensive STAR TREK episode guide," which you are downloading from www.startrek.com.  Your use constitutes trademark and copyright infringement. This is not fair use.
We appreciate that you provide notice on your website advising of Paramount Pictures and CBS's rights and suggest users of your services accept our website's terms of use; however, this does not eliminate our concerns.  Nor will your offering the application for free and removing the logos and STAR TREK name from your website and application eliminate our concerns with the clear copyright violation.
While we appreciate your enthusiasm for the STAR TREK properties, we cannot permit this use.  We request that you take immediate steps to remove the "Daxhotel" application from the App Store and refrain from offering this content in any format in the future.  Please confirm your compliance by no later than Monday October 19, 2009.  Otherwise, we will contact Apple directly seeking removal of the application.
Thank you for your correspondence and explanation.  We trust that you will comply with our request.

Mallory Levitt
Vice President & Assistant General Counsel
Intellectual Property
CBS Law
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

From this response it seems clear that the technical aspect of Daxhotel which is that it does exactly the same as a normal web browser would do which could also download web pages for later (cached/offline) use is overthrown by some sort of semantical aspect which seems to imply that I or Daxhotel are in any way offering/selling/distributing “content”, which from my point of view isn’t the case at all. I am not offering any content, I am not even hosting it, I’m just providing a tool to access content that is already viewable on the web by anyone. No content is being distributed with the app.

Even though I’m saddened to see Daxhotel come to an end, I actually was surprised to feel a great bit of relief as I clicked that “Remove from sale” button: finally I wouldn’t have to worry about the future of my app anymore, about rejected updates and possible legal battles. I was free again. Free also to create something new. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment…

Additionally, I will be releasing the Daxhotel source code in the “Daxhotel” section of this site.

Sincerely,
Raphael Schweikert


4 comments

Chak at 10/23/09:

My Hope was this app will work soon again. Any chance that you can share the content on houd iPhone?

Socrates at 11/09/09:

I don't think Paramount or CBS could come up with an app so simple yet detailed. I enjoyed it while I could. Even got over a hundred other folks to get it. I do hope you will one day find a work-around. If you can create this app, I'll remain hopeful. Be encouraged. Peace Socrates

Ron Garrett at 01/14/10:

Thanks for a fun app. I only recently realized that it's no longer for sale in the app store. If it's any consolation, your app is far better than any of the CBS sanctioned apps. Cheers.

Dirtyberk at 08/27/12:

I've been using my old iPhone 3G for many years, putting off the hassle of getting and breaking in a new phone as long as I could. Unfortunately, it recently went into its final death throes and I was forced to get a new iPhone 4S a few days ago.

I like the new phone just fine, but I was dismayed to learn today that Daxhotel -- which I have been using for years without incident up until a few days ago -- no longer works! Reading this blog, I obviously understand why.

I just want to let you know that this was a great app that served its function well, and was completely worth whatever more than fair amount I paid for it. I love Star Trek and I understand the need for intellectual property law enforcement, but I wish they weren't so stingy and greedy about it. Apps like this actually MAKE them money in the long run, keeping interest alive and fostering ingenuity and creativity amongst fans. I wish they understood that.

Alas, that will probably never change! But, thank you for making this app. Good luck with everything else that you do.

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