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Cloned title pulled from App Store

Wolfire wins out in open source licence issue as Lugaru copy removed

A game which allegedly cloned an open source indie title and submitted it to the App Store has finally been removed, but only because the original developer noticed and took steps to have it pulled.

The case, which involved developer Wolfire and its 3D action title Lugaru, has been widely reported, but action has only just been taken by Apple.

The process took some time - time in which the original developer claims it has lost sales, and has had no communication from Apple over the matter at all. In fact, it was only after a public complaint on Wolfire's blog that any progress was made at all.

Wolfire's Jeffrey Rosen feels that Apple's method of dealing with the matter could use some customer service polish.

"We're not sure who took it down, or what will happen to the customers who were tricked into buying the fake copy, or the money they paid for it," Rosen told Gamasutra. "We still haven't heard anything from Apple."

Lugaru was originally a PC title, developed by Wolfire Games. It was released as part of the charity fund-raising Humble Indie Bundle, which was offered as a 'pay what you want' promotion by Wolfire, making over $1 million in the process. Alongside that release, Wolfire issued the source code for the game, under a licence which encouraged modding but stipulated Wolfire's ownership of all assets and code.

In January, Wolfire added Lugaru HD to the App Store, priced at $9.99. When it did so, it became apparent that another version of the game had already been submitted by iCoder, priced at $0.99 - a version which had simply been cloned from Wolfire's source code. Wolfire duly sought to have the game removed.

ICoder claimed that it felt it was completely within its legal rights to publish the game under the terms of the General Public Licence, telling Kotaku that "The license we were granted allows for non-exclusive redistribution of the source code or the compiled product, modified or unmodified, for a fee or free of charge."

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Dan Pearson