Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Android Cellphones Google Handhelds Technology

Google Boots Transdroid From Android Market 276

Posted by timothy
from the some-transfer-protocols-are-eeeevil dept.
fysdt writes with a TorrentFreak story that starts: "Google has pulled one of the most popular torrent download managers from the Android Market because of policy violations. Before Google booted the application, Transdroid had been available for two years and amassed 400,000 users during that time. Thus far Google hasn't specified what the exact nature of Transdoid's violations are, but it's not unlikely that they relate to copyright infringement."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Boots Transdroid From Android Market

Comments Filter:
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @06:21PM (#36578864)

    You know, I have always held out like many others that torrenting was not theft, that purely virtual copies harmed no one.

    But I have to admit feeling some kind of line is crossed with a system that can (as the article stated) scan a physical barcode of something in front of you and start fetching it in moments.

    It's still not really theft but frankly, from a moral standpoint it's so close to theft I have trouble distinguishing the difference.

    My own take on the matter has always been if I cannot buy something in some other way, I have no problems acquiring it; so the ability to do exactly the opposite, acquiring something when the physical presence of it exists right in front of you, just seems very wrong.

    It's obviously that anyone with technical knowledge could easily set up something similar but I have to say I don't really have a problem with any company saying they do not wish to implicitly support something like this and thus banning an application from a store. I doubt this app will be appearing in an Android store either.

    The really bad things about apps like this is that it appears rather like theft not just to me, but to the people that make laws, who will over time seek to make illegal that which should not be, using this as a basis.

    • by Weezul (52464)

      I never knew this existed, but frankly this sounds like an anti-consumerist political statement, not a serious piracy tool.

      I'd never enter a physical store with the intention of selecting my torrents, just like I'd never buy physical media, that's just weird, man. If this prevents a couple teenagers who hang out at the mall from buying CDs, well that's great, but the actual economic impact sound wholly secondary to the anti-consumerist moral message.

      I would otoh use an android app that listens to the song

      • by hedwards (940851)

        I was in BestBuy a couple weeks back for the first time in years, and I noticed that some of their pricetags had 3D codes on them, had I thought about it I should have scanned one to see what they were referring me to.

        There's nothing unethical about scanning a bar code to see reviews or better prices, but scanning a code to begin torrenting it is definitely wrong by any objective standard. If you're going to pirate the materials, at least have the decency to manually look up the torrent you're looking for.

        • by grcumb (781340)

          There's nothing unethical about scanning a bar code to see reviews or better prices, but scanning a code to begin torrenting it is definitely wrong by any objective standard.

          Why do you say that? I'm not trolling here; I'm legitimately interested in the particular reasons why you see this as unconditionally unethical and immoral.

          And by way of playing the devil's advocate, let me ask you this: If you could scan the barcode, pay a nominal fee and begin downloading immediately, directly from the author - instead of buying it at a significant markup in the store from the distributor, would that still be wrong by any objective standard?

          Again, I'm not trolling here. I really am trying

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312)

      Well, if it then vaporized the item in front of it, it might be analogous to theft I guess. Theft is really more about depriving something from someone else than gaining it for yourself; in this case, the outlet still has the physical item.

      The problem is people seem to think that if it's not theft, it's not "bad". The accurate description for this activity is "copyright infringement". It opens you to civil liability. It can in some circumstances be a criminal offense. Saying something is copyright infringem

      • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @06:51PM (#36579004) Journal

        I agree, but you then have to accept that there is an entire separate conversation society should be having; is copyright in its current form an ethical social contract? We're seeing three or four different bodies of laws rolled into one nebulous and overreaching concept called "intellectual property" which is in reality a power-play by big business to handcuff culture and make sure nothing ever enters public domain again.

        The current copyright system is broken, it's ethically bankrupt, so we no longer have an obligation to hold up our end of the social contract.

        • by LordLucless (582312) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @06:58PM (#36579054)

          I totally agree - the fact that the government has unilaterally "altered the agreement" so that copyright extends to such ludicrous lengths does amount to theft. By my reckoning, they've stolen about a hundred years worth of art from the public domain, and hence, from the public.

          But that's totally aside from the point, which is that copyright infringement and theft are two different things, and need to be discussed separately.

      • by PCM2 (4486) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @07:24PM (#36579250) Homepage

        Well, if it then vaporized the item in front of it, it might be analogous to theft I guess. Theft is really more about depriving something from someone else than gaining it for yourself; in this case, the outlet still has the physical item.

        Nonetheless, I think almost everybody understands on a gut level that this sort of thing is ethically wrong.

        A lot of people, if they found an envelope full of money, would keep the money. At the same time, if the envelope had someone's name written on it, I think a great many people would try to think of a way to get that money back to the named person before they just walked off with it.

        Similarly, I think a great many people make a distinction between downloading something using BitTorrent from their computer at home and actually walking into a CD store, spending a half hour browsing the new releases, and then using a magic wand to download all of the ones they like without paying the store a dime. For the first one, I think a lot of people might not think they're doing anything wrong at all. But I think most of us recognize that doing the second one just kind of makes you a dick.

        When I first heard about this app, I, like a lot of people I'm sure, said, "Wow awesome! I totally want to try this out!" But when I imagined this scenario in my mind, I was imagining walking into someplace like a Best Buy or a Wal-Mart and fucking them over, while at the same time snickering about how high-tech and clever I was. I wasn't imagining walking into Aquarius Records or some other independent record store and using it to save myself some money.

        To give another example, if you go to sci-fi conventions or other places where celebrities make appearances, often times they will charge you some money to pose for a photograph. Often it's actually more money than the cost of a typical CD, which on the face of it sounds crazy. And hell, you could easily stand in front of their table with your thumb up and have your friend shoot the picture and walk away. (You'd even own the copyright on that photo!) But most of us understand that this kind of thing makes you a dick. You can walk away thinking, "I can't believe that has-been so-and-so charges so much for a photo," but you don't just screw them over while they're sitting right there -- even though you're not technically "stealing" anything.

        It all comes down to what makes your own moral Geiger counter start clicking. I think most of us know when we're straying into the darker areas, in general. So I don't really think it's necessary to draw this hard-line distinction between "theft" and "copyright infringement." Maybe it's more honest to talk about right and wrong, and then think about the best way to define laws around that.

        • So I don't really think it's necessary to draw this hard-line distinction between "theft" and "copyright infringement."

          No, it definitely is necessary. What is wrong, and totally harmful to the discussion, is to equate "theft" to "bad", and "copyright infringement" to "not so bad". They are simply two distinct actions. The morality of each isn't tied up in which label is applied to it; the morality is what we're discussing. The problem in the scenario you outline is that two instances of copyright infringement provoke different feelings of guilt to you. So you label one as "theft" to mean "worse than the other one". What it

          • by PCM2 (4486)

            The problem in the scenario you outline is that two instances of copyright infringement provoke different feelings of guilt to you.

            My point is that most everybody makes such distinctions. If I asked you whether thieves should go to prison for their first offense, you might say yes. If I then told you that we had captured such a person, and it was your fourteen-year-old niece, you might just as quickly come up with a rationalization why she deserved a second chance.

            The distinction made in each of my examples is not the difference between copyright infringement and theft and whether one crime is worse than another. The distinction in eac

        • I think you were close with "own moral Geiger counter" but went wayward with "Maybe it's more honest to talk about right and wrong, and then think about the best way to define laws around that."

          We already have.

          Can you define the difference between a digital lock pick and a physical one ?

          I can't so I can see no reason why they should be treated differently.
          • by PCM2 (4486)

            Can you define the difference between a digital lock pick and a physical one ? I can't so I can see no reason why they should be treated differently.

            I actually kind of lean this way myself, so...

            I think you were close with "own moral Geiger counter" but went wayward with "Maybe it's more honest to talk about right and wrong, and then think about the best way to define laws around that." We already have.

            We do have the laws, but they seem to be laws that a lot of people disagree with. They either disagree with them the way a lot of Slashdotters do, using a number of arguments about the validity of intellectual property or the lack thereof. Or they simply disagree with them in the sense that they still use BitTorrent to download CDs and movies; they don't think of themselves as criminals and yet they consistently break the law. A while back the MPAA ran ads sayin

          • In the case of "Digital Theft" vs "Physical Theft" many distictions can be made.. physical theft deprives someone of property, usually a business with a storefront that carried he merchandise, not even the media cartels many of us dislike so much. Where digital theft (ie. copyright infrindement) is generally done in instances where no sale would have occured, had the infringing material not been available. This isn't making a moral judgement that one is okay, only that they are different.

            Copyright itse
        • It all comes down to what makes your own moral Geiger counter start clicking.

          That "moral Geiger counter" seems to be broken at the other end, however, when content creators use political muscle to extend copyright terms again and again; when they prevent content from getting into the public domain through legal tricks; when they force consumers to buy the same content again and again through technological obsolescence; when TV and movie studios raid the literary classics for ideas and then try to claim cop

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          Nonetheless, I think almost everybody understands on a gut level that this sort of thing is ethically wrong.

          Maybe for the first, say, 10 years. After that, no.

          Similarly, I think a great many people make a distinction between downloading something using BitTorrent from their computer at home and actually walking into a CD store, spending a half hour browsing the new releases, and then using a magic wand to download all of the ones they like without paying the store a dime. For the first one, I think a lot of people might not think they're doing anything wrong at all. But I think most of us recognize that doing the second one just kind of makes you a dick.

          Depends. I can't afford to buy lots of random albums on the off chance they are good, I need to listen to them first. Record shops have listening stations for that, Amazon has clips and free tracks. There is also the radio and TV of course. The biggest problem for bands is not copyright infringement, it is being herd in the first place. If no-one hears your music no-one is going to buy it on a whim either. Even more troublesome is the fact that the big labe

        • by LanMan04 (790429)

          Nonetheless, I think almost everybody understands on a gut level that this sort of thing is ethically wrong.

          I think that's only because modern copyright law has conditioned you to think that way.

          If copyright was a grand total of, say, 15 years, and you were conditioned to know that from a young age, would you feel bad downloading that Nirvana album? Of course not!!! It would be legal, and since it would be accepted by society as THE NORM, no one would think it's wrong.

          Gut level = conditioned by culture.

        • by Flammon (4726)

          People have scruples but corporations do not. As technology progresses, things are supposed to get cheaper because of automation but corporations don't spread the wealth, they keep everything for themselves in a very selfish manner. Their only goal is to maximize profits and they will rip us off every chance they get. Corporations have no interest in sharing their wealth whatsoever that is why we have this kind of problem. A song shouldn't cost more than a few pennies to download but we're being charged 50

      • Well, if it then vaporized the item in front of it, it might be analogous to theft I guess. Theft is really more about depriving something from someone else than gaining it for yourself; in this case, the outlet still has the physical item.

        I don't think copyright infringement is the same as theft and I agree with you on that point... BUT philosophically speaking let's look at it from a wider angle.

        Creator Creates Product.
        Creator sells 100x products to Vendor for 1Currency
        100 buyers enter the store and instead of paying 1.5C for item scans the item and leaves with their desires satisfied.

        As far as that vendor is concerned they had 150C worth of product that is now worthless and they're out 100C in inventory which while not physically vaporized

        • by LordLucless (582312) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @09:43PM (#36580044)

          Alternate scenario:

          Creator Creates Product.
          Creator sells 100x products each to VendorA and VendorB for 1Currency per item
          VendorA marks product to 1.5C. VendorB sets up shop next door and marks product to 1.25C
          100 buyer purchase products from VendorB
          As far as that vendor is concerned they had 150C worth of product that is now worthless and they're out 100C in inventory which while not physically vaporized has had the demand vaporized and is essentially worth $0.

          Again, not theft. Devaluing something isn't stealing. It's devaluing. Use the right word for the right thing. Just the same as splashing a bucket of paint on a picture isn't stealing - it's destruction of property. And yes, graffiti is damage. No it's not theft. I never said the copyright infringement didn't do any damage, I said it wasn't theft.

    • With the exorbitant cost of physical media, the relative ease with which it can be damaged, and whatever DRM is embedded, I cannot blame people for wanting a cheap no hassle backup.

      Anyone blaming the tools is nuts. We have had similarly disruptive tools before and should know that banning or making them illegal does nothing to stop their use.

      Think if you will about lock picks. Legal in most of the world to own, to use on your own locks, to carry around in you car, but illegal to use to commit a crime.
    • While I agree with you on principle, in practice this probably is inducing less copyright infringement than an RSS reader built in.

      I can't imagine someone actually scanning a bar-code for something they don't own. Most likely this is for scanning DVDs you already own. Who would go to the store to search for torrents? :D

      Now an RSS feed though that just automatically downloads new TV episodes as they come out. That is probably for the sake of piracy (or theoretically podcasts, but let's be honest, most li

      • by hedwards (940851)

        That's the thing, I'd be surprised if there was much impact at all, apart from the extremely lazy, I doubt very much that there are a lot of people suddenly pirating because they can get their phone to scan and download the whatever.

    • It's still not really theft but frankly, from a moral standpoint it's so close to theft I have trouble distinguishing the difference.

      Really? How is picking up my DVD off my shelf and then downloading a lower quality torrent on my phone so that I can take it with me "theft"?

      • by wagnerrp (1305589)

        Technically, there is nothing wrong with downloading copyrighted content. The closest you could come would be receipt of stolen goods, but that doesn't work since they're infringed, not stolen. The problem is from unlicensed distribution of said content, or uploading, and if you look at all the cases the RIAA and independent movie studios have opened, they're all against uploaders. The problem with torrents are that you have no choice but to be an uploader. The trackers enforce it. Even though you own

        • by t2t10 (1909766)

          Now be honest, do you actually think even 1% of their user base ever scanned their own purchased DVDs?

          I think it's a lot more; the idea of people going to the store in order to scan barcodes to rip off movies they don't own is ridiculous.

          But who cares anyway? The software has substantial non-infringing uses.

  • We all know bit torrent can be used for downloading Game of Thrones, pr0n, Microsoft COFEE or GNU/Linux distros... why would Google remove what is considered a "neutral" app all of a sudden?

    The "it encourages to download copyrighted material through screenshots" argument does sound pretty week to me.

    And anyway, what about the whole "it's pretty clear by now given the studies that downloading is not responsible for the downfall of civilisation as we know it and modern culture and is in fact quite beneficial

  • More likely than the copyright angle (or maybe in addition to it) is the explanation that they got rid of it after receiving pressure from the wireless service providers. Verizon and AT&T hate when people use bandwidth they actually pay for, and someone running torrents on their phone will probably end up using it in 3G mode at least some of the time. They want you paying as much as possible, and then they do everything they can to dissuade you from actually making use of what you buy. I see this as pro

    • by WRX SKy (1118003) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @07:11PM (#36579146)
      Transdroid wasn't a BT client for phones, it allowed you to remotely manage a BT client.

      e.g. My home machine is d/l'ing torrents, and my phone can connect to my home machine (via Transdroid) to check status, start/stop torrents, etc.

      I would insert an obligatory RTFA comment... but it was in the summary ("the most popular torrent download manager") - so it's obvious you didn't even get past the subject.
      • by sqrt(2) (786011)

        I see now. I understood "torrent download manager" to mean a program that manages your torrent downloads on the phone. Honest mistake.

  • by smash (1351)
    Just how is this different to the Apple app store again?
    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Because with Android, if an app gets pulled from the market, you can just download from the web and install it anyway.

      For example, there used to be a Netflix app that let you stream video on your phone. They pulled it from the market for all but a few phones, because the copyright holders want them to add more DRM or something. I just downloaded the old copy from Megaupload, clicked OK on the little warning message that the app wasn't coming from a trusted source, and now I can watch Netflix as much as I

    • You don't have to void your warranty to side-load an app. And you can install alternative marketplaces. The 'tyranny' of the Apple store is that it's the only legitimate way to get applications onto the device.

  • If I owned a hardware store and advertised hammers by displaying the use of the hammer in breaking into a house/safe whatever, then maybe there would be some not unexpected bad blood from people who experienced some damage from hammer wielding thieves, or were even just worried about the possibility.

    Whether the recipient seemed like they deserved such treatment because they did bad things to kittens is moot, being seen to promote illegal activities as a positive use of your product is just a bit silly, even

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.

Working...