Illegal Russian Film Apps Offered In iTunes

Despite Apple’s draconian rules as to what does, and what does not make an acceptable app, a selection of Russian films have slipped into iTunes without the agreement of copyright holders.

According to a report today by the BBC, Russian films dating from the Soviet era have found their way onto Apple’s platform, and are now available to download as smartphone apps.

Russian film studio Mosfilm and the Joint State Film Collection, the owners of the copyright, told the BBC that, despite the age of the films, they are all still protected by copyright and insist they have not licensed anyone to sell their films as apps on iTunes.

But a Ukrainian programmer who claims responsibility for creating an app for the film ‘Cheburashka’ seems unrepentant for his actions, instead saying they were a deliberate attempt to make money.

“Of course, I do not have any license agreement,” he told the BBC’s Russian Service. “This is all very simple. The companies, who can have complaints, submit them to Apple and Apple notifies me that they have to withdraw the application.”

He also admitted to being behind an application based on DreamWorks’ animated series ‘Penguins of Madagascar’.

“I realise that this is wrong,” he said. “Maybe I am breaking the law.”

Apple has said it takes copyright complaints very seriously, and that it will investigate the matter.

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