Google Bans ‘Downloader’ Again Following Markscan DMCA Notice


Google Bans ‘Downloader’ Again Following Markscan DMCA Notice

Close to seven years online and after more than 50 million installs, in May 2023 Android app ‘Downloader’ was removed from Google Play following a baseless copyright complaint. The app was restored three weeks later by which time Downloader had lost almost half its userbase. A few hours ago, Google suspended Downloader again in response to a substantially deficient takedown notice filed by anti-piracy outfit Markscan.

downloader-logoCreated by software developer Elias Saba and released on the Amazon Appstore in November 2016, ‘Downloader’ offered two things; an empty URL field and a download button.

Downloader was intentionally basic but as a former Fire TV Product Manager at Amazon, Saba knew that a simple tool to transfer files would solve a fundamental shortcoming. Over 50 million installs of Downloader to date speak for the software’s popularity but in May 2023, progress came to a screeching halt.

Several Israeli TV companies filed a DMCA complaint at Google Play alleging that Downloader offered copyrighted content. The companies supplied no details of the content allegedly infringed and said nothing about how ‘Downloader’ somehow managed to violate copyright law.

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