Google Bans ‘Downloader’ App: TV Outfits Claim Browser Violates Injunction
After almost seven years online and more than 50 million installs, Android app ‘Downloader’ has been removed from Google Play. A complaint filed by several TV companies claims that when a pirate site’s URL is entered into Downloader’s basic web browser, the pirate site appears, violating an injunction. The same companies won an injunction in 2022 that required every ISP in the U.S. to block the very same site – until Google and other tech giants prevented that happening.
If the best ideas are always the simplest, in 2016 software developer Elias Saba hit the jackpot.
Two years after Amazon launched its first generation Fire TV, there was still no easy way to transfer files to the device. Released on the Amazon Appstore in November 2016, Saba’s ‘Downloader’ app offered users just two things; an empty URL field and a download button. It was basic yet functional, and in time, extraordinarily successful.
The Amazon Appstore and Google Play currently account for more than 50 million installs of Downloader, underpinned by Saba’s decision not to charge a single penny for the software. At the time of writing, Downloader has 664,605 customer ratings on Amazon, averaging 4.3 stars out of a possible five. For several TV companies from Israel, Saba’s work, success and generosity are of no consequence; Downloader is in their way and has to go.
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