Tetris clones yanked from Android Market

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A developer has told us that one of his company’s games — a title with similar gameplay concepts to popular puzzle game Tetris — has been pulled from the Android Market. This dev received an email that said that their game was suspended from Android Market due to a violation of the Developer Content Policy. They note that there’s no reference to “Tetris” in their game.

Wanting to get to the bottom of this, this developer contacted Google. Google promptly answered that The Tetris Company, LLC notified them under DMCA to remove various Tetris clones from Android Market.

Is there a copyright on the game play? I don’t know. Maybe there’s some kind of patent out there that this dev and the others that have made Tetris clones somehow missed.

Here’s the developer’s feelings on this matter:

It’s a shame that The Tetris Company, LLC uses its power to stop developers from creating good and free games for Android users. Without resources for a legal fight, our application and many others will cease to exist, even knowing that they are legit. Users will be forced to buy the paid official version, which is worse than many of the one available for free on the market.

They go on to point out that other countries won’t eve be able to play the official Tetris as Google Checkout doesn’t exist in all territories, meaning that purchases can’t be made there.

Wasn’t there always Tetris clones? And can The Tetris Company legally lock down on this?


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