IGF finalist accuses iOS dev of IP theft

One and One Story creator claims assets, design from free puzzle-platforming Flash game used without his consent in "HD" mobile game version on Apple's store.

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The Independent Games Festival Student Showcase award-winning puzzle platformer One and One Story has appeared on iTunes, but developer Mattia Traverso did not put it there. In a flurry of Twitter posts today, the 18-year-old designer accused Afoli, JSC. of stealing the art assets and design from his free Flash game and using them to create an "HD" version that's since been uploaded to iTunes.

An imposter One and One Story sits on iTunes, according to Traverso.

Traverso's One and One Story has been available to play for free through various Flash game websites since last year, and the developer said he planned to port it to the iOS. Afoli's "One and One Story HD" has been available for purchase via iTunes since Wednesday for 99 cents.

Traverso claims he has attempted to contact Apple multiple times regarding the issue, but the company has been unresponsive. The developer is seeking to have the game removed from iTunes via a Digital Millennium Copyright Act filing.

"The game is exactly the same, but done worse," Traverso said of One and One Story HD in one Twitter update. "It was coded from scratch," he said in another, and "The assets were stolen… And stretched" in yet another. A Twitter user asked Traverso if he put an encryption on the game's code before releasing it, and he indicated that he had not.

Afoli appears to be a mobile developer of Vietnamese origin, based on a website bearing its name. The company currently offers a number of "HD" remakes of erstwhile free Flash games, including Gold Mine Ultimate HD, Crow in Hell HD, and Mushroom Farm Defense HD. However, it is unclear at present whether Afoli has the legitimate rights to sell these games on the App store. Afoli had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment as of press time.

One and One Story was a winner at the 14th Annual Independent Games Festival awards show at last week's Game Developers Conference. It is a puzzle platformer that was built by Traverso while studying at Liceo scientifico G. B. Morgagni.

Discussion

25 comments
supertom221
supertom221

@Vodoo Probably something to do with the fact they are living under an opressive government that allows them little freedom. Therefore, They have no budgets for creative works that don't directly support the government, THEREFORE, they cannot create something of their own the government won't try to get ahold of, THEREFORE all they can make is cheap knockoffs.

THA-TODD-BEAST
THA-TODD-BEAST

Just another reason I'm glad to have NOTHING to do with gaming on Apple's devices.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

sounds like something apple would do........oh wait that is what Bill Gates did to Steve Jobs.....sounds like payback to me......BUT it is the wrong person.....oh yeah I almost forgot APPLE DON'T CARE ABOUT NO ONE BUT THEMSELVES .....APPLE CARE....WHAT A OXYMORON!!!

stonerz12321
stonerz12321

It's unfortunate that small developer's have their intellectual property stolen like this. what a bummer. I hope Afoli get's taken down.

Vodoo
Vodoo

@supertom221... I agree with you 1000%. Alot of asian developers from the app store and Android marketplace ripoff other peoples' work and sell it as a cheap knockoff that required no effort on their part with sub-par functionality. Same thing happens on ebay... when you see an item that's being sold for a very cheap price, always check where it's shipped from. 9 times out of 10 it ships from Hong Kong. I speak from experience because I bought one of those products and it was garbage. That seems to be their contribution to society, their GDP... cheap knockoffs. They're known the world over for it. So while the original developer gave it away for free, these knockoff artists are selling it for $1. These con artists are ruining it for the legit, hard working asian developers that get passed over because people are leary of getting crap. More should be done to stop this type of blatant ripoff of someones' work.

Kungfu_Kenobi
Kungfu_Kenobi

@PesmergaYuber "Well you didn't encode it so that means it is open source" That is so wrong I don't even know where to start. For one thing, copyright is implicit: you create something, it's generally copyrighted automatically, period. While I agree that if encryption were an option, then it should have been used just on principle, that doesn't lessen the strength of a copyright claim. Lots of material CAN'T be encrypted (such as books and movies), and intellectual property laws still protect them. Open Source is a form of licensing for copyrighted material. There are still restrictions on how it can be used, just like any other copyrighted material. In fact, for Open Source, there's often very strict usage terms. The fact that no license was given is likely to suggest an even more restrictive implied "All rights reserved".

Blaketoberfest
Blaketoberfest

What do you expect? Apple's quality control is extremely terrible anyway.

PesmergaYuber
PesmergaYuber

All Apple is going to tell him is that it is his fault for not encoding it. "Well you didn't encode it so that means it is open source, therefore we now own this iteration of it and now we will sue you for stealing OUR IP." Unfortunately Mattia Traverso stands no chance, I mean Apple was able to keep the Beatles in lawsuit limbo for years, the chances of him getting what he wants is slim.

ChewieOnIce
ChewieOnIce

Jeez And I thought Zynga was bad for stealing IPs. At least they have the smarts to rebrand and remake the games they steal. This is just blatant! Hope he successfully gets it pulled.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

I honestly don't get how you get make a HD version of a flash game. Flash uses vectors which can practically scale to any size. It essentially IS HD.

guitardeth3
guitardeth3

Apple needs to start cracking down on this stuff.

electroflame
electroflame

Well, I feel for him, but it really is his fault for not obfuscating his code and encrypting the files even slightly. To make matters worse, since the other developer is in Vietnam, it'll be more difficult to charge them for IP theft. Apple isn't known for speedy action, either. So at the very least, he got a serious wakeup call to use some obfuscation and encryption. I wish him luck, but I don't think that's going to be enough.

mnoi
mnoi

thats a really good game reminds me of the company of myself

ogara0c9
ogara0c9

A sad predicament. I actually hadn't heard of this title before even though I tend to follow the indie games more. If you haven't played this yet, free game websites have it online. Really nice little product.

supertom221
supertom221

Well, that comes off at no suprise. China, Vietnam, Singapore-- They always do cheap knockoffs based on other's work. I don't even get why, they just do. You see a game made by someone named "Kuo Ji lang" or "Jong lo" in the appstore, you better be wary of it.

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

It's the creators fault for not Encripting his work. So of course it's goin get stolen or made into a cheap knockoff. That is what these Game Makers do for iOS. They copy other people's work and pass it off as there own. This stuff happens every single day on the App Store. Someone who helped him create it probally stoke the data and sent it to iTunes.

Tseng
Tseng

That's what copyright law and courts are for.

Gen007
Gen007

and apple loves to boast about their stringent Store policies but stuff like this tends to happen all of the time.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Hopefully they can get any money that's been made, back from the crafty bastard and give it to the right person.

Zloth2
Zloth2

It's going to be hard to touch anyone in Vietnam but Apple is another matter. It's not like this guy has some little application that maybe a dozen people have seen - he actually won an award with the thing. It's pretty obvious what's going on. Apple needs to take care of this yesterday.

blackace
blackace

Complete agree with ToTs_00 on that. Seems Vietnam developers are stealing source code from others and making minor modifications to games and then submitting them for sale on Apple Store. It doesn't seem Apple cares because they are automatically get 50% of the profit I'm sure. Not sure why this guy didn't copyright the source code and encrypt it. Now it's going to take some time to get it off the Apple Store and get compensated for damages.

kkxtrouble
kkxtrouble

@ToTs_00 I don't think that would be fare with the ones that don't do this. What should happen is that apple should check things before instead of repairing damage later. The guy can sue both the vietnamese company and Apple if he wants.

Link3301
Link3301

@DashRender619 Yeah, one that took some hard work to create.

ToTs_00
ToTs_00

Apple has had problems with "counterfeit" games from Vietnam on the app store before so I think the simplest solution is to just not allow any more apps that originate from Vietnam on the app store any more.

qweasd54
qweasd54

stealing from the little guy...it takes no creativity to steal another mans ideas/work in a rehash and pass them off as your own.