Cracked.com gets Cracked Reader pulled from the Marketplace
We reviewed the 3rd party app Cracked Reader back in September and we had also helped recruit some beta testers for it earlier. Cracked Reader was a solid app for the humor site Cracked.com--elegant, smooth, lots of options. It even got a free-trial later on. But now the developer, Nash Bansal, has had his app pulled from the Marketplace by Microsoft.
Reason? For "...infringing on demand media's trademark and unlawfully republishes content from the http://cracked.com site".
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Cracked.com launched their official app just days ago in the Marketplace. That app is free and not half bad but it's honestly not as impressive as Cracked Reader. Which is probably why Demand Media wanted to eliminate their competition. Sure, they had a legally sound reason to do so, no argument there, but there are plenty of paid apps that do pull feeds and which haven't been pulled. Heck, there's a terrible unofficial WPCentral reader out there too. Lucky us.
It might have been preferable for Demand Media to just partner with Bansal, but probably due to the timing with their developer team (Nventive), it would have been difficult. Still, it's a shame to see such innovation crushed for basically a lesser app in the Marketplace. Lets just hope other media companies don't get the same idea from this precedent.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
By Jez Corden
I think the WPCentral app is excellent, however, and I gladly paid for it, if not just to support the site in general, as I'm not a big ad-clicker.
Then again, the platform is excellent and developing for WP7 is not exactly rocket science. Any app's featureset can be trumped with enough time and effort invested, so why buy someone else's work when you can cover pretty much the same features in a relatively short period?
Making a solid app for a site is cool, but by the same token, you shouldn't be surprised when the people who make the content decide that maybe they want to choose how to present it.
Would have been nice if the two parties could have found some sort of common ground though. I liked Cracked Reader just a bit better, now that I've tried the official one.