The BBC has reported that several Soviet-era films are being sold illegally through the App Store. The copyright holders of Russian-made films, including Gentlemen of Fortune, Assa, The Diamond Arm, Kin-dza-dza and Cheburashka, have said they have not given consent for their films to be sold on the App Store.
The BBC spoke with one of the programmers, Vladimir Penshin, who said that he deliberately decided to offer the material for sale, despite the copyright.
"Of course, I do not have any license agreement," Penshin told the BBC. "This is all very simple. The companies, who can have complaints, submit them to Apple, and Apple notifies me that they have to withdraw the application." That's pretty blatant -- what's that they say about asking for forgiveness rather than permission?
This is not the first case of App Store developers infringing on copyright to market an app. But we hope that Penshin can work with the copyright owners, like Extra! Extra! is currently doing, in order to make these apps legal. That way both the developer and the copyright holder win.