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Pulse app cheered, then pulled, now back

Update: Pulse is now back on the App Store, presumably after the necessary changes to de-emphasize the NYT and Boston Globe content that had ruffled feathers.

The Pulse News Reader for iPad, which we recently reviewed and gave away, has been pulled from the App Store despite praise from Steve Jobs at yesterday's WWDC keynote.The reason? According to Kara Swisher at All Things D, The New York Times complained that "...the application named 'Pulse News Reader' infringes The New York Times Company's rights."

The real irony is that the Times wrote up the app just last week, calling it "...a stylish and easy-to-use news aggregator" while profiling developers Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta. Why the change of heart? It seems that the Times did not want its content displayed in the app. Oddly enough, Pulse was pulling NYT content from publicly-available RSS feeds. But it isn't just that it's pulling the feed. From the NYT's lawyer, Richard Samson:

"The Pulse News Reader app, makes commercial use of the and RSS feeds...the app also frames the and websites in violation of their respective Terms of Use." Since the app comes with the Times feed pre-loaded, and features images of Times content inside promotional material, Samson argues that Pulse is making money off of their content.

Kothari and Gupta plan to adjust the app and get it back in the store. As for their relationship with Apple, there's no hard feelings. "I don't blame Apple, because they have to respond when contacted by lawyers from the Times," said Akshay Kothari.

We'll keep an eye out for a revised version of the app. Good luck to Kothari and Gupta.

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