Two Companies That Should Know Better Shut Down Helpful 3rd Party Apps
from the bad-news dept
This move also comes right after Last.fm's recent decision to charge for streaming outside of the US, Germany or the UK. This also has folks up in arms -- and is driving away users in droves to other solutions. Last.fm has plenty of competitors out there, and working hard to make its own service less usable and less reasonable isn't going to help keep users around.
Meanwhile, a bunch of folks have sent in the story of how DVD rental kiosk operator Redbox has pressured a third party to takedown its Redbox iPhone app. The app was apparently pretty cool, making use of the phone's GPS to tell you where the nearest kiosk is, and letting you reserve the movie you want. There is some speculation that Redbox is upset that the app also pulls a list of promotional codes, allowing some people to rent movies for free -- but that's a misguided concern. If that's the real issue, then they should just change how their promotional codes work because (of course) the codes are still available for anyone to search and use online. Shutting down the iPhone app doesn't fix that at all.
Still, it seems that both companies should know better. Having third parties build apps that make your services more useful is a sign of success, and should be encouraged, not threatened and shut down. We live in an age where too many people focus on using intellectual property as a club to block any use -- even when those uses are helpful in making your core product even more valuable.