Themer pulled from Google Play due to Apple copyright claim [Update: it’s back]

by: Andrew GrushFebruary 10, 2014


Update: and it’s back: Google has reinstated Themer on the Play Store.

Popular Android customization app Themer is no more — at least for the moment. The app was officially pulled down on February 2nd due to a copyright complaint from Apple regarding one of the 200+ themes available for the app: Seven.

Now to be fair, Seven really did look a lot like iOS, but it was the theme’s icons that Apple says infringes on their copyright. As soon as they were made aware of the issue, the Themer team went to work and removed the infringing theme, in hopes that this would lead to a quick return to the Play store.

A week after first being pulled, Themer has still yet to make a triumphant return to the Play store. This isn’t the first time that a developer has run into frustration regarding the way Google handles pulled apps, and it likely won’t be the last.

Of course, the process for Google probably isn’t as simple as just flipping a switch and making the app live again. For one thing, Google will need to verify that the changes were made and that Apple has no further concerns. The real problem, however, is that Themer’s team has apparently reached out several teams to Google to try and figure out what is taking so long, without any form of response back.

For those interested, you can read Google’s original letter to Themer below:

This is a notification that your application, Themer Beta, with package ID com.mycolorscreen.themer, has been removed from the Google Play Store.REASON FOR REMOVAL: Alleged copyright infringement (according to the terms of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act).

All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and payment transaction fees) from you. Please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy to ensure that your applications are compliant with our policies.

The DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. Click here for more information about the DMCA, and see for the process that Google requires in order to make a DMCA complaint.

Google may reinstate your application into the Google Play Store upon receipt of a counter notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and (3) of the DMCA. Click here for more information about the requirements of a counter notification and a link to a sample counter notification. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel.Please note that we have included a text copy of the Infringement Notice we received for your reference.

The Google Play Team

In the long-run, we have no doubt that the app will return, now it’s just a matter of when. What do you think, is it reasonable for an app developer to have to wait a week or more after addressing an issue before an app is returned to the Play Store?

  • Cl3v3rNaMe

    i wonder why they don’t complain about those icon packs & themes & such….

    • AA :P

      eternal hopes that people will ditch android after people like the icons so much and flock to IOS. :)

  • AndroidBoss

    Apple –> ,l,,

  • namesib

    Fuck Apple.

    • Chris Martinelli

      Apple is like a spoiled 3rd grader… “Stop copying me, Stop copying me”… Its just laughable at this point.

      • On a Clear Day

        It has been said that “the eyes are the windows of the soul”.

        Take a look into the eyes of Steve Jobs – and you will know where Apple’s lovely attitude(s) originated.

  • gommer strike

    That’s just one out of many theme packs-oriented apps which copy the look(if not the feel) of iOS7.

    Personally I don’t see these really doing that much harm to Apple. All too often the theme packs require a great deal of extra tweaks and additional add-ons to make the phone *almost* like an iPhone, but you’ll always notice the little oddities that crop up, especially when you use apps like Widget Locker(which isn’t a true lockscreen replacement, but merely an overlay, not to mention how sometimes when you unlock your phone, you see the flash of the old lockscreen hiding beneath, appear).

  • Jayfeather787

    Apple is a piece of shit. Themer is cool, Apple is not, that is why they cried like a little kid. Go cry apple. Go cry.

  • pudsadillo

    The main reason I gave up on iPhone and embraced Android was because of Apple’s anal attitude. They wont allow theming beyond changing wallpaper on the iPhone. They treat the owners of their iPhones like renters without the right to customize.

    • AA :P

      well, steve jobs knew what was best for the people! so did chairman mao :P

    • Tuấn Ankh

      This is the same reason my gf doesn’t want an iPhone (or WP8).
      Oh and guess why I thought Android was cool when it first came out: it allowed wallpaper!!! Apple didn’t even allow you to set wallpaper on an iPhone.

  • jack

    Fandroids = Angry Kids

    • iFans = Spoiled Kids
      Apple = Spoiled Company

      • Bryan Z

        LOL! looks like you two should be hired by both companies since you both know their target markets so well.

    • Jayfeather787


    • Luqmaan Mathee

      You must be the troll down voting all our comments.

    • Dude. You’re spoiling the circlejerk.

    • sped-1

      Oh grow up both of you!

  • AppleIsGay

    And Espiar Launcher doesn’t infringe anything? They have applications to basically turn your Android phone into iOS, on Android.

    • Solyuz

      Nope, Espier playstore description state it clearly that they can’t no longer offer iphone icons etc, because it’s copyrighted.
      I suppose you can install custom icon set for Espier yourself. But I prefer stick with older Espier launcher, the one that still has iphone icon set built in.

  • Joshua McDonald

    Why does it have to be apple vs android? Apple has IP to protect, and legally, if people infringe their IP and they never fight it, then they actually become weaker at being able to legally protect that IP in the end. They are doing what they need to do as a business…

    • Bryan Z

      Sadly, the whole picking sides is a pattern of behavior that most people in these communities have adopted in order to feel they strongly belong to an idea bigger than themselves and also helps shape their identity to feel better. Of course if you are smart enough you realize that really both iOS and Android are made and targeted for completely different groups of people.

    • AA :P

      hmmm, some fan based theme is a threat to apple ? they do the same and get “inspired” plenty. it’s not even funny these days.

  • z3r0k1ll

    Developer must never depend solely on Google Play Store to sell app, in case sh*t like this happen. Good developer should NEVER infringe copyright. But even if you already a good developer, sh*t still happens. There’s nothing wrong to be prepared in advance.

  • Luqmaan Mathee

    Miui also has iOS themes. And what about espier launcher?

  • guy with guts

    Lame apple jealous of android customisation

  • TheWay

    So this why Google doesnt get sued by Apple they have ideas of their own unlike Samsung

  • Tom-Helge Andersen

    This is just stupid. Why take down the whole application instead of sending a request of removing the theme that have those iOS icons?

    If they don’t remove the theme with the iOS icons within 2 days (an example) then Google can have a reason to take down the whole Themer application.

  • GM

    Apple even sent these copyright infringement notices to all the iOS related launcher theme makers on play store, causing all the iOS related themes being removed from play store.
    Apple has become an angry girlfriend, ready to fight with anyone :-).

  • CP

    Although someone might be angry about Apple, I am angry about Google. Read the letter carefully and you’ll discover that very same attitude on users/developers that Apple has demonstrated in the past. After migrating to Android, I think it’s time to leave for something else, like Sailfish.

    • Davi Jones

      goodluck ma man in ur quest, in the meantime we r staying just here n enjoying open android biz. see u soon cos I know u will be back