LEGO Hobby pulled from App store

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A few weeks ago we reported about a new iPod/iPhone app for viewing LEGO instructions on your iDevice. Well, it turns out that LEGO objected to it and asked that it be pulled from the App Store. So, the LEGO Hobby app is no more. Which is a shame, since it was half-decent and the promised iPad version will presumably not now appear. If you have it already, it still appears to function but I guess it won't be updated with new instructions.

You can read more about the reason for the ban on the developer's webpage. (Thanks Duq for the news)

10 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

I suspect that LEGO took a hard line because the developers were charging for the app, trading on LEGO's intellectual property; if it had been free I doubt they would have had an issue with it.

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By in Bolivia,

Did the app come with all the instructions or did it just allow the user to download them more easily? If it is the latter then LEGO had really no argument for the deletion (or else they would be shutting down brickset as well). But of course the problem is that the gate keeper, apple does not care. One more reason to move to actual open platforms...

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By in United Kingdom,

I think you've missed the point - you can use Brickset without being charged. Brickset does not exist purely to provide LEGOs instructions to other people. The Peeron instruction Library got agreement from LEGO before they took over hosted the instruction scans from Brickshelf (who also had a prior agreement with LEGO), and it doesn't charge anything either. Other instruction hosting sites don't charge.

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By in United States,

What a shame. I have the app and it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I love how it randomly shows a mix of kit instructions from different eras. The library of instructions is incredible and it's so easy to use. I hope they can work something out.

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By in United States,

In the app, they posted a message about this, explaining the situation. They mention that they have offered the App source code to Lego to use for FREE, but Lego rejected it. I hope Lego changes their mind, because this is one of the coolest iPhone apps I've seen (and I've seen a lot).

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By in United Kingdom,

Pity this was pulled usally sit with my large laptop looking at instructions, an iDevice version would be a lot better for me. Hope LEGO see sense.

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By in United States,

Oh well. Not much of a loss to me, though. I don't have any Mac devices (including computers) anyway.

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By in United Kingdom,

My immediately reaction was the same as that of bluemoose - someone is making money from LEGO's copyrighted property, and they're understandably not happy about it. I assume LEGO weren't getting a cut of the profits either, and that the developer didn't even ask permission before writing and launching the app. If these assumptions are correct then it serves the developer right - what gives them the right to make money out of some else's property without even asking for permission ? I'm personally disappointed with the developer rather than LEGO. They have my money, but the app probably won't be fully supported from now on, so I lose out too I guess.

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By in Bolivia,

bluemoose: In reality charging for something does not make it less or more of a copyright infringement unless there is a explicit pact with LEGO. However, in this case, just providing links to lego.com's support site is not in anyway copyright infringement. Else people would be infringing TV series' copyrights for posting links to hulu... The user is still getting the instructions from LEGO itself, not the app or its developers. The user is not paying for the instructions but for a service that allows him to find them easily. So I don't think TLG really had any legal ground for this shutdown other than apple being negligent about these reports.

Anyway, TLG does not even need any app's source code for this, they could just make an actual instruction index with a user friendly webpage and people with Android, iDeceives and any other thing that can access the web and read PDFs would be able to use it.

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By in United Kingdom,

Vexorian - you're missing a critical piece of information; you need to read LEGO's 'Fair Play' statement -
http://www.lego.com/eng/info/fairplay.asp
In it LEGO make clear that that are OK with other websites sites using scans of their copyrighted instructions for non-commercial use. Charging people for an app whose *sole* purpose is to download instruction scans is clearly not a non-commercial use. The developers were trading on LEGOs reputation, products & IPR. In the case of this app, the user was accessing the instruction scans through the app, not just being given a shortcut to a standard web link. But all of this is irrelevant; the instructions scans are unambiguously LEGO's copyright & they get to chose where and when they exercise that copyright. I think it's a shame, as it was by all accounts a a great app.

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