back to article Facebook starts random application shutdown

Facebook has started shutting down iPhone applications, taking a sudden interest in trademark infringement in naming and logos - some of the time, anyway. The applications concerned all interact with Facebook, providing an enhanced interface, batch-uploading of graphics and so forth. The site has started cutting off …


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  1. Richard 120
    Thumb Down

    for f's sake

    the letter f?


    Facebook own 'f' like Apple own 'i'?

    uck ng d ots

    1. Stone Fox

      on that note

      wh le we're trademark ng letters can have A then?

      1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

        I Already Have...

        ..a prior claim to the letter Z.

        Seriously, time to call the lawyers and sue for the loss of income to developers. None of these applications pretend to _be_ facebook. Fair use if I ever saw it.

        For example, look at Equate brand products, each says "Compare to [trademark]."

        (signed) Disco-Legend-Zeke brand commentard. All trade marks are the property of their owners.

        211 doesn't pretend to be anything either.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    there was me thinking they were shutting down crap like mafiawars, farmville and the like :(

    1. Vince

      Live in Hope!

      That "Farmville", "Mafia Wars" et all will go.

  3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    I hoped it was Mafia Wars and Farm Life they were shutting down.

  4. John Lilburne

    Perhaps someone at facebook

    had their favourite wobble butts app disabled by Apple and is now targeting Apple approved apps.

  5. Velv


    I wonder if there's a CEOP app that links to Facebook, and if it will get cut off too ?

  6. Glyn 2

    not just apps

    My FB account's been randomly disabled and googling round it seems to be happening to a lot of other people too of late. Time to move onto the next big thing

  7. max allan

    *ucking brilliant

    It sounds like *acebook are cutting their nose o** despite their *ace to me.

    If someone used the name *acebook *or their own purposes, like linking their "*ocus for *acebook" app to Twitter or some other social network, then I could see their argument, but not letting apps that connect to *acebook use the word *acebook seems really silly.

    I guess apps could get away with not using the logo and the words "*ace book"

    Oh no, there's a special *acebook letter in the "*AIL" icon. Will they shut el reg down *or trademark in*ringement?

    1. Stone Fox


      * don't th*nk you're supposed to be us*ng the letter a*ter a*ter H e*ther!

      (and *'ve cla*med the letter A *n an earl*er post!)

  8. bothwell
    Thumb Up


    This is actually quite amusing. I look forward to Orange suing any companies that use the colour orange or a depiction of an actual orange anywhere on their promotional materials, and for Tesco to start waving the law around at anybody who uses an asterisk anywhere thus breaching the copyright of their Finest* brand

    1. mamsey

      Tango or Orange

      I for one used to regularly get confused between advertising for Tango and advertising for Orange, could at least one of them sue for infringement to put me out of my misery.

    2. MadonnaC

      Password: ******

      Th*t's my p*ssword useless now

      (*'m not g*v*ng *ny *uck*ng money to *nyone)

      Bec*use o* th*s, * w*ll cl**m the letter E)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    funny really

    The reason facebook really took off is due to the third party apps.

  10. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Try "Emoti for Wallies".

    On reflection, that probably is blocked too.

    Do app developers even get anything back for their efforts?

  11. Kurgan

    Like what happened to "Windows Commander"

    I remember when Windows Commander, a windows application that is similar to the old and great "Norton Commander" had to remove the word "windows" from the name, because Microsoft sued the developer. This is utterly ridiculous, but we all know that people with lot of money tend to behave like nazi dictators. So, here we go... we have now Total Commander, that I really miss since I am a Linux user now, and we will have a lot of funny-named applications to connect to facebook. I suggest "fuck-a-hook", for example.

    1. Dale Richards

      Norton Commander for Linux...

      Try Midnight Commander!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      remember lindows?

      Shame the developer couldn't afford to take it to court. MS sued Lindows for trademark infringement, but ended up paying a large out of court settlement before the court got to make a ruling. Their argument was that Windows was too generic, and should never have been given as a trademark in the first place, and it looked like the court was going to agree.

  12. Robin


    As Jermaine and Bret said, there's too many mutha'uckers, 'uckin with my shi.

  13. Winkypop Silver badge

    Facebook starts random shutdown

    Well, that's what I read.....probably just wishful thinking

  14. Anonymous Coward

    I thought random shutdowns were more a Twitter thing?

    Avast, me hearties, thar she blows, man the harpoons and we dine on finest fail whale tonight!

  15. matt 115

    No 'F'?

    So Phacebook then?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    It's quite simple really...

    The rules for developing apps quite clearly state you are not allowed to use "Facebook" (along with several other terms) in the title or their logo (and any of their icons) as part of your app icon in any application you develop.

    They're not using copyright/trademark laws to remove these apps, just their own terms of service, which these third party developers must have read and agreed to before they developed the apps. It's not like it's a recent change either, it's been in the TOS since the Facebook platform launched.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    To all these victims (and all potential candidates too)

    I wish you welcome to the wonderful world of proprietary, closed, walled etc. software and/or hardware.

    Now I would suggest you all go back and read again RMS lectures on user fundamental freedoms.

    Maybe you'll finally understand what that F in FOSS stands for.

    1. Chronos

      Re: To all these victims (and all potential candidates too)

      "Maybe you'll finally understand what that F in FOSS stands for."

      Facebook? :o)

    2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Why of course...

      ... how silly of me to forget that the FSF has a magical anti-lawyer field surrounding it and all its children.

      Oh wait! Sorry: the FSF is no more immune to patent trolls and the like than commercial software. Damn. So much for Plan B, then.

      Merely slapping a GPL onto your source code doesn't make you immune from lawyers. It's a bit of text, not an anti-troll vaccination. Break the law and no amount of EULAs and weasel-wording will help you. Even if you're just skirting the law, you can still be caught out. The GPL won't pay your legal defence bills.

      And the above doesn't even consider any non-source code content your application may have.

      The *correct* solution is to *DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE IP LAWS*. It seems a lot of people don't like the ones we have today, but few seem to care *enough* to actually get off their arses and *do* something about it. Something constructive. Something which doesn't involve telling the true content creators, "Meh! Sucks to be you! Get a *proper* job! We wanna leech of your work, and we're damned well going to do so!"

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Even if what you are saying is correct

        my point was that developers writing apps for such a closed platform entirely out of their control should expect to be abused in a way or another. In this particular case, the tightly closed hardware would render any license useless. Also IP law has nothing to do here because no law in this world would force Apple to modify the license for a product it owns entirely. After reading the terms and conditions, developers should have stayed away from Apple's platform. Now that they have accepted those conditions way are they complaining ? It's as simple as that, nobody ambushed them in any way, they just signed their freedoms away (a stupid thing to do in my opinion) so their problem no longer impress me.

        My post was not meant to be a praise to the GPL or FSF, I just wanted to underline that we should not make any compromise on freedom.

  18. Chris Seiter
    Thumb Up

    "*", I choose you!

    I pick * and all password maskers are now going to be told to pay royalties to me.

  19. M Gale

    May I suggest...


    But seriously though, if those terms have been around since FB started, why only enforcing now? Waiting until they achieve a huge enough market, then charge developers a % to use the logo?

    Fuck facebook. In fact, fuck all social networking sites.

    While I'm at it, - lovely stuff mentioned in youtube on "Romancing the DATA". But I suppose that'll get me labelled as a tinfoil hatter.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Spring clean before IPO?

    These are the actions any company would get into before an IPO -- there were rules, they were not enforced for a long time -- the Facebook CFO would not be worth his salery if he didn't ask the team to go get it cleaned.

  21. Big-nosed Pengie

    Oscar Wilde...

    ...said of foxhunting "the unspeakable in hot pursuit of the uneatable".

    Sounds like a perfect description of FaceSpace and Apple.

  22. Steve Brooks

    TOS needs taming.

    "just their own terms of service" And the terms of service for the iphone state that they can kill your app for...well....any reason they care to. In fact they state they don't have to have a reason to kill you, but just cause they want to. TOS need to be made to comply at least marginally with reasonable rules of business, in other words they shouldn't be allowed to use TOS that give them total control over your lifes work, I think this was amply demonstrated with the big uprising over google's ( and others) TOS that simply stated (paraphrased for simplcity) "we owns all your stuff!"

  23. NightFox

    Seeing Red

    I do hope the Post Office/Royal Mail don't take heed. From the back of a Royal Mail recorded delivery label:

    "... the Post Office logo AND THE COLOUR RED are registered trademarks..."

    I can see why companies need to protect their logos etc from people misrepresenting themselves with them, but when people are using a company's TM in a significant role to indicate certain functionality then surely that should be a different matter. What about in the '90s when all those PC programs were called "XXXXXX for Windows"? Maybe rather than ban the apps that help make Facebook so popular, they should have a separate logo for third parties to use like the "Designed for Windows" thing.

  24. Sureo

    Two suggestions...

    1. Don't use Facebook

    2. Don't use iPhone

    That's all.

    1. NightFox
      Thumb Down

      Cosmetic Surgery

      Nose cut off. Face spited.

  25. Jolyon Ralph

    uck it

    I was wondering why my application FPad hadn't been approved yet.

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