8/10/2009

California ban on firms making profits on publicly available government information stops Apple App

And the harm from this App is what? People value this information and the company that put the App together was merely lowering the cost of people obtaining the information. From Appleinsider.com.

Offender Locator back in App Store

After it was removed last week for legal reasons, the iPhone application Offender Locator has returned to the App Store with appropriate modifications to make it acceptable. The new version of the software does not include California sex offender data, as it is illegal in the state for anyone to profit from the distribution of such publicly available information.

Originally released in June, the software from ThinAir Wireless has regularly existed among the top 10 paid App Store offerings. But because of the legal complications in California, it was banished last week. This weekend, the $0.99 application returned, and immediately reclaimed its place among the top 10.

The software allows users to see nearby registered offenders based on the phone's current location or by manually entering an address. The program then pulled up a map with pinpoints for each nearby offender. The locations were each selectable, giving users access to the person's picture, a physical description, and information on what crime they were convicted of.

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1 Comments:

Blogger TooMuchTime said...

This really isn't a problem. You can download Offender Locator Lite, which is free, and contains all of the sex offender data for every state.

I understand that the company should be able to charge for it's software engineering time. I have no issue with the 99 cent payment. However, I also understand the rationale behind the law; if the data is available to the public there should be no charge for it.

In this instance, I think the CA legislature is missing the point. This app provides a direct link to their data without having to use a broswer. The cost is minimal and provides a valuable service to those parents with iPhones (I am one) that want to keep their kids safe.

8/12/2009 10:50 AM  

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