Google may be known for taking a very laid-back attitude over apps that are submitted for download on its Android Market app repository, but it seems that there are lines which even the search giant are loathe to cross, especially when copyright infringement is involved. And it seems that the victim of Google's tough stance on copyright infringement is the Transdroid torrent manager, which was recently shown the door from the Android Market after having occupied a spot there for two years.
Torrent management apps have always been able to occupy a spot in Google's Android Market app repository without getting harassed over claims of copyright infringement, simply because of their very nature as tools which serve to facilitate peer-to-peer sharing of digital content via the BitTorrent protocol, and were never designed with the intention to serve as tools in carrying out acts of copyright infringement. However, it seems that the status quo might soon be changed, for word has it that Google has just dropped a very popular torrent management app by the name of Transdroid from the Android Market over claims of "violations in the content policies of publishing in the Android Market".
According to developer Erik Kok, Transdroid was issued a notice by Google some time last week, where he was informed that Google would be taking down both the free and paid version of Transdroid over the app's failure to conform to the search giant's Developer Content Policy. However, Google did not make any mention of the specific policy the app is in violation of, instead merely asking that Transdroid's developers "review the Content Policies and Business and Program Policies before creating or uploading additional applications".
Considering how Transdroid was already present on the Android Market for two years before it was officially shown the door last week, speculations are rife as to why Google would opt to take action against Transdroid only now and not when it was first published for download on the Android Market. Some people, along with the popular torrent news website known as TorrentFreak, are suggesting that Transdroid's developers made a grave mistake by uploading screenshots of the app being used to download copyrighted material, a move which Google would clearly interpret as one which suggests that Transdroid facilitates copyright infringement. To back its claim, TorrentFreak has pointed out that torrent management apps have always been able to reside in the Android Market without any form of harassment for the longest time, and even Cydia for iOS takes a very strong stance on content that may be perceived as helping to promote the act of infringing on copyrighted material.
That being said, there is still some good news for fans of Transdroid: apparently, Kok will be putting up the source code for the app up for download on the Trandroid home page, while those who are looking for the standalone APK for installation will be provided with a link to the Google Code site, where the APK currently resides. Last but not least, Kok has also confirmed that he will be happy to work with Google to produce a version of Transdroid which will conform to the Android Market's policies, so do keep hitting up the Market to check for its availability if you strongly believe in downloading apps only from Android's official app repositories.