Apple(s AAPL) is outsourcing part of the job of patrolling the App Store for copyrighted material and outright copying of apps. There is now a special site for iOS developers to report such violations or infringement to Apple for review and possible removal from the App Store. The new site’s existence was noted by a developer on Twitter, and first posted by The Next Web on Friday.
The site, called iTunes Content Dispute, reads: “If you believe that an application available in the App Store violates your intellectual property rights, you can use this form to submit a claim to the App Store Legal Team. If you are looking for the form to submit a claim for any other type of content available on the iTunes Store, please visit here.”
This should be helpful for owners of websites, brands, copyrights, music or images whose content is being used without permission in apps to directly and easily contact Apple. But it’s especially useful for developers, some of whom have had direct copies and ripoffs of their games or apps approved by Apple for listing in the App Store.
This is also a tacit acknowledgement that Apple can’t do all the policing of the App Store, and be 100 perfect effective, all by itself. With 650,000 apps and counting, playing gatekeeper for a store that immensely popular and large is extremely challenging. While Apple has largely gotten its submission and approval process for apps under control, there’s still room for improvement with new tools like this one.