An application that impressed Steve Jobs so much that he mentioned it in his WWDC keynote on Monday was suddenly pulled from the App Store today. The iPad app, titled Pulse, is an RSS reader that costs $4, has been downloaded 35,000 times, and was at one time the best-selling iPad app in the store. So why did it get pulled? The application, like all other RSS readers, pulled content from The New York Times. The legal counsel to the Times stated:
The Times was also upset that the application is pre-loaded with their RSS feed. The app functions like any other RSS reader, though, stripping down the content to show only text and then linking users to the full article on the Times website. Since the app is paid and not free, the Times has a problem with the app, saying that it is making "commercial use" of Times content. Pulse's developers said they were planning to remove the Times content from the app and re-submit it, and it is now available again in the App Store. This whole thing seems strange, especially considering that there are tons of other RSS readers on the App Store that do the exact same thing as Pulse. Hopefully this is an isolated incident that won't happen again, otherwise The New York Times will have many other complaints to file. The most interesting part of this story? The New York Times reviewed Pulse just one week ago, fully understanding the app and what it did, and loved it.