Google pulls Tetris from Android

While it is being touted as the open sauce antidote to Apple’s controlling ways, it seems Google is not above censoring a few applications from its Android store.

In this case it does not appear to be its fault. It has received a DCMA take down notice from the Tetris Company, demanding it remove various Tetris clones from the Android Market. There were more than 35 of them, and they have all now been taken down.

However what is strange is that Google, which is not normally a big fan of DCMA takedowns by big outfits, has basically done what it is told.

Tetris has decided that it owns the “idea” of its game and is ordering take downs of things that look like it. Google has complied.

It is actually a legal grey area. While there is no doubt that copyright law protects what a game looks and feels like, the actual idea is not.

Google clearly does not want to be in the position of testing the waters of this grey area and is simply taking anything down. The people who wrote the games do not have the cash to take on a big outfit defending what it sees are its rights.

It could also backfire on Google as it needs developers to come up with ideas for its Android OS. If developers feel that their work will be sat on by the first copyright troll who comes along with no help from Google they will just concentrate on applications for another OS.

Under such circumstances it was probably better for Google to tell Tetris to sling its hook.