Axanar App Removed from iTunes Store

An app on iTunes devoted to Axanar was removed shortly after its existence was publicized on Facebook and Twitter on September 16, 2016.

About the Axanar App

SOLICITING DONATIONS appeared to have been a prominent feature of Axanar’s iOS news app. Photo/iTunes

Available on the iTunes App Store since November 2015, the app was created to publicize “the latest in thoughts and chatter about Axanar behind the scenes,” and appeared to automatically feature content from the Axanar website (i.e., the Axanar Blog, Captain’s Log and the Fulfillment Blog), likely through RSS feeds.

The app’s existence was noted in the CBS/Paramount v. Axanar Facebook group, and on the AxaMonitor Twitter feed. Two days later, the app had been removed from iTunes.

The ‘Seller’

The person listed as “seller” on iTunes was a ‘bill Levinson’ [sic]. According to Terry McIntosh, who was Axanar’s chief technologist at the time the app was developed, Levinson is actually Bill Watters.1) Watters replaced McIntosh as CTO after he resigned from Axanar in May 2016.

McIntosh went on to become an outspoken Axanar critic, scheduled to be deposed as a witness subpoenaed by CBS and Paramount, the plaintiffs in the copyright infringement lawsuit lodged against Axanar Productions and producer Alec Peters.

DISAPPEARED Two days after criticism was posted on Facebook, Axanar’s year-old donation and news app was removed from the App Store.

Criticism

Axanar critics in the Facebook group wondered if the app’s prominent “Donate” button might have run afoul of Apple’s rules regarding in-app purchases and charitable fundraising. Despite the claims on its website, Axanar is not a charitable, nonprofit organization; it is a registered for-profit corporation in the state of California.


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