Visual effects firm says that Disney contracted with people who stole the technologyThe company was slapped with a lawsuit on Monday by a visual effects company, which claims that its technology was misappropriated for “Beauty and the Beast,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and Avengers:“[I]n all of the film industry and media accolades about the record-breaking success of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and the acclaimed cutting-edge digital MOVA Contour technology that made the film’s success possible, nowhere is it mentioned that the patented and copyright-protected MOVA Contour technology was stolen from its inventor and developer, Rearden LLC, and its owner Rearden Mova LLC,” the suit reads.Nowhere is it mentioned that although Disney had previously contracted with Rearden LLC and its controlled entities on four previous major motion pictures to use MOVA Contour and knew of a Rearden Demand Letter to one of the thieves demanding immediate return of the stolen MOVA Contour system, Disney nonetheless contracted with the thieves to use the stolen MOVA Contour system.
NYS Entity Status
NYS Filing Date
MARCH 24, 2014
NYS DOS ID#
NYS Entity Type
DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
2014 - GALAXY APPS LLC
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- Disney Slapped With Lawsuit Over ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Effects
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- Report Reveals In-App Purchase Scams in the App Store
By Tim Hardwick - Monday Jun 12, 2017
An investigation into App Store developer pay-outs has uncovered a scamming trend in which apps advertising fake services are making thousands of dollars a month from in-app purchases.
In a Medium article titled How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store, Johnny Lin describes how he discovered the trend, which works by manipulating search ads to promote dubious apps in the App Store and then preys on unsuspecting users via the in-app purchase mechanism.
I scrolled down the list in the Productivity category and saw apps from well-known companies like Dropbox, Evernote, and Microsoft. That was to be expected. But what's this? The #10 Top Grossing Productivity app (as of June 7th, 2017) was an app called "Mobile protection :Clean & Security VPN".To learn how this could be, Lin installed and ran the app, and was soon prompted to start a "free trial" for an "anti-virus scanner" (iOS does not need anti-virus software thanks to Apple's sandboxing rules for individual apps). Tapping on the trial offer then threw up a Touch ID authentication prompt containing the text "You will pay $99.99 for a 7-day subscription starting Jun 9, 2017".
Given the terrible title of this app (inconsistent capitalization, misplaced colon, and grammatically nonsensical "Clean & Security VPN?"), I was sure this was a bug in the rankings algorithm. So I check Sensor Tower for an estimate of the app's revenue, which showed… $80,000 per month?? That couldn't possibly be right. Now I was really curious.
Lin was one touch away from paying $400 a month for a non-existent service offered by a scammer.
It suddenly made a lot of sense how this app generates $80,000 a month. At $400/month per subscriber, it only needs to scam 200 people to make $80,000/month, or $960,000 a year. Of that amount, Apple takes 30%, or $288,000?—?from just this one app.Lin went on to explain how dishonorable developers are able to take advantage of Apple's App Store search ads product because there's no filtering or approval process involved. Not only that, ads look almost indistinguishable from real results in the store, while some ads take up the entire search result's first page.
Lin dug deeper and found several other similar apps making money off the same scam, suggesting a wider disturbing trend, with scam apps regularly showing up in the App Store's top grossing lists.
It's unclear at this point how these apps managed to make it onto the App Store in the first place given Apple's usually stringent approval process, or whether changes to the search ads system in iOS 11 will prevent this immoral practice from occurring in future. We'll be sure to update this article if we hear more from Apple.
In the meantime, users should report scam apps when they see them and inform less savvy friends of this scamming trend until something is done to eradicate it.
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