Apple Takes the “Tris” Out of iPhone Tetris

Game knock-off knocked off...

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It’s not been a good week for developers of well-established game knock-offs. Facebook favorite Scrabulous, a Scrabble-like game developed by two brothers in India was just removed in the UK and Australia, after already being forced down from the social network in North America last month.

Now a student named Noah Witherspoon that created an iPhone Tetris knock-off called simply "Tris," has been threatened with legal action by The Tetris Company. In what he refers to as "petty bullying," the company had Apple contact Witherspoon and had him pull the game from the iTunes App Store. Apple even told him that they’d take action themselves if he didn’t comply.

Witherspoon thinks he would have what it takes to win a court case, but will not let the issue get that far because he doesn’t have the time or money to pay for legal counsel. I’m no lawyer, but I really don’t see how he would win this one. The game is clearly a Tetris rip off, and I don’t mean in a Dr. Mario way.

Dr. Mario - Image from My Pocket Advice

It really couldn’t be any more Tetris from the looks of it. Ars Technica provides side-by-side screenshots, and also notes that the official version of Tetris for the iPhone is available for $9.99.

Apple Takes the “Tris” Out of iPhone Tetris
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  • Noah Witherspoon Is A Thief!

    Screw that guy! He’s nothing more than a thief! He should be put in Jail. Why are you sympathysing with criminals? He should pay for the crime he has alreasy committed. I can’t believe the Tetrus company would let the weasel off so easily. Develop your own game you stupid Jerk.

    • Chris Crum

      I wouldn’t say that I am sympathizing with him. Frankly, I don’t see how he would have a case.

  • Alex

     Still shows up on my app store, but as "INSTALLED"

    ….and its going to stay that way because I love the work this guy did. Tris is the best attempt at Tetris I’ve ever played, and that includes the official games! 

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk Gareth – Design

    I am totally in agreement avec noah. Copyrights are there for a reason. He deserves a well harsh punishment.

  • http://www.e-commercewebdesign.co.uk Adam – Ecommerce Website Design

    How is Dr Mario a rip off of Tetris???? They’re actually very different.

    • Chris Crum

      Yes they are different, but somewhat similar. That’s why I said, “not in a Dr. mario way”. You’re right – it’s definitely its own game, but there was clearly some Tetris influence there.

  • http://www.MissingBytes.net Bill

    Harsh Punishment?  A Thief?  Are you people nuts?  His version was free.  He wasn’t profiting from it.

    • Chris Crum

      I don’t think a “harsh punishment” (whatever that means) is in order. I think making him pull the game is probably enough. I’m all for free games. I just don’t see why he should be surprised that he was made to pull it, when it’s clearly a rip off of their product.

  • http://www.lightingsupply.com/hid_bulbs/high_pressure_sodium_hps_bulbs.aspx High Pressure Sodium

    Dr Mario rocks.  Although it was very different!

    • Chris Crum

      Yes, Dr. Mario does kind of rock, I suppose. I haven’t played it since I was like 10. Different? Yes. VERY different…don’t know about that. SUPER Mario Bros. is VERY different…

  • Mike

    Thats bullshit…and no he’s not a criminal.  He took a game and made it better.

    Seriously, if you can make something better then what it was then you should be rewarded for that not threatned.   Tetris should have paid him to call that game tetris in my opinion.

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