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My 8-month investigation and court: Apple had confused my developer account and accidentally killed…

🌈 Abstract

The article is about a developer's 8-month investigation and legal battle with Apple after his developer account was unexpectedly closed, resulting in the loss of his $33,680 MRR mobile business.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Go to Public

1. What led the developer to believe the closure of his account was related to actions by competitors?

  • The developer believed the closure was related to actions by competitors because one of his applications was under attack - it was entirely copied, and the advertising creatives were also copied, and there was an onslaught of fabricated reviews.

2. What steps did the developer take after exhausting attempts to appeal to Apple?

  • The developer was forced to seek assistance from lawyers to ascertain the reason for the closure and recover the frozen funds, as at the time of deletion, they had 1209 active trials, $33,680 MRR, and $108,878 of honestly earned money over the last 3 months.
  • The developer filed a pre-trial claim and shared his story on Twitter, which gained over 500k views and became #1 news on HackerNews.
  • This gave immediate results, as Apple revealed the reason for the closure and released the frozen funds, but refused to reinstate the account.

[02] New evidence

1. What was the reason Apple provided for the blockage of the developer's account?

  • Apple stated the reason for the blockage was the association with a previously closed account, which was the developer's old Softeam account.

2. What evidence did the developer provide to demonstrate that the gaming application was created from scratch?

  • The developer provided Trello task screenshots, Git screenshots, screenshots from work messengers, the entire design change history from Figma, a plagiarism analysis report from Copyleaks, and conclusions from three different companies after examining all the source files.

3. How did Apple respond to the new evidence provided by the developer?

  • Apple responded with a generic text without specifying any reasons, stating that they retain the right to terminate developer accounts and remove apps at their discretion to protect users.

[03] Preparation for trial

1. What did the developer discover that led to the true reason for the removal of his account?

  • The developer discovered an account with the exact same name as his Softeam account, which some analytics services had even merged into one. The developer's former partners confirmed that this Softeam-2 account belonged to them and was closed by Apple on October 2, 2021.
  • The developer realized that Apple had mistakenly tagged the activity of the gaming application in the Softeam-1 account as originating from the entirely different Softeam-2 organization, with which the developer had no association.

2. What evidence did the developer include in the lawsuit against Apple?

  • The lawsuit contained evidence that the Sarafan account was not engaged in fraudulent activities, the gaming application in the associated Softeam account was developed from scratch, and Apple made a mistake by confusing two different accounts.

3. What is the developer's desired outcome from the lawsuit against Apple?

  • The developer's biggest desire is to return to a calm work routine and once again engage in creating new projects that will help people create photo/video content.
Shared by Daniel Chen ·
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