On Monday, Epic Games and Apple faced off in the first hearing of their ongoing legal fight, held in a public Zoom call because of the ongoing quarantine restrictions. The hearing sought to determine whether Epic’s developer privileges should be legally protected — initially by a temporary restraining order, setting the stage for a more powerful preliminary injunction that would remain in force for the duration of the trial.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers did not issue an immediate ruling on the issue, but said she would be issuing a written order after the fact “and I will issue it quickly.”
However, Judge Rogers opened the hearing by indicating she was likely to take action to protect the Unreal Engine, but let the Fortnite ban stand. “I am not inclined to grant relief with respect to the games,” the judge said, “but I am inclined to grant relief with respect to the Unreal Engine.”
Judge Rogers seemed uncertain which side would succeed on the merits of the case, which will have bearing on whether the injunction will be granted. “This is not something that is a slamdunk for Apple or for Epic Games,” Judge Rogers said.
Fortnite was removed from the app store on August 13th, in response to the implementation of a new program sidestepping Apple’s mandatory in-app payment system. But Apple has also moved to restrict Epic’s ability to work on the Unreal Engine, which is widely used by third-party game developers. A Microsoft executive submitted testimony on Sunday that revoking Epic’s ability to maintain the Unreal Engine would cause significant problems for iOS versions of games using the engine, including Microsoft’s Forza.
Apple says it is within its rights to remove developers that violate the platform rules, which Epic did clearly and deliberately. “Developers who work to deceive Apple, as Epic has done here, are terminated,” the company said in a filing last week.
The judge’s primary concern was Epic’s own role in bringing about the crisis, and the company’s ability to restore its iOS privileges by simply restoring the pre-August version of the app.
“So far,” Judge Rogers said, “I haven’t heard anything that suggests they can’t just flip the switch to the way it was August 3rd.”
“We can’t just flip a switch and reenter an anti-competitive environment,” replied Cravath’s Katherine Forrest, representing Epic. “There’s no technical reason it can’t be done, but it’s something the law does not and should not require.”
Judge Rogers was significantly more skeptical about Apple’s efforts to restrict Epic’s ability to maintain the Unreal Engine. “It does to me look retaliatory, and I don’t see any harm to Apple to restrain you from not impacting the Unreal Engine on that platform,” Judge Rogers said. “It looks like overreach to me.”
Representing Apple, Gibson Dunn’s Richard Doren defended the move by citing Apple’s long-standing App Store policies for responding to developers who breach its terms.
“When Apple is dealing with an entity that is breaching its contracts, its practice is to terminate the accounts of all related parties,” Doren said. “The reason Apple does this is so that it doesn’t become a shell game…. The concern is that the misconduct will simply be transferred to another Epic entity.”
Forrest also emphasized the damage done by limiting the Unreal Engine’s capabilities on iOS, as many developers had sought out the engine specifically for its cross-platform capabilities.
“It will no longer be a usable engine,” Forrest said. “Developers are fleeing the Unreal Engine. It’s happening now. It’s not speculative.”
West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers – Summerland Review
The Vernon Vipers fell to 0-2 in the B.C. Hockey League’s Okanagan Cup exhibition tournament Saturday night on home ice.
Deegan Mofford’s goal with 15 seconds left in the second period gave the visiting West Kelowna Warriors a 2-1 win over the Snakes at Kal Tire Place, completing a home-and-home sweep in the first two games of the tourney.
The Warriors beat Vernon 4-1 Friday at Royal LePage Place.
Kaidan Johnson gave the Vipers a 1-0 lead, tapping in a goal-mouth pass from defenceman Trey Taylor at 19:02 of the opening frame.
Carter Wilkie got that one back for the Warriors with a shorthanded goal at 16:30 of the second.
Zach Bennett picked up the win in goal for West Kelowna while Cloverdale product Roan Clarke was stellar in net for the Vipers.
The Okanagan Cup is a two-month tournament that will feature the Okanagan’s four teams, the Vipers, Warriors, Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Penticton Vees.
The tournament will consist of a total of 27 games as each team will face-off against one another four times. The games will take place on Fridays and Saturdays with each team playing a total of 12 games.
The final weekend of play will commence on Saturday, Nov. 7, followed by a weekend of semifinal and final action, beginning Friday, Nov. 13 and concluding with the championship game on Saturday, Nov. 14.
“This a great opportunity for our fans to get their hockey fix,” said Vipers executive vice-president Todd Miller.
Each of the teams 12 games will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com. In addition, all four organizations are excited to showcase their players on Shaw with select games airing on the Shaw channels across the Okanagan.
The Vees started the tournament 2-0, sweeping the Silverbacks 7-0 in Salmon Arm, and 8-2 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The tournament continues Friday, Oct. 2, when the undefeated Warriors and Vees tangle in Penticton. The clubs play again the next night in West Kelowna.
The Vipers will visit Penticton for a mid-week game Wednesday, Oct. 7, before the two teams meet at Kal Tire Place Saturday, Oct. 10.
Apple Watch Series 3 users reporting issues after installing WatchOS 7 – MobileSyrup
Some Apple Watch Series 3 users are reporting several issues with their smartwatches after recently installing watchOS 7.
There’s a thread on Apple’s support forms dedicated to Apple Watch 3 owners detailing their frustrations after downloading watchOS 7.
The most common issue seems to be the smartwatches randomly rebooting several times a day. One user notes that they’ve had several reboots a day and that they never experienced this issue with previous updates.
Further, another forum on MacRumours details similar issues with other Apple Watch Series 3 owners. The users note that they’re experiencing random reboots and laggy performance.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade a watchOS 7 update, and although there was a bug fix released this week, it doesn’t appear to solve these specific issues.
It’s worth noting that it’s unclear how widespread these issues are, but since there seem to be numerous reports, Apple is likely aware of the problem and hopefully working on a fix.
Apple released watchOS 7 on September 16th, bringing features like sleep tracking and new watch faces.
Epic Games battles to get Fortnite back in App Store – Japan Today
Epic Games will strive anew Monday to convince a judge that its hit title Fortnite should be restored to Apple’s App Store, despite sidestepping the tech titan’s standard commission on transactions.
Apple does not allow users of its popular devices to download apps from anywhere but its App Store, and Epic is challenging its practice of taking a 30 percent cut of money spent on the apps by users.
The clash comes as Apple puts priority on selling digital content and subscription services to the one billion-plus people around the world using devices powered by its iOS mobile operating software.
The commission dispute has also become a rallying cry for app makers who believe Apple’s App Store policies are monopolistic.
Major app developers including Epic and streaming music giant Spotify recently formed a coalition to press for new terms with the major online marketplaces operated by Apple and Google.
Google runs a Play Store for apps tailored for devices powered by its Android software and also takes a commission, but people are free to get apps from other online venues.
The new Coalition for App Fairness advocacy group said it will seek legal and regulatory changes for the app stores which serve as gatekeepers for much of the mobile software distributed to smartphone users.
The move comes amid rising criticism of the fees and terms imposed by the app stores, and legal challenges by both Epic and Spotify to Apple’s commission for online subscriptions.
A hearing slated for Monday before a federal judge in California will focus on whether Apple should be compelled to put Fortnite back in the App Store while an overarching lawsuit plays out.
Apple pulled Fortnite from its online mobile apps marketplace on August 13 after Epic released an update that dodges revenue sharing with the iPhone maker.
The judge in the case previously rejected an emergency injunction request by Epic, saying Fortnite’s eviction by Apple was a “self-inflicted wound.”
But Epic did not back down from its fight against Apple, accusing the tech giant of being “a monopolist.”
Due to the legal row, Fortnite fans using iPhones or other Apple devices no longer have access to the latest game updates, including the new season released at the end of August.
© 2020 AFP
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