CBS claiming copyright on Star Trek computer interface used in iPad app

I’m willing to bet that the first thing a Star Trek fan thinks when seeing an iPad is “PADD!”. PADDs, Personal Access Display Devices, were the tablets used in the 80s and 90s Star Trek series (TNG, DS9, Voyager). There have been apps to make tablets look like PADDs since the dawn of time (I still remember one for the Nokia 700) so the iPad was doomed to get one too, and it came in form of DiagnosticPADD. The app gives you some basic information about network, GPS locations, storage, battery etc all styled after the LCARS interface used on the PADDs. It’s all very TNG looking with LCARS graphics, annoying, authentic beeping sounds and some actual tricorder-like data coming in.

CBS, who’s apparently in possession of the copyright right now, didn’t like this much. They’ve claimed copyright on the name and interface and told the poor developer to remove the app. It’s still available, but probably won’t be for long. What’s ironic is that Star Trek has always had a gigantic fan fiction community where everything from fan made TV and radio series, books and comics have been created. Why this app was pulled with all the other stuff is allowed to exist is anyone’s guess, maybe it’s because the app isn’t free at $0.99..

Update: and here’s the reason

[TUAW]

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.