Apple Blocks iPhone Game After Hollywood Agent Complaint

| News

Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel convinced Apple to pull a game from the App Store over allegation that its main character portrayed him in a negative light, according to The Independent.

The focus of Mr. Emanuel's scorn was Secret Agent by Factory Six. The iPhone game includes an agent named Ari, and Vince, one of his clients. Both names also appear in HBO's series, Entourage, about a big time entertainment industry agent and his clients.

In the game, the agent tries to keep Vince out of trouble and earns money for avoiding situations that could have a negative impact on his client's image.

According to Mr. Emanuel, the game could have a negative impact on his reputation, the reputation of the William Morris Endeavor Entertainment talent agency, and the reputations of his clients who include the likes of Robert De Niro, Ben Affleck and Christian Bale.

"The game uses the name 'Ari' for the main character, which clearly is a reference to Mr. Emanuel, the co-chief executive officer of WME, one of the world's premier talent agencies," the cease and desist letter stated. "[It] clearly intends to capitalise on using Mr Emanuel's and WME's names for the game and possibly mislead the public into thinking that Mr Emanuel and/or WME endorse the game -- effectively trading off the goodwill, reputation and fame established by our clients."

Factory Six, however, claimed the game's characters were inspired by the popular HBO series. "The name has come to represent Hollywood, and the whole idea of Hollywood, rather than a particular person. We're a very small firm, of just three people, and since Apple pulled it we have had no income," Factor Six's Oisin Hanrahan said.

Apple's move to pull Super Agent from the App Store comes only days after word surfaced that it also has been blocking apps from appearing in its China App Store because of local government regulations.

Apple hasn't commented on its move to pull Super Agent from the App Store.


Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Who still thinks Apple controlling iPhone app distribution is good for anyone involved? When Apple is the single choke point, look how easy it is for outside parties to ruin a developer with virtually no legal consequences.

Another development that makes me hopeful that Apple will end up overwhelmed by being the one true arbiter of taste is AppMakr. It’s an app shell that you configure with some graphics and an RSS feed. You pay $200, and that company makes and submits the app for you. I expect we’ll begin seeing a lot of these, and it will be interesting to see how Apple processes thousands of app per week built on the cheap.


Either way, they shouldn’t be using the names from real people or HBO’s series because it also rides on the coattails of someone else’s work.

Change the names of the characters and resubmit. Big deal.

Lee Dronick

The real Ari Emanuel is brother to Rahm Emanuel, the current White House Chief of Staff. Ari’s politically powerful brother probably had nothing to do with the app being pulled, it is just a bit of trivia.

As nytesky said, just change the name of the characters and resubmit. They probably shouldn’t use the name Arliss though.

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