Sunday, February 26, 2012

Viddy re-enters the App Store after short ban for racy content

Viddy, the mobile social video application, is back in the App Store after being banned for a short time. Viddy, which we've written about previously (1, 2) which allows users to custom 15-second videos and share them via social media, but the problem, it appears, is that some users were creating sexually charged videos with partially nude or fully nude people.

The app itself is free, but there are in-app purchases which give the users "Production Packs" to use in their videos. Mindless Behavior and T-Pain, for example, have teamed with Viddy.

At the same time, a number of celebrities have signed up for Viddy, including Bill Cosby (shown), Snoop Dogg, and Linkin Park. It also has b een well-funded, with a $6 million Series A round from Battery Ventures, Greycroft Ventures and Qualcomm that closed just a few weeks ago. Viddy also partnered with some major content provider, including Disney (for the release of last year's Muppets movie).

The app was taken down on Thursday night, because a user complained. While most of the Viddy clips uploaded are innocuous, there are a few ... or more than a few ... that are graphic, with women dancing in the shower, touching themselves, and ... you get the drift.

That said, by Saturday, the app was back in the App Store again. It's not clear what happened between Thursday night and Saturday to convince Apple to put the app back into the store, but somehow the company did.

Honestly, Viddy videos can be no longer than 15 seconds in length. That makes it really hard to create anything even close to resembling porn, but Apple's stance on anything it possibly perceives as adult material is long-standing.

Viddy has tools in place to filter adult materials and users can flag videos. In addition, Viddy's terms of service states:

"You acknowledge that creating, submitting or sharing your User Content may give rise to various types of legal liabilities and you represent that your User Content (whether or nor you are the author of such content) complies at all times (both when first submitted and throughout its accessibility on the Service) with the TOS and all applicable laws. You understand that Viddy does not pre-screen User Content and is not liable for the content (including User Content) transmitted by users."

For now, it seems Viddy has satisfied Apple enough to get back into the App Store. How long it stays there remains to be seen.

Viddy is currently an iPhone (not even iPad) only app. The company is also planning versions for Android, Windows Phone, iPad, and BlackBerry.

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