Home What Yo’s $1.5 Million Buys: Legal Huffing Against Yo Parodies

What Yo’s $1.5 Million Buys: Legal Huffing Against Yo Parodies

Yo is a parody of a chat app in its own right. But the one-click messaging app isn’t amused by parodies of Yo.

Yo founder Or Arbel has sent complaints to Apple petitioning to have Yo clones YOLO, Yo, Hodor!, Oi, and others removed from the App Store. The letter, from Yo’s sorta-fake corporation, Life Before Us LLC, reads in part: “This is a direct clone of our app Yo and based on the terms of agreement in the iTunes app store, it should be removed.”

It’s true that most Yo parodies are near-exact clones of the original. But if Yo is so easy to build that anyone can duplicate the concept in 20 minutes, is it really worth $1.5 million?

See also: Friday Fun: Create Your Own Obnoxiously Simple Messaging App Just Like Yo

Along the same lines, you might reasonably wonder if it’s really Apple’s responsibility to protect the integrity of an app so simple that dozens of people have effortlessly made their own copies?

Despite receiving a notice from Apple, YOLO is still active in the Apple Store, and the team told TechCrunch they don’t plan on removing it. Betty Xi, a member on the YOLO team, said the app only took three days to make and was designed to be a parody of Yo.

“With a product as fragile as Yo and the app being so easily duplicated, how can people claim this product is worth $10 million?” Xi asked TechCrunch.

Fortunately, if you’ve followed ReadWrite’s tutorial for making your own app, you’re not in trouble at all. Arbel said in a statement that he wants to encourage Yo parodies so long as they don’t look and act exactly like Yo does:

We value creativity and we are in a free market. Improving upon our concept is welcomed, copying us bit-by-bit isn’t.

Lead image by Helen A.S. Popkin for ReadWrite

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