The tremendously useful iPhone and iPad inventory tracking tool is no more as Apple’s legal sharks have served its owner with a DMCA takedown notice. The website would give you estimates on iPad Air and iPhone 5s availability, particularly handy for early adopters as Apple struggles to keep up with demand for these products.
Apple objected to how Apple-Tracker.com pulled data from its web store and took issue with its use of deeplinks, arguing the tool violates its Terms of Service by re-using content from the online Apple Store. Complying with Apple’s request, the guy who runs the website has now taken his baby down..
“It was fun while it lasted,” the website’s administrator Mordy Tikotzky wrote Wednesday on Apple-Tracker. “I’m not really interested in picking a fight with apple so I guess it’s time to just say good bye”.
The service permitted you to punch in your ZIP code and get a list of twenty nearby Apple Stores with iPad Air and iPhone 5s availability estimates, broken down by model, color and capacity.
The solution was far from perfect as it only tracked in-store personal pickup availability, but was nonetheless good enough for most folks.
Mordy also planned on tracking stocks of the iPad mini with Retina display after it goes on sale later in November.
Here’s the full text of Apple’s takedown notice, dated October 17, 2013:
321 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Date: October 17, 2013
Dear Heroku Legal Agent:
I, the undersigned, state UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that:
 I am, a person injured, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of a person injured by unlawful web content published via and at heroku.com
 I May Be Contacted At:
Name of Injured Party : APPLE INC.
Name and Title: RYAN BRICKER, ASSOCIATE
Company: KILPATRICK TOWNSEND AND STOCKTON LLP
Address: TWO EMBARCADERO CENTER, 8TH FLOOR
City, State, and Zip: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94111
Email address APPLE_COPYRIGHT@KILPATRICKTOWNSEND.COM
Heroku Acceptable Use Policy
2.2 Your use of the Heroku Services must comply with all applicable laws, regulations and ordinances, including any laws regarding the export of data or software.
 Please act expeditiously to remove or otherwise disable the following website/web application:
 I have a good faith belief that the removal of copyright management information from the material listed above is not authorized by law; and
 The information in this notice is accurate.
Thank you for your kind assistance.
You may not use any “deep-link”, “page-scrape”, “robot”, “spider” or other automatic device, program, algorithm or methodology, or any similar or equivalent manual process, to access, acquire, copy or monitor any portion of the Site or any Content, or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure or presentation of the Site or any Content, to obtain or attempt to obtain any materials, documents or information through any means not purposely made available through the Site.
Apple’s terms are in line with other big name website terms and conditions.
The company “reserves the right to bar any such activity,” reads the document.
On a related note, another iPhone inventory tracking tool has also gone offline recently, most likely in response to Apple’s DMCA request, too.
What say you?
Was Apple right to shut down Apple-Tracker.com?
In my view, Tim Cook & Co. should just build a similar product availability tool and be done with it.