4 Dec 2003
As most of you already know, I was forced to stop development on Netflix Fanatic in early October due to a legal dispute with Apple. Since then, I've been contacted by quite a few developers who were interested in developing a product to replace Netflix Fanatic and to help out all the users left out in the cold.
I'm happy to note that one developer, The Little App Factory, has just released a product called Netflix Freak. From an early look at it, it seems to have most (if not all) of the functionality of Netflix Fanatic, plus even a little bit more. It looks very nice.
Even better (for registered users of Netflix Fanatic, especially) is that the program looks for a registered copy of Netflix Fanatic on your system and if it finds one, it bypasses registration.
I was keeping my fingers crossed that someone would step up to the plate and am very happy that only two months after I stopped working on Netflix Fanatic, there is now at least one suitable replacement. Since it is only a matter of time before Netflix Fanatic stops working completely, you might want to take a look at this other offering.
I wanted to thank everyone again for supporting Netflix Fanatic and for giving me the motivation to work on other projects in the future (that will hopefully not have the same unhappy ending).
I chose not to publicly comment on my legal dispute, mostly because it's been a very difficult experience for me, but since many have taken it upon themselves to severely criticize both me and Apple, I thought I'd splash a few facts around here:
1. Netflix Fanatic is my own creation, conceived and developed on my own time and equipment, and without the help of any fellow employees, intellectual property of my employer, or using my .Mac account.
2. Apple made the claim of ownership based on Section 2870 (a)(1) of the California Labor Code, which states that an employer can take ownership if the product "relate[s] at the time of conception or reduction to practice of the invention to the employer's business, or actual or demonstrably anticipated research or development of the employer." In the case of my product, the prevailing legal opinion is that they do have at least an arguable case for ownership, which is one reason why I chose not to fight it.
The other reason is that Apple has the best and smartest people I've ever worked with in my life (and I've worked at a lot of places) and my job there is more important than a fun side-project I did to learn Cocoa.