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NYT demands Pulse app be pulled from App Store

A day after Steve Jobs demoed the news headline app at WWDC, the newspaper's parent company says it's an illegal use of its free RSS feed.

Pulse iPad app

An iPad app called Pulse, a visual RSS reader for news headlines, shot to the top of the app world only to hit the bottom in less than 24 hours.

On Monday, the iPad app created by a pair of Stanford grad students got special mention by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during his Worldwide Developers Conference keynote speech. By Tuesday, the app had disappeared from the App Store. Why? Apparently one of the news content providers in the app objected.

On Tuesday afternoon, New York Times reporter Brad Stone wrote that the Times Company, which owns several newspapers, objected to the Pulse app's use of Nytimes.com and Boston.com's free RSS feeds. The Times Company's legal team alerted Apple, which removed the app from its store.

The objection is that the Times Company's RSS fees are free, but that Pulse is framing and repurposing the content and charging $3.99 for it on the App Store. Still, apparently the Times Company is open to making a deal with Pulse's creators, as it does with other paid RSS readers.

"We want to be clear that we are willing to work with Pulse, but only under our terms of use," said Robert Christie, a spokesman for the Times Company, to the Times.

The situation grew more confusing when the app suddenly reappeared in the App Store, but Christie believes it was a mistake and is looking into it.