Apple shuts down Web-based product inventory tracking tool

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A website that scraped data from Apple in order to let users know what iPad Air models were in stock near them has been shut down by the company via a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice.

Developer Mordy Tikotzky posted an update on Wednesday to his website Apple-Tracker, revealing that he decided to shut down the site after receiving the DMCA notice from Apple.

"I'm not really interested in picking a fight with apple so..... I guess it time to just say good bye," he wrote. "Before I go I just wanted to say thanks to all of you for the nice comments and emails that you've sent in the last few days. It was fun while it lasted."

Apple's takedown notice is posted on the site and was actually dated Oct. 17 — weeks before the iPad Air went on sale. The letter, sent by the law firm Kilpatrick, Townsend and Stockton LLP, accuses the site of having used "page-scrape" tools to "access, acquire, copy or monitor" data from Apple's website.

Prior to its shutdown, the tool gained interest last Friday as a means for shoppers to determine which new iPad Air units were in stock at their nearest Apple Store locations. Data at the time showed that the high-end 128-gigabyte model was in limited supply, while 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi-only versions in space grey were readily available.

The tool worked by compiling and reformatting data pulled in from Apple's official online store. The data represented information limited to in-store pickup purchases only, and did not necessarily reflect the stock on hand.

The website also had trackers for the iPhone 5s, and Tikotzky had said hew as readying the tool to be able to handle Apple's forthcoming second-generation iPad mini with Retina display. But with this week's shutdown, users will now be required to check Apple's website directly.