App Store software pirates under attack from Apple's legal team

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


Apple has begun cracking down on piracy of paid applications from its iOS App Store by sending legal takedown notices to servers hosting one popular service that aids people in stealing software.



Users can illegally obtain software from the App Store by jailbreaking their iOS device and running an application called "Installous." That provides access to a resource of cracked applications known as "Apptrackr."



But as noted by Cult of Mac, the head of Apptrackr has revealed that "huge takedown notices" have been sent out by Apple's legal team in an effort to shut down the piracy service. The Apptrackr service has since stopped directly linking to pirated software, and now has CAPTCHA verification checks when users steal software.



The piracy group has also moved its servers overseas to avoid Apple's legal actions, which has apparently driven up costs for Apptrackr. As a result, the service has introduced mobile advertisements, and told users that it cannot continue to survive on donations alone.



App Store piracy has been around for years, though there has not been much indication that Apple has been aggressive in shutting it down. The company has been engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with jailbreak developers who look for exploits in iOS to allow them to run unauthorized code.



While piracy is one reason some people jailbreak their iPhone or iPad, jailbreaking can also be used for entirely legal purposes like unlocking an iPhone or running applications not approved by Apple. However, the jailbreaking process does void Apple's warranties for iOS devices.











Theft of iPhone applications has been common enough that developers have found ways to profit from pirates. In early 2010, the developer behind "Tapulous" said many who stole their game were later buying legal music downloads from within the game using Apple's in-app purchasing system.



Last July, one developer revealed that Apple still allows users who pirated an application to log their progress through its Game Center social networking service. They said their game, "FingerKicks," sold 1,163 legitimate copies, but at least 15,950 pirated copies had been logged on Game Center.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Have we descended into a nation of thieves? Or have we always been this way and the Internet just makes it easier?
  • Reply 2 of 36
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    Have we descended into a nation of thieves? Or have we always been this way and the Internet just makes it easier?



    Step one is jailbreaking, cue the apologists in...



    3...



    2...



    1...
  • Reply 3 of 36
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    About time.



    So, the thieves asking their customers, who are also thieves, to pay them instead of the software developers. What's wrong with everyone!
  • Reply 4 of 36
    Apple has the ability to completely stop piracy whenever they want. They develop their own CPUs so they could require that all app code be signed. Apple could also utilize their own servers to validate an app's signature and the user's Apple ID whenever the app developer wishes. Apple could also make it easy for an app developer to determine if their app is properly encrypted and to determine if the iOS device has been jail broken. I have listened to all the WWDC sessions about security and Apple has never even once mentioned any techniques to help developers protect their apps from piracy. I don't understand how Apple expects to protect user data if the apps themselves are not secure from modification.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    I applaud Apple for doing this.



    It has always struck me as odd that people would buy such an expensive gadget or sign up to an expensive calling plan to then jailbreak and pirate 99c apps.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post


    I applaud Apple for doing this.



    It has always struck me as odd that people would buy such an expensive gadget or sign up to an expensive calling plan to then jailbreak and pirate 99c apps.



    Exactly... lol.



    Photoshop, Final Cut, Ok- I get it. I don't agree with it, but I understand it. But for Angry Birds? Wow.





    Its like steroids in sports. If juicing is the difference between getting 5 yrs 100 mil or 5 years 20 mil, by all means- I understand the temptation. But if your a white kid on your high school basketball team... why? You just like to be flaccid? \







    That all being said- The one thing I would love to have access to by jailbreaking my grandfathered unlimited data through AT&T is the ability to turn my phone into a hotspot. But... alas....
  • Reply 7 of 36
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post


    I applaud Apple for doing this.



    It has always struck me as odd that people would buy such an expensive gadget or sign up to an expensive calling plan to then jailbreak and pirate 99c apps.



    There are other reasons to jailbreak other than to pirate apps. How about adding functionality to a device you own. Think ATV. The jailbreakers are making the ATV more useful, something that Apple should have done a looooong time ago.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    I hope to Christ Almighty they hang these c**ksuckers by thier gnatsized balls ....



    F**ckin' scumbags ruining a flawless, good thing for everyone -- go get "em, Apple!
  • Reply 9 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tjwal View Post


    There are other reasons to jailbreak other than to pirate apps. How about adding functionality to a device you own. Think ATV. The jailbreakers are making the ATV more useful, something that Apple should have done a looooong time ago.



    Ya, that's great, but the piece was about app theft, not jailbreaking. The only mention of jailbreaking was that it was a requirement to install an app used for loading pirated apps. Nobody said anything else about jailbreaking or preventing it. Unless I misread, Apple sent legal notice(s) to the organization/service that was facilitating pirating not jailbreaking.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,484member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    Have we descended into a nation of thieves? Or have we always been this way and the Internet just makes it easier?



    Piracy has always been there. Bill Gates wrote blistering letters to pirates as far back as the mid-1970's (pre-DOS days).
  • Reply 11 of 36
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BoxMacCary View Post


    I hope to Christ Almighty they hang these c**ksuckers by thier gnatsized balls ....



    F**ckin' scumbags ruining a flawless, good thing for everyone -- go get "em, Apple!



    I don't think I've ever seen Christ and cocksucker in the same sentence.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    Have we descended into a nation of thieves? Or have we always been this way and the Internet just makes it easier?



    Keep in mind these figures probably include more than the US, but yes I think we have.



    We can thank people like Michael Moore for teaching our youth that capitalism is evil & people shouldn't be allowed to make money off a good idea. Now the way to get ahead is to steal it. Thanks Michael for teaching the world to hate the establishment, good on ya for making your millions off this capitalistic society you hate so much.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,072member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    Have we descended into a nation of thieves? Or have we always been this way and the Internet just makes it easier?



    The latter. To quote Lex Luther in Superman, "People are no damn good..." It's why religions and laws were invented, to try to keep us in some sort of line. Doesn't work very well though.



    Use hatred of the RIAA's policies to rationalize stealing copyrighted music. Rationalize the theft of anything you desire by claiming entitlement.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    stourquestourque Posts: 354member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hezetation View Post


    Keep in mind these figures probably include more than the US, but yes I think we have.



    We can thank people like Michael Moore for teaching our youth that capitalism is evil & people shouldn't be allowed to make money off a good idea. Now the way to get ahead is to steal it. Thanks Michael for teaching the world to hate the establishment, good on ya for making your millions off this capitalistic society you hate so much.



    I don't remember Michael Moore ever claiming capitalism is evil and people shouldn't be allowed to make money off a good idea, or teaching kids to steal. I remember him pointing out that the biggest thieves have the title CEO after their names and get away with it by hiding behind the capitalism mantra. I see you fell for it.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stourque View Post


    I don't remember Michael Moore ever claiming capitalism is evil and people shouldn't be allowed to make money off a good idea, or teaching kids to steal. I remember him pointing out that the biggest thieves have the title CEO after their names and get away with it by hiding behind the capitalism mantra. I see you fell for it.



    Ouch!

    Capitalism is bad when it is run by opportunist scumbags. Or heartless exploiters but stealing does sounds like a quick way of paying back against them. Blame the man-invented systems. We're unfortunately heading to the wrong direction.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GoodGrief View Post


    Ya, that's great, but the piece was about app theft, not jailbreaking. The only mention of jailbreaking was that it was a requirement to install an app used for loading pirated apps. Nobody said anything else about jailbreaking or preventing it. Unless I misread, Apple sent legal notice(s) to the organization/service that was facilitating pirating not jailbreaking.



    True but the poster I responded to inferred that people jail broke just to steal apps.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    If my kid doesn't know that stealing is wrong, blame me, not Micheal Moore. Lock me up and throw away the key.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    It's hard for a small develop to go after pirates so Apple going after them certainly adds a lot of value to the app store.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tjwal View Post


    True but the poster I responsed to inferred that people jail broke just to steal apps.



    If you look at the numbers, it's hard to think otherwise.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hezetation View Post


    Keep in mind these figures probably include more than the US, but yes I think we have.



    We can thank people like Michael Moore for teaching our youth that capitalism is evil & people shouldn't be allowed to make money off a good idea. Now the way to get ahead is to steal it. Thanks Michael for teaching the world to hate the establishment, good on ya for making your millions off this capitalistic society you hate so much.



    I happen to appreciate all of the work that Michael Moore has done for this country. I never heard Michael Moore recommend that we steal. Get your facts right.
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