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iPhone Game Piracy "the Rule Rather Than the Exception"

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the hey-some-people-can't-afford-that-99-cents dept.

Cellphones 268

An anonymous reader writes "Many game developers don't think of the iPhone as being a system which has extensive game piracy. But recent comments by developers and analysts have shown otherwise, and Gamasutra speaks to multiple parties to evaluate the size of the problem and whether there's anything that can be done about it. Quoting: 'Greg Yardley confirms that getting ripped off by pirates is the rule rather than the exception. Yardley is co-founder and CEO of Manhattan-based Pinch Media, a company that provides analytic software for iPhone games. ... "What we've determined is that over 60% of iPhone applications have definitively been pirated based on our checks," he reveals, "and the number is probably higher than that." While it's impossible to estimate how much money developers are losing, it involves more than the price of the game, he says. "What developers lose is not necessarily the sale," he explains, "because I don't believe pirates would have bought the game if they hadn't stolen it. But when there is a back-end infrastructure associated with a game, that is an ongoing incremental cost that becomes a straight loss for the developer."'"

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268 comments

clue for the non-iphone-user (-1, Troll)

NiteMair (309303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180454)

Does pirating an iphone app require a jailbroken phone?

If so, does that mean the "rule" is that there are more jailbroken phone users out there using these pirated applications than there are non-jailbroken phone users using them?

Doesn't that essentially indicate the apps are overpriced to begin with? (not that this is a legitimate excuse for pirating them).

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180496)

I wonder if maybe he is being clever with his phrasing, and instead of 60% of all app installations being cases of piracy, the fact he is trying to state is that of the apps in the app store (more probably, the apps that they instrument), 60% of them have been pirated at least once.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

Delwin (599872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180542)

No, he's stating that (at least for games) 60% or more of your users are pirating the app. He's also right.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180680)

No, he's stating that (at least for games) 60% or more of your users are pirating the app. He's also right.

He's not actually "Just over 60% of paid apps using Pinch have been pirated. This estimate is also low, since application pirates occasionally disable our tracking. When an application is pirated, an average of 34% of all installs are cracked — in other words, about half of legitimate paid downloads."

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180692)

Actually reading the article, I was right, quoting from approximately the fifth paragraph:

Just over 60% of paid apps using Pinch have been pirated. This estimate is also low, since application pirates occasionally disable our tracking. When an application is pirated, an average of 34% of all installs are cracked -- in other words, about half of legitimate paid downloads.

He says that for apps that have seen piracy, an average of 34% of the installs are pirated.

So the 60% was just their way of stating the biggest possible percentage.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (2, Informative)

johndiii (229824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181242)

Actually, I think that comes to about one third of the 60%, meaning that 20% of all the installs of apps that use Pinch are pirated. I assume that Pinch charges for its library, so they would likely be tracking few, if any, free apps. They may be in some low-priced apps, but probably not that many of those, either. So that 20% may well amount to something like 1% or fewer of all installs. On my phone, free or 99-cent apps comprise roughly 95% of the installed base; I know of only one that uses Pinch (out of 91 installed over the included apps).

It's also very unlikely that many free apps are pirated. The Gamasutra article suggests that low-priced apps are also pirated, but that article contains only anecdotes, no numbers. Probably not many 99-cent apps either. So his 34% of 60% is likely to be a rather small number by this analysis as well.

Looking at it another way, let's take the only real numbers that they give: 38% of the four million jailbroken phones have used a pirated app - about a milllion and a half. Assuming that you need a jailbroken phone to run pirated apps, about 15% of extant iPhones can do so. Roughly 5% actually do. So 95% of iPhones do not run pirated apps. Both articles assert that the vast majority of pirated apps are by users who would not buy the application from the app store. I'd have to conclude that piracy is not a significant problem on the iPhone.

Looking at the developer who said that 96% of his users were pirate installs, the game is either overpriced, uninteresting. or hard to find in the app store. At $6.99, I'm very unlikely to buy any application - especially one that sounds like a storybook for kids. On the other hand, I just paid significantly more than that for an edition of the (concise) OED for my phone. Of course, it's probably close to the cheapest edition of it that one can buy... In any case, given the "pirates wouldn't buy anyway" principle, app store sales are a 95% accurate indicator of the popularity of your application.

The bottom line is that the numbers that he gives are purely a PR exercise, designed to fuel indignation and scare developers into thinking that their work will be stolen. And incidentally to boost sales for Pinch Media. They do sell a decent library, from what I have read, and the monitoring feature is a valuable capability. But scare tactics, however well-established a strategy in the security industry, tend to work mostly on the uninformed.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181404)

Without some sort of information about the popularity of each app, it is really tough to combine the 60% and 34% in a meaningful way (for instance, it is at least possible for a single one of the 40% apps to have more individual installations than the entire 60%, or popular apps may be pirated at much higher rates, or whatever).

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

johndiii (229824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181552)

Yes, quite true. Those numbers are pretty much divorced from reality. I'd guess an inverse relation between price and installed base, most likely, but that doesn't really give much to reason with. Too many uncertainties.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180700)

The statement means exactly what it says. 60% of apps have been pirated at least once. TFA says

When an application is pirated, an average of 34% of all installs are cracked -- in other words, about half of legitimate paid downloads.

To date, Pinch Analytics has received data from approximately 4.0 million jailbroken devices. About 38%, or around a million and a half of those, have used a pirated application.

(Of the phones that are Jailbroken and running software that they instrument, they indicate 38% were determined to be running at least 1 pirated app.)

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180726)

It means what it says, but the poster I replied to misunderstood it, and then someone else replied to me vehemently arguing that it meant 60% of installs...

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180910)

The statement means exactly what it says. 60% of apps have been pirated at least once.

So, 40% of their applications have never been pirated? Isn't that evidence of an overwhelming lack of piracy?

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

Alsn (911813) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181302)

Or it just so happens that 40% of the applications are more or less crap.

That seems perfectly reasonable to me. ;)

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181506)

the fact he is trying to state is that of the apps in the app store (more probably, the apps that they instrument), 60% of them have been pirated at least once.

Does this mean apps instrumented with Pinch are easier to pirate? How could that be?

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (5, Insightful)

Amorya (741253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180578)

Overpriced to begin with? Rubbish. They cost loads less than on any competing platform. It's almost laughable how consumers will argue about how a $2 app is only worth $1 or even should be free.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (4, Informative)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180714)

No kidding. If an app "should be free" because it clearly took so little effort to develop, then I encourage would-be-pirates people to simply write it themselves. If they don't have the ability to write it but want to use it, then it is worth something to them.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180744)

The same could be said about music, but that doesn't go over so well :)

Writing it yourself isn't always possible (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181472)

I encourage would-be-pirates people to simply write it themselves.

The same could be said about music, but that doesn't go over so well :)

With software, United States case law recognizes methods of "reverse engineering", or copying only the (uncopyrightable) functionality of a program without copying the (copyrighted) expression of the program. Music and other non-software works don't have a corresponding exception; even if you "write it yourself", you might still infringe. George Harrison found out about this the hard way when he wrote a song only to learn later that he would have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to someone else who had written the same song years earlier (Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music).

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (5, Insightful)

shark72 (702619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181508)

The reason is, of course, that Slashdotters, as a general rule, understand what goes into programming an application. We have empathy and respect for programmers for the simple reason that for some of us, it's our profession.

Not so much with musicians. We (again -- as a general rule) characterize them as untalented and spoiled. Some people are more equal than others, and in the eyes of many Slashdotters, musicians are the least equal of all.

We don't pirate applications because we respect the work that programmers perform. However, we elevate music piracy to a social cause worthy of Rosa Parks. Hurting musicians? No -- we're putting them in their place. They should get a day job! They should make a living selling t-shirts! They should just stop being so greedy! We deserve to use modern technology to copy their work, but how dare they try to use modern technology to make a living?

And if that's not enough of a rationalization of music piracy, we're eager to suggest others. Just watch.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181100)

"Overpriced to begin with? Rubbish. They cost loads less than on any competing platform"

That's not the issue, games themselves are now WAY WAY over produced so their value to people is nil. Most iPhone games are rehashes of old games and are absolute junk, I'm not surprised no one wants to pay money for a phone game. Most people have systems dedicated to gaming for just this purpose.

iPhone games = flash games, this is why many flash games are run on portals for the ad revenue. IMHO that's the model iPhone games are under and quite frankly we already have tonnes of casual flash games and casual games portals.

There is just way too much oversupply in games and I think most developers need their heads read, you're competing against ALL OTHER possible games, why would someone waste their finite money on a dinky little iPhone game and not Modern warfare 2, or left for dead 2?

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181300)

Who are you to say that if I want to game that I need to be playing Call of Duty? What if I hate consoles? I do hate consoles, and I do 100% of my gaming right now on my Iphone 3gs! I love the games that are out for it. I think you are stupid to suggest people don't want to game on the Iphone!

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180630)

Doesn't that essentially indicate the apps are overpriced to begin with? (not that this is a legitimate excuse for pirating them).

The Pinchmedia report [pinchmedia.com] is a must read. It shows there is a definite link between wealth and piracy ( GDP is negatively correlated with piracy) and pirates use apps intensely for a couple of weeks then mostly abandon them which may indicate that they either lost intrest and wouldn't have bought anyway or bought it after a "trial" piracy period.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

NiteMair (309303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180786)

Indeed - after re-reading it (rather than looking at all the pretty graphs), I see that some of my curiosity has been quenched. It's some interesting statistical data for sure.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180696)

I have a jailbroken 3gs (typing this on it now). Have bought some absolute shit apps off the app store, even at a buck they were overpriced. Now I tend to try the cracked ones first. I'd I like them they get deleted and bought. Dungeon Defense, Pocket Universe, Doom Resurrection, etc. Funny thing is most of the utils I use the most are only available on a jailbroken phone: unix shell and the like. I'm likely in the minority of when as I really do "test drive" but I've been burned too many times at a buck or two already.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (2, Insightful)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180838)

If an app is "over-priced" at a $1, then I think the App Store has done you a disservice in terms of the REAL value of hard work. If you think it's too expensive, and yet you still want it, I think it stands to reason that while you may not want to pay as much as they are asking for, it certainly shouldn't be free. And anyone who complains about $1 apps needs to re-evaluate their budget. If you feel even a $1 app is too much, DON'T BUY IT. But that doesn't entitle you to "trial periods", where you will have a sudden epiphany that an app is of value to you. For more expensive apps (in general, not just the app store), there are often trial versions to evaluate whether it's right for you or not. If you've never written a line of code in your life, you have absolutely NO idea how much hard work goes into an app you might think is "simple" or "not worth a dollar".

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (2, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180986)

If you've never written a line of code in your life, you have absolutely NO idea how much hard work goes into an app you might think is "simple" or "not worth a dollar".

Effort does not correlate with value. I can spend thirty years building something and still end up with something worthless, and I can spend half an hour building a million dollar app. It's all about ho

If you think it's too expensive, and yet you still want it, I think it stands to reason that while you may not want to pay as much as they are asking for, it certainly shouldn't be free.

How is he supposed to know if the app is expensive or not, by its name? He said he paid if he wants to use it, he'll delete it if he doesn't.

But that doesn't entitle you to "trial periods", where you will have a sudden epiphany that an app is of value to you.

And building an app doesn't entitle the developer to expect people to buy it without ever trying it, only by name.

For more expensive apps (in general, not just the app store), there are often trial versions to evaluate whether it's right for you or not.

Well, maybe those apps should have trial versions too.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181052)

Is it really so hard to google iphone app review and come up with this?

http://www.iphoneappreviews.net/

It's a buck. A cup of coffee. A quarter of a beer at a sporting event. Stop whining about it.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (2, Interesting)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181400)

The problem is that "micro-transactions" have crept into every aspect of life.

If take the time to add up all your "buck here, buck there" transactions, you may be surprised just how much you spend.

The entire system is set up to maximize impulse buys and hide the total cost of purchases by splitting it up into bits.

People go for free because it is less than $1 or 25 cents or even 1 cent. Isn't it exactly that fact why so many things are outsourced to China, India, etc? To save just a little bit on each transaction?

It's real just the whole "pot meet kettle" issue. Everybody will go will spending as little as they can. The only difference is that businesses have an easier time making their cost cutting measures legal and those of individuals illegal, and then trying to use words like "intellectual property" and "piracy" to give a moralistic tone to the debate along with their stacked legal deck.

It's a bunch of dishonesty, ultimately, and it's obvious that lots normal people aren't convinced that this "priracy" is so terrible.. Nor should they be.

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (0)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180776)

the apps arent really overpriced at all. There have been many success stories on the app store. Good developers, indy developers etc... making good money, quiting old jobs to make apps full time etc.

It doesnt sound at all like piracy has hurt app developers. Just look up how much the developers of tap tap, fieldrunners, 2across, trisms, etc have made. They've all made a lot of money, and they're the little guy in this industry

The app store is a success.

Piracy is more of a fear and it's used as an excuse by developers who write bad software that doesnt sell. The app store is flooded with garbage. The best of the bunch have all been very profitable for the developers.

Piracy is always a factor, but it's unrealistic to ever expect to stop it, or that it is entirely wrong in an economy that is run by extremely rich, greedy criminals who get billions of tax payer dollars in the form of federal bail outs when they cry wolf.

BLAME THE POOR!

yeah...

Re:clue for the non-iphone-user,Pre-Christmas gift (0, Offtopic)

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Does require a jailbroken phone, and there's more (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180942)

Does pirating an iphone app require a jailbroken phone?

Yes, that is the case. So that means 2-3 million devices that can potentially pirate apps (of course not all people that jailbreak do so to pirate apps), out of a field of 30 million+ devices.

If so, does that mean the "rule" is that there are more jailbroken phone users out there using these pirated applications than there are non-jailbroken phone users using them?

Not at all. This statistic is really misleading, because they are just saying that 60% total of the apps HAVE PIRATED VERSIONS. Actually I would be really surprised if it was that low, I thought it was closer to 90% since it's easily automated - but someone has to buy the app in the first place to pirate it....

But that number says nothing at all about the number of users of any application. That number is NOT saying that 60% of the users of any given app have pirated it.

However there's even more to it that that. As I said the pirating is really easily automated, so it's not like the traditional pirating where applications are really cracked - code signing is just removed. This is actually really easy for an application developer to check for and so lots of apps now check to see (a) if they are on a jailbroken device or (b) if the app is pirated or not. Lots of developers monitor that but do nothing about it, some issue gentle notices after a few weeks saying "hey, why not buy me now". So any developer that cares about the pirating can make the job a lot harder if they really want by preventing functionality on pirated copies.

Touches more than phones (1)

bashibazouk (582054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181410)

I think it's more jailbroken ipod touches than phones. My nephews indicate that jailbroken (correct word?) ipod touches are very common among the grade school set, and their ipods were chock full of games they downloaded for free...

Conflicted (2, Interesting)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180486)

What's up the past few days. Stories about iPhone development sucks, Android development rules, no wait Android development sucks and iPhone development rules, no wait iPhone owners are a bunch of pirates.

Re:Conflicted (2, Insightful)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180566)

Simple reality.

All software sucks, it's just a matter of matching strengths and weaknesses to your own needs.

War of the memes (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180958)

What's up the past few days. Stories about iPhone development sucks, Android development rules, no wait Android development sucks and iPhone development rules, no wait iPhone owners are a bunch of pirates.

What you are seeing is a battle over memespace, two sides trying to convince a technical populace that the other side sucks.

Happily slashdot readers are more savvy than this, and there are well reasoned responses in each of these articles that lay out what is going on, despite very misleading article summaries - like this story implying 60% of iPhone users pirate, when in reality it's about 5% and the 60% figure is only the percentage of apps that have pirated VERSIONS, which says nothing about number of users who are pirating any given app.

Finally (5, Interesting)

delta419 (1227406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180502)

It's nice to see a big name admit that 1 pirated copy != 1 lost sale.

Re:Finally (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180966)

It's nice to see a big name admit that 1 pirated copy != 1 lost sale.

Now let's see if we can get someone on the other side to admit that software houses lose a lot of revenue from piracy, even if 1 pirate copy != 1 lost sale.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181126)

I think you miss the point of "1 pirate copy != 1 lost sale" entirely.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181336)

*WOOOSH*

Re:Finally (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181208)

It's nice to see a big name admit that 1 pirated copy != 1 lost sale.

What is equally rediculous is the assumption that pirates would never buy a game if they had to pay for them. It obviously isn't a 1:1 loss but there are losses involved and developing for the iPhone is very risky given the volume of apps. When it's debatable if it's worth developing a game for iPhone in the first place a 10% to 25% loss could be a 100% of your profits. Also why should some people pay and pirates get away without paying?

Re:Finally (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181532)

Notice they only admit that when they can show how piracy is still costing them money in some other way.

Then is piracy really that big of a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180514)

If people would not have been inclined to purchase the software if piracy was unavailable, then is piracy really an issue? The question should be, then, whether the availability and ease of piracy takes customers, who would otherwise buy the game, away. If it does, then it is a problem. But if the only people who pirate are the ones who wouldn't otherwise purchase the software, then it takes nothing away from developers other than their pride.

I also think this question is unanswerable. Impossible to know how many people would have otherwise purchased something if not for the availability of a pirated version.

Re:Then is piracy really that big of a problem? (1)

mftb (1522365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180736)

When there's some kind of internet-based back end to your app (be that for high scores or whatever), then pirated copies are a loss. Hell, I've heard of not reading TFA, but not even reading the summary? Jesus.

I think it's answerable (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181104)

The question should be, then, whether the availability and ease of piracy takes customers, who would otherwise buy the game, away.

I agree, and I think the answer is no.

I used to pirate stuff really heavily in college. Now that I can afford things, I buy them (when it is possible to buy anything).

Out of all of the people pirating applications and games, on any platform, 90% of them have been the same. When people are pirating they are usually in packrat mode, simply gathering stuff just to have it. But it doesn't mean any sales have been lost.

So I don't think any software industry is losing more than a few percent of real sales to piracy. That I think is also why app developer responses to piracy have been so mellow, where they could be doing a lot more evil stuff to people running pirated versions of apps they are not.

definitively (sic) been pirated (-1, Flamebait)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180522)

Can't we get someone who's first language is English to proof-read these things?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/definitively [thefreedictionary.com]

http://www.answers.com/definitely [answers.com]
http://www.lemondrop.com/2009/06/16/the-most-misspelled-word-definitely/ [lemondrop.com]

Re:definitively (sic) been pirated (4, Informative)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180616)

Can't we get someone who's [sic motherfucker] first language is English to proof-read these things?

It's whose, motherfucker, not who's.

--
Brought to you by the department of abusive language correction.

Re:definitively (sic) been pirated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180738)

It's whose, motherfucker, not who's.

It's Motherfucker, Motherfucker.

Re:definitively (sic) been pirated (2, Insightful)

anethema (99553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180770)

I take it you don't know what 'sic' means.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic

The gist of it is that he is reproducing someone else's text who has the spelling error in it. He is showing he knows its wrong and that it is the other guy's mistake not his.

Of course, if TFA doesn't say who's in the wrong context then he's just being a smartass.

Re:definitively (sic) been pirated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181072)

I take it you don't know what 'sic' means.

I take it you don't realize that Serious Callers Only inserted the [sic motherfucker] into tomhudson's quote after bolding the error.

Re:definitively (sic) been pirated (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181080)

I take it you don't know what 'sic' means.

Holy fucking cock in the ass, the goddamned fucking pedant was the one who fucking wrote "sic," you stupid fucking dipshit. Learn the fuck how to fucking read before you touch your cum gummed keyboard with those filthy fucking dick beaters of yours.

Re:definitively (sic) been pirated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181246)

Why would a comment have an editor?

Re:definitively (sic) been pirated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180928)

No, the correct word for what he's saying is 'definitively'. He is saying that it is a known absolute fact that at least 60% of the applications available on the App Store are also available in a cracked/warezed form. 'Definitive' is absolutely the correct word since Pinch Media has hard proof that this is the case. Do you have any training in editing? I do, and understanding when words should be used and when they shouldn't is part of that training.

Yes but there's more to it than that. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180526)

My company also tracks iphone piracy rates. And while the piracy rate is in line with the OP there's more to it than that. Apps with demos generally have lower piracy rates. Also we track usage rate, pirates tend to only launch once or twice, as if they're sampling the app. So it's not as bad as the article makes it sound.

Re:Yes but there's more to it than that. (4, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180668)

TFAs were scant on details. How is it that they can identify which instances of apps were pirated and yet still be unable to put in a decent kill switch* ? Are iPhone games that easy to crack? Do iPhone games use a ubiquitous piracy control scheme where you crack one, you crack all? Are there that many bored or unemployed crackers who would go through the trouble to crack a $2 game?

*Not that I condone that sort of thing, but people are used to that kind of control on mobile platforms anyway.

Re:Yes but there's more to it than that. (2, Interesting)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181068)

Its easy enough. I spent a good 2 weeks trying to figure out how to create my own personal "registration" system. The old type where your given a license key and it says "Yea you bought it" Most of the time I have a root seed value thats hashed with some random data. Sure, a cracker can make a key gen once they figure out the hash method and seed value (not that hard), but it was resonantly simple to set up. Using public key cryptography you could make sure that a key gen is not possible, but at that point your authentication program is getting more complex than your $1 fart app

Doesn't stop a pirate from changing a MOV op-code in your executable to avoid the whole authentication anyway.

While I haven't create anything for the Apple store, I suspect that some key value is created when the app is sold and stuck somewhere in the config files. To authenticate a user's high score online, I would send that key, name and score and record the IP. Hell, maybe the first thing the game does, when it turns on, is send a high score of 0. Doing this you can tell exactly how many people has pirated the game, how many times people have played the game, and generally how long they play it for every time a score is sent in. Heck, you could even match the IP information regionally to see how your game has spread. Its good data to make your next game reach a wider audience.

Re:Yes but there's more to it than that. (1)

Taur0 (1634625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181218)

Sampling is right. I know people who've jail broken their i-phones and they've downloaded every app they might even be remotely interested in. Sometimes they don't even know all the apps they have, never mind using them. In fact, this whole 60% figure is inflated because people who can get apps for free are going to download a lot more than people who pay for them. I really doubt that there are 6 pirates for every 4 people who buy their apps.

Re:Yes but there's more to it than that. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181546)

Also we track usage rate, pirates tend to only launch once or twice, as if they're sampling the app.

I'm guessing that legitimately-purchased iPhone software is only launched once or twice, too.

Compensated source = cooked numbers ?? (3, Informative)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180536)

"Yardley is co-founder and CEO of Manhattan-based Pinch Media, a company that provides analytic software for iPhone games...."

I'm sure reporting greater pirating numbers is in Mr. Yardley's financial interest as well. Not to say there isn't pirating going on but when the entity reporting the pirating number derives a living from said numbers I tend to be a bit skeptical. It is like the RIAA's number's, there has to be some basis for truth in them, but you can rest assured they are massaged and slanted to show the greatest impact to the paying customer...

 

What benefit can they derive? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180988)

I'm sure reporting greater pirating numbers is in Mr. Yardley's financial interest as well.

Actually they would be far more valuable kept private. There's no reason at all not to believe these numbers, as Pinch Media gains nothing by the numbers being higher or lower - any developer can easily add code in themselves to check if an app is pirated, so it's not like people not using Pinch Media today would be overly compelled to do so if they really wanted to check.

Don't forget this is just the number of apps that have pirated versions being used, not the number of users pirating apps or even the total percentage of pirated apps (because there could easily be many apps pirated and never run).

It was meantioned earlier... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180574)

It was mentioned earlier in a Slashdot comment that iPhone apps can be legally shared between a few devices. That is, non-jailroken iPhones.

Did they take this into account when making these assumptions?

Yes, because it's easy to detect pirated versions (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181118)

The code to tell if your application has been pirated or not is trivial, because pirating is basically just taking away the code signing which is easy to examine from the application. So it's very easy to get a clear picture of an app running because it has been pirated vs. is simply running on another device that iTunes has enabled.

Good! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180594)

I want to see people who develop for the iphone go out of business, and hopefully take Apple with them

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181172)

There's an app for that.

Losing to Piracy, or, Over-Estimating App Value? (3, Insightful)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180604)

Whenever a developer claims to be "losing money" to piracy, one has to wonder... are the developers losing this money trying to combat piracy directly (lawsuits and DRM tactics), or is it simply a case of self-flattery, where the developer is grossly over-estimating the value of their software, thinking "If my software isn't great, then why would anyone pirate it?"

Perhaps its time for some self-reflection. You are just another pawn in an industry wide problem spanning over 30 years. Chances are, you and your app aren't special. The piracy was likely nothing more than a bulk job handled indescriminately with no concern for you or anyone else.

Re:Losing to Piracy, or, Over-Estimating App Value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180758)

Perhaps it's time to RTFS. The guy's talking about things like servers for multiplayer games being exploited by non-paying customers.

Re:Losing to Piracy, or, Over-Estimating App Value (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180870)

In this case, they're losing money because they have to pay for bandwidth and server resources that unpaid app users are utilizing.

What the developers should do is utilize in-app purchase capability, that produces a unique transaction id# kept on their servers for each purchase, username/password, that the developer gets associated with the unique device ID.

Cut the initial cost of the app, and charge a consumable fee.

A fee for "X hours" of app usage, which gets tracked by the server, e.g. 1000 hours of app usage.

If multiple iPhones are using the same ID# at the same time, it deducts the time associated with both sessions.

Airplane mode (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181500)

A fee for "X hours" of app usage, which gets tracked by the server, e.g. 1000 hours of app usage.

How can the server track an iPhone or iPod Touch device using the app in airplane mode? If your app refuses to run in airplane mode, and its normal operation wouldn't reasonably need a constant connection to the Internet, you risk drawing undesirable comparisons to Valve's Steam authentication.

Re:Losing to Piracy, or, Over-Estimating App Value (5, Interesting)

wrook (134116) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181416)

the developer is grossly over-estimating the value of their software, thinking "If my software isn't great, then why would anyone pirate it?"

I once worked for a small company with a semi-popular application. Sales were almost all of the form of pay pal purchases off the website. It wasn't a lot of money, but it was enough to pay one developer. But piracy was a huge problem. It was quite obvious that more than 90% of the copies running were pirated.

The company changed directions and started bundling the application for free with online services. The service provider would pay for the application and the customers would get the software for use only with the service. But the company was worried about piracy, so they asked me to write DRM that tied the application to the service. They would continue to sell an untied version off the website, but with "call home" DRM (it's an internet app, so it's not quite as draconian as it sounds). I very reluctantly agreed (i.e., I had to decide whether it was worth quitting over -- if I had to do it again, I'd quit).

The end result was that all piracy stopped. In fact, all usage stopped. Instead of selling 2 or 3 copies a day off the website, not one copy of the DRM version was ever sold. And due to very poor choices of service provider partners, the company received no revenue at all. Within a year the company had folded.

The thing is, the new version was head and shoulders better than then non-DRMed version. And the DRM was truly unobtrusive (think DRM in WoW). Paying customers wouldn't even know it existed. But sales are generated by popularity, not quality. Piracy, like it or not generates popularity. The company was very small and had no means of effective advertising. By cutting off the pirates, they shut off their only revenue source.

What always kills me about this story is this: The app we were making was *perfect* for an open software model. Ask the service providers to each spend a small amount of money to cover development and give them the app for free. Give them branding in the app to thank them for their help. But the "sales" people were always quick to point out that the service providers they found had no money and couldn't afford to pay us up front. How on earth did we fail? :-P

60%! I feel the need to call shenanigans..... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180628)

I have a jailbroken phone and it was ridiculously easy to do so. So does my girlfriend and technically speaking, she's amish. In short, jailbreaking a phone is stupendously simple, so much that I wonder why even Apple's numbers claim that the figure is something like 10% of all iphones are jailbroken.

That being said, it would appear that pirating apps from the app store, while not hard, would take at least a little more technical know how than the average iphone user has or is willing to put up with.

So jailbreaking an iphone, which takes almost no technical know how is done by 10% of users and pirating apps, which takes more know how, results in 60% of games being pirated?

Re:60%! I feel the need to call shenanigans..... (1)

xwizbt (513040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180676)

I jailbroke, played with it for a while, then reinstalled and went back to my comfort zone. I find it hard to believe that the majority of my fellow iPhone users didn't do the same. We like it Apple, and we like it simple. We don't pirate, and we all have fresh breath. Right?

Re:60%! I feel the need to call shenanigans..... (0, Flamebait)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180790)

I thought Apple users breath smelled like Steve.

Or is that what you meant by 'fresh'?

Re:60%! I feel the need to call shenanigans..... (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180740)

So jailbreaking an iphone, which takes almost no technical know how is done by 10% of users and pirating apps, which takes more know how, results in 60% of games being pirated?

My phone is jailbroken, but damned if I ever even thought to try and pirate games. I just got it so I could SSH and pull other applications from Cydia.

Never even thought about it. Now I have.

The apps in the store are cheap enough that I'll keep buying them. $5 is within my range for willing to risk it. At $2 or less I'll just buy something that I think fits my needs.

There is no freaking way that 60% of all apps are pirated. Either these guys are lying, or their tracking software sucks. (are 10% of the jailbroken phones downloading the apps 5000 times?)

60% of apps, not 60% of users (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181032)

So jailbreaking an iphone, which takes almost no technical know how is done by 10% of users and pirating apps, which takes more know how, results in 60% of games being pirated?

The thing is it's very, very easy to automate this pirating. That is to say, the supply of pirated apps is what the 60% figure comes from - 60% of apps they track have pirated versions run at one time or another.

It's not saying 60% of users are running pirated apps, or that any one app has 60% of users running a pirated version.

I would actually estimate the real number of apps that have pirated versions to be much higher, more like 90% - there are places dedicated to downloading and then readying pirated versions of app store apps. But again that doesn't mean more than 10% of iPhone owners (as you said, an estimate for jailbroken phones) are going to be able to run them, and not all those users will pirate apps 100% of the time.

The Troll Bridge (0, Offtopic)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180636)

This is a bit off topic, but is anyone else tickled pink by Appulous's "troll bridge"? Due to the user load, they've implemented what amounts to a nerd-captcha on the front page to keep non-nerds out of the site. Since it's a nerd quiz, the questions are hilarious. Yesterday the question was how to join their IRC channel, and today it's how to rename a folder.

I'm sure someone is leaking the answers the first chance they get, but the notion of a nerd quiz to gain access to a site is a riot.

Re:The Troll Bridge (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180722)

We should have that here.

So, how do you rename a folder?

Re:The Troll Bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180752)

Uhh...

mv Documents Other\ Crap

For their password today.

Should work, I think.

Hey, Submitter! (4, Insightful)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180698)

Don't change the meaning of the article when summarizing.

over 60% of iPhone applications have definitively been pirated
as submitted

60% of paid apps using Pinch have been pirated.
(as written in the article, bolding included)

Let's "reverse-bold" that...
60% of paid apps using Pinch have been pirated.
(emphasis mine)

It might be relevant to non-pinch-using apps, it might not. But let's not delete that relevant bit of data.

Piracy? argh (1)

Mistakill (965922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180788)

People need to stop calling copyright infringement Piracy... its just the wrong word to describe whats happening

Re:Piracy? argh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181140)

People need to stop calling copyright infringement Piracy... its just the wrong word to describe whats happening

Maybe, but "piracy" has been used to mean copyright infringement for hundreds of years. It's a little late to change it now.

Pirate problems? (1)

eamonman (567383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180792)

What I took away from the article:

    "Pirates don't stick around" - bad fathers?

      "...pirates are less qualified" - bad credit?

Seriously though, if you know where all the jailbreaking phones are, why not only release games in those countries with less jailbreakers (say 10% or less)? Then, block IP's of those countries with the high jailbreakers. Sure it'd piss the pirates off in those countries, and you might lose the possibility of real customers, but you'd more likely lose more pirate bandwidth leeching. Otherwise you're like Ned Flanders giving away free parking validations at Springfield Mall.

Shhhh, (4, Informative)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30180816)

he explains, "because I don't believe pirates would have bought the game if they hadn't stolen it...."

Don't tell the MPAA or RIAA that.
They will get all uppity in your shit!

Piracy as indicator of digital repressiveness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30180866)

I find it interesting, if not enlightening that piracy statistics increase in circumstances where markets are repressed through aggressive control structures.

Ubiquitous software that is easily obtained anywhere is less likely to be pirated than "exclusive" software items, as a function of the reduced need to obtain it through just 2 channels [the 'legit' "exclusive" channel, and the pirate chanel], since many other distribution channels exist to meet the market's consumption demand.

in the case of apple's App Store; the gateway to ownership/installation of software on the iPhone is tightly restricted, and there is no other legitimate distribution channel besides the one Apple sanctions. This leaves ONLY the pirate channel to satisfy the market demand of disenfranchised users, or of users that have a reason to not use the gateway Apple provides.

Thus, at best, Piracy would statistically be 50% if you assume even odds in the distribution.

The problem is not one of piracy, but of lack of legitimate distribution channels, which make piracy the only other alternative.

To me, this implies that "Stopping piracy" is not the correct course of action; Rather, the iPhone should be permitted additional channels of software distribution than just Apple's. Each new choice would geometrically reduce the % of users which utilize the pirate distribution channel for iPhone software, up until you reach the REAL baseline piracy rate. (Apple will never agree to this, because the same would hold true for their own channel, which would result in lost revinue potential. Instead they whine about not being the ONLY game in town, because of all those dirty pirates.)

ever hear of validation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181018)

Wait a second here..

So it's the Apple's fault that game companies can't validate customers who buy their product, against customers who use their services? Sounds like a case of short-sighted design to me.

Why do I feel lost here? (1)

mhollis (727905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181036)

I jailbroke my iPhone before the App Store started up. Then I un-jailbroke it. I just didn't see the need, even though it is really easy.

But I cannot figure out how to pirate anything off the App Store and I didn't know it was possible. I also don't know how anyone could subvert iTunes to steal applications for one's (or one's friends') iPhone or iPod Touch.

Now I'm not looking for anyone to list the steps to steal stuff on slashdot, but people can pirate apps from the App Store?! I thought Apple had it pretty much locked up.

The vast majority of my apps are free. I did buy two chess games and I bought a very good WiFi finder. Most of what I do on my iPhone is read news, email, Facebook and slashdot. Maybe I'm just too old to be tempted...

Re:Why do I feel lost here? (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181322)

but people can pirate apps from the App Store?! I thought Apple had it pretty much locked up.

Pirating apps from the app store works pretty much the same as pirating games or music: you buy a legal copy from the store, remove DRM if necessary (not on the iPhone), then distribute it through pirate sites. If your iPhone is jailbroken, you can rip software from it and install pirated stuff on it.

Personally, the only reason for me to jailbreak my iPhone would be to get access to apps that do not exist in the App Store. For example, an app that displays the day's calendar on the unlock screen. Not available in the App Store (and not even possible with the phones standard API I think), but apparently it can be done on jailbroken iPhones. Then again, it's not worth the bother for me.

On the Pinch Media Report (2, Informative)

Francis (5885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181084)

The way the numbers are reported is a bit misleading. “Of paid apps that use Pinch Media’s services, 60% have been pirated. Of those pirated apps, 34% of all installs are the pirated version.” This means that maybe only 20% of installs are pirated. Those numbers are actually really good for software.

The way the first picture is reported is also misleading. It’s titled, “Application Piracy is Global” and then it shows a graph of jailbroken iphones. Jailbreaking is not the same as pirating. Jailbreaking is what you need to unbind an iphone from the app store, and the first step to unlocking an iphone. Since iPhones are were not sold in China until just recently, almost all their iPhones have to be imported from other carriers, so it is no surprise that an abnormally high percentage in China are jailbroken.

Judging from the graph, it appears that roughly 10-15% of all iphones have been jailbroken. “About 38% [of jailbroken iphones] have used a pirated application.” “34% of all installs are cracked” This means that roughly 4-6% of iphone users have ever used a pirated application. And yet somehow, those 4-6% of iphones account for 34% of all installs? I’m a bit skeptical.

“Pirated apps on jailbroken iPhones crash more, which may be why they’re used less.” I’m really skeptical about this interpretation. That graph is really really zoomed in. Crash rates for pirated applications appear to crash only 0.5%-1.3% more sessions than a regular app. That’s fairly rare. That’s like one in every 80 to 200 sessions results in an “extra” crash.

This blog post is either really poorly written or the author has an intentional bias that they want to express.

On a related note, I hope this gets more app developers to make “lite” versions of their software so people can try them out. The conversion numbers are much better than the alternative.

Here's the flaws in their reasoning (3, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181170)

Ok, wait a second

- In order to pirate an iphone app, you have to jailbreak your phone. Only a small percentage of the user base have done this

- By measuring the total number of "phone homes", you can figure out how many copies of your app are out in the wild, INCLUDING copies on jailbroken phones.

So if you find out that your app has 1000 copies in the wild.

600 of those copies are on the jailbroken iphones that make up maybe 5% of the total phones.

Therefore, you're out the revenue from those 600 copies? Nope, because if those users hadn't hacked their phones, they probably WOULD NOT have paid for your app. The reason you only have 400 sales in this scenario is that the 95% of users who are eligible to buy it weren't interested enough in your app. The jailbreaking users just grab whatever they want whenever they want, but wouldn't behave like that if they had to pay.

Re:Here's the flaws in their reasoning (2, Insightful)

khchung (462899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181360)

Exactly.

Even if you ignore for the fact that owners of jailbroken iPhones are even less likely to pay for apps, i.e. assume the same percentage as normal iPhones.

So 400 apps sold to 95% normal iPhone owners. Extrapolate to the remaining 5% means 400x5/95~=21 people with jailbroken iPhone would would have bought the app if cracked version not available.

So it means at most ~5% (21/400) of "sales lost". Less if you take in account that fact that jailbreakers are not likely to buy any app anyway.

Strange that for /., when it comes to iPhone, all the flawed calculation from BSA are suddenly valid.

Re:Here's the flaws in their reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181582)

They sort of admitted that in the summary.
"because I don't believe pirates would have bought the game if they hadn't stolen it"

Lost money? Ha! (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181180)

While it's impossible to estimate how much money developers are losing....

You can't lose money you never made. If you're not making money you think you ought to then that is a flaw in your business plan

It's all one mass of people (1)

Cloud K (125581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181228)

Saw a similar 'study' a few weeks ago.

This sounds like a shocking figure, but don't forget, it doesn't mean that over 60% have managed to jailbreak their phones and have manually added the pirate repository and bypassed the morality message. That would be silly.

People who are heavily into pirating tend to download everything they can get their hands on. Doesn't matter that they won't touch 99% of of it and will just store gigabytes of it on their hard drives and DVD-Rs - that's the point. It's like a game, and many of the hardcore piracy types (no porn jokes!) seem to download *.*

I don't mean to be rude about the game or the author, but if this shared "pool" of hardcore iPhone pirates is 1000 for example, then 1000 people will download _every game in existence_ on the iPhone. If it's a crap game that only 100 people bothered to buy, (1100 total users) then it's over 90% pirated. OTOH some great top-30 game might have had 90000 buyers (plus the 1000 pirates, making 91000 users), in which case it's 1.1% pirated. Either way, it's one static pool of people who have removed themselves from the entire market, and doesn't mean that CrapGameCo has lost 91% of its profit, no matter how shocking their piracy-detecting scoreboard looks.

That's my theory anyway - no data to back it up, just logic really IMO.

App Store partially to blame? (1)

zbob (157075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181250)

My friend developed a game for the iPhone and has seen miniscule sales but lots of pirated copies being played. The problem seems to be that there is no way to find good apps on the App Store, popular apps rise to the top and it's impossible to find good stuff unless you know what you're looking for. He has decided to make it free for a week and already it has climbed higher in the charts, the only way to make money off this seems to be either to release it free with ads or get it in the top 50 where people will buy it even if it's crap.

His game is rather good btw, "seaglass" for those that want to check it out, free for one week only :)

Disingenuous argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181314)

It's hogwash, of course. They would not get money from those people if they had, therefore they are not losing money. And it's beside the point. Are they making money? Be glad the majority don' jailbreak. Otherwise, they'd be out of business. Just keep making the best games you can, and you'll be rewarded. No use crying over something you wouldn't have anyway.

Would never occur to me... (1)

UttBuggly (871776) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181328)

I would not pirate an app for my iPhone or any machine I own.

I have a lot of friends and co-workers with iPhones and I don't think a single one of them has a jailbroken device OR any pirated apps. Considering a fair amount of them (and myself) have the technical ability to do so, I wonder about the "rule", regardless of whether they're Pinch-based apps or not.

And honestly, most of the apps are so cheap that anyone and everyone should just pay the $2. I bought RedLaser for $1.99 a while back and saved far more than that shopping with it the first weekend. Bought Pocket Universe for $2.99 last week and have certainly gotten more than 3 bucks of enjoyment from it.

Pirates...whether they're stealing apps or cargo ships...are the lowest form of life.

Re:Would never occur to me... (1)

jackchance (947926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181478)

Pirates...whether they're stealing apps or cargo ships...are the lowest form of life.

thank you.

more of us (the slashdotters) need to speak out and communicate to our friends and families to stop stealing shit.

the way to reduce piracy is not through legal [wikipedia.org] or technical [wikipedia.org] means (which have both failed miserably) but through social change. It's unfortunate that the biggest thieves around are the ones running the country, but that can be a pillar on which to build the argument: "Do you want to be like the corrupt fucks on wall st?? taking shit that isn't yours?? fucking over constructive working people??"

no, i didn't think so.

Cable TV - steal else wouldn't subscribe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181376)

I won't subscribe to cable TV, but I will watch it if I can steal it. Stupid argument, assholes. The only difference is you likely won't get caught stealing software or music or movies, but likely will if you steal cable TV. You are just a bunch of sorry ass whining assholes, that's all. I'd kick your ass but seeing as how you are all asshole, that's more than I can do.

iPhone Games (1)

jamienk (62492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181384)

My 3 year old son urges me to download games on the iPhone. I get all the free ones listed for each category and listed under "most popular." He and I agree that 99% of the games we see are some of the worst crap you can imagine. There are a few types:

* Stuff that requires a lot of downloading, rendering, entering passwords, connecting to various multiplayer networks, answering their questions, etc. It takes 5 minutes before the game starts, but by then, we've both lost patience.

* The games are obnoxiously crippled -- they offer only teases, or they constantly try to trick you into clicking to their ordering system, or their ads, or they suddenly stop in the middle of play. You feel interrupted, short-changed, and ripped off.

* The games themselves strike us as weirdly unimaginative. The graphics are retreds of crap I've been seeing since the 80s, or else they look like the standard manga stuff. They often have cliched, muzak-style "soundtracks" and have the game equivalents of a laugh-track: clapping, "awww"-ing, etc.

In sum: these games suck. How they can represent some sort of billion-dollar-industry is so baffling that I suspect a hyped bubble; I can't imagine masses of people paying for this junk. It's more fun to kill time by flipping a coin. It feels like there are no original artists in the game-making work, just "industry" hacks. Maybe one day game-making will somehow be more democratic like website creation and some will try to innovate.

Apple created the conditions for Black Market. (1)

Gel214th (827454) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181438)

Apple locked the phone to AT&T and locked it internationally as well.

This created the conditions for a large black market to flourish both within the US and Internationally.

You will find iPhones in every country of the world, whether they have agreements with Apple or not.

Within this black market, you have the Pirating of games and other content. Of course, if people have the phones but cannot purchase the content, they're going to pirate it. One can argue till blue in the face about the legality and morality of it, that's what people are going to do.

There need to be numbers released as to the demographics of the users of these Pirated applications. Do they all have legitimate iPhones in countries that support the iPhones application store?

Can they purchase these products if they wanted to at equal cost?

Pirated IPhony apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181484)

You could allso ask yourself, How do they know ?

A real pirate won't accept his credentials being transmitted to whomever he pirated (unless he aims to do a joe-job). This means there are only a few other possibilities they got this number from : guesstimates (would not surprise me) or the creator of the app (or someone else) having the app phone-home without the users consent and/or knowledge (would not surprise me either).

In other words : who's the pirate here ? The (assumed) illegal copier, or the creator/other person who intrudes on any/every persons privacy, hoping to catch an offender ?

And if you answer "both", do two wrongs make a right ? If that is so than my "stealing" of a product of a company that rips both buyers as well as the producers of it (hint: music) is not wrong either ?

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