Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Pirated Android App Shames Freeloaders

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the hey-I-pay-per-text-you-insensitive-clod dept.

Android 519

MojoKid writes "A pirated version of an Android app is actually a Trojan that shames someone who installs it by sending an SMS message to all his/her contacts telling them of his/her piracy. The original app is called Walk and Text, and costs $2.10 in the Android Market. The app uses the camera on the back of a smartphone to show a user a visual of his upcoming surroundings, which will supposedly prevent the user from running into the street or across a set of train tracks. The pirated version is available from unofficial Android app markets, and once installed redirects the pirate to the legitimate app in the Android Market, while also sending the SMS message to the phone's entire contact list."

cancel ×

519 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The joke's on you... (5, Funny)

amnesia_tc (1983602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700666)

...I don't have any friends! I'm so lonely :(

Re:The joke's on you... (1)

sltd (1182933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700690)

Why do you have a phone, then?

Re:The joke's on you... (1)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700718)

Why do you have a phone, then?

Not GP, but clearly because of the net pr0n.

Re:The joke's on you... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700698)

That is because you are a faggot.

Re:The joke's on you... (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700708)

That is because you are a faggot.

Most of them have more friends than you do.

Re:The joke's on you... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700982)

he's a stick?

Re:The joke's on you... (3, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701128)

I already tell all of my friends I'm a pirate. They know and come to me for software all the time. :P

Re:The joke's on you... (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701176)

Poor guy. He's so ronery!

Re:The joke's on you... (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701178)

Forever Aphone?

Don't click link in summary (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700692)

Don't click the link in the summary - it posts a message to Slashdot telling everyone you tried to read the article :(

...hmm interesting... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700726)

Although this is a novel and some what interesting approach to pirates, i think this approach itself depending on the implementation etc.. might effectively count as breaking the law, unless the user who install the pirated software agree to a Terms of Use Agreement that explicitly mentions such actions might be possible or as a consequence if software thinks its pirated.

Re:...hmm interesting... (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700790)

Although this is a novel and some what interesting approach to pirates, i think this approach itself depending on the implementation etc.. might effectively count as breaking the law, unless the user who install the pirated software agree to a Terms of Use Agreement that explicitly mentions such actions might be possible or as a consequence if software thinks its pirated.

They are pirating software, inserting malicious code and selling it as their own. They are obviously not concerned about breaking the law, a ToS or much else.

Re:...hmm interesting... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700972)

That's pretty cool... Software can 'think' now..

I think...
I think I am.
Therefore I am!
I think...

Of course you are, my bright little star...
I've miles and miles of files
Pretty files of your forefather's fruit
And now to suit our great computer
You're magnetic ink!

Re:...hmm interesting... (4, Insightful)

arun84h (1454607) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700996)

Who is this "they" that you speak of?

The pirated app appears to be created and released by the same company who makes the legitimate app. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it was a good thing to do.

Re:...hmm interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701100)

I'm pretty sure that "security" warning presented by Android when you install something that says this app needs to be able to "read your contacts" and "send text messages" that they agree to before installing covers it just fine. The bad thing about these "security" displays is that - in a case like this - where you GOT the app because it can use your contacts to send text messages you are immediately clicking OK to it because, well, you want it to send text messages. You just don't want it to send them unbeknownst to you. A security model more like Outlook where it says "app xyz is trying to read your contacts, permit?" or the same for sending mail. Just asking at install time results in, "duh, this app is supposed to send text messages" and an immediate click through.

Re:...hmm interesting... (2)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701116)

Considering that I don't have a text message plan (having to pay a ridiculous $0.05 a message to and fro), I'm pretty sure someone will be in hot shit over this, espcially if the guy has a ton of contacts. I would also be hesitant to put the legitimate app on my phone because of this.

Re:...hmm interesting... (0)

dynamo (6127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701174)

Uh, this problem (at least something that happens so soon after you try it) wouldn't happen on a moderated market, no reason to be hesitant to put legit apps on - and without apps, why even have a smartphone?

Inflammatory headline (2, Insightful)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700728)

Calling pirates "freeloaders" is an unnecessary ad hominem designed to turn everyone else against them without applying critical thought to the issue at hand. It's the same as calling it "theft" or "stealing". The terminology may technically apply, but in the circles in which piracy is usually discussed (such as Slashdot), saying these things quickly makes you look like a troll.

I'm disappointed in the submitter and the editor for allowing the term "freeloader" in the headline. If you wish to oppose piracy, that's your call, but do it without the use of hyperbole and emotional arguments.

Re:Inflammatory headline (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700756)

"Do it with terms that make me look like I'm not sidestepping the payment of someone, while still using the services that they [theoretically] worked hard to provide me."

"It's no different than eating someone's food and then skipping on the bill, but I really don't want to feel bad about it, so please come up with some term that hides the reality of the situation from me."

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700778)

Because eating food and not paying for it is comparable to downloading software and not paying for it. Yeah.

Re:Inflammatory headline (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700868)

Because eating food and not paying for it is comparable to downloading software and not paying for it. Yeah.

Taking something that has value to you, and not paying for it (when it hasn't been made free by the author/developer/producer/etc), is stealing. It may not deprive the source from selling another copy, but not paying for your copy is stealing. There are costs associated to producing and distributing the software and you are depriving the author/developer/producer/etc from compensation for the copy you didn't pay for.

You may not like the terms associated to it, such as "freeloaders", "theft" or "stealing", but those aren't just 'technically' accurate, they are apt. Claiming that anyone who disagrees with your view is not applying critical thought to the issue at hand is hogwash. Taking something that isn't 'free' without paying for it is stealing whether it's a digital item or food at a restaurant.

Re:Inflammatory headline (3, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701036)

Trespassing to shorten your way is also taking something that has value to you (you save time), but it wasn't free for you to take. Shall we call "trespassing" now "stealing way"?
Just because you find some similar aspects in two different things doesn't make them the same.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701070)

Tell it to the taxman...

Re:Inflammatory headline (2)

neumayr (819083) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701092)

How's "theft" and "stealing" technically correct? They're using your service without your consent, which is against the law. But to claim they took something material from you really is stretching it.

Re:Inflammatory headline (0)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701130)

but not paying for your copy is stealing.

"Stealing" what? The reason I think it's idiotic to use such terms in regards to 'piracy' is because taking away someone's exist physical property and copying data are two very different things. Copying data doesn't take away the author's time, resources, or existing property. It's called "copyright infringement."

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700844)

see, now you look like a troll. GP was right

Re:Inflammatory headline (2)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700870)

But piracy clearly is "different than eating someone's food and then skipping on the bill". I'm not saying piracy is morally right, but there is a clear difference between taking someone's food (once you've eaten it, they're permanently deprived of it) and taking a digital copy of their software (once you copy it, they have as many copies of their software as they did before your action). Claiming that copying software is the same as stealing food is akin to a Native American belief that being photographed steals part of your soul. We do need a framework for ensuring that people and companies can make and sell software and be able to (within certain limitations) benefit financially from that, but dressing it up as stealing is nonsense.

Re:Inflammatory headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701038)

Then, I suppose, it is impossible to steal someone else's ideas. Or a copy of their homework. Or a copy of their source code. Or a copy of their credit card report. Or their identity.

Clearly, the ability to continue producing/selling after it happens means that stealing is not the proper term...

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701058)

Except that the claim that a digital item does not cause the creator to be deprived of everything makes a fallacious assumption, specifically, that the creator will sell an infinite number of copies.

The creator invested time and effort in producing the item. If they sell zero items and you pirate it, you have deprived them of all that time and effort. If they sell one item and you pirate it, you have deprived them of half their time and effort, if they sell n items and you pirate it, you have deprived them of 1/(n+1) of their time and effort. At the limit as n tends to infinity, you indeed cease to deprive them of anything, but unfortunately for us developers it's rare to sell infinity copies of something.

So conclusion – you have indeed deprived the creator of something – their time. Thus, yes, it is just as bad as stealing food.

Re:Inflammatory headline (0)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701144)

The creator invested time and effort in producing the item.

This isn't the fault of the file sharer.

If they sell one item and you pirate it, you have deprived them of half their time and effort

What? How do you deprive someone of time and effort without ever interacting with them in the least?

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701164)

This isn't the fault of the file sharer.

Similarly it isn't the fault of the person eventually served at a restaurant that the restaurant speculatively bought the ingredients for their food.

What? How do you deprive someone of time and effort without ever interacting with them in the least?

You have interacted with them – you've taken a copy of something they produced using that time and effort.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701170)

Ahhh, you're moving the goalposts. I never said it wasn't wrong, or that it wasn't "as bad" as stealing food, I said that it is different. Clearly, it is different. Piracy is wrong, I agree with you on that, but it is not theft. As I've said before, it's no more theft than it is arson ("you've burnt up their profits"), or assault ("you've hit them where it hurts"), or indeed rape (I'm not going to make a phrase up for that one). Piracy is wrong, but it isn't theft/stealing.

I don't know why you think the creator needs to sell an infinite number of copies in order for piracy to be different from theft. And, as a matter of simple fact, the creator will have spent that time whether they sell 1000 copies or none, and whether 1000 copies are pirated or none. No-one can take another person's time away after the fact; time can only be taken prospectively (e.g. false imprisonment).

What piracy does do is deprive them of a (potential) opportunity to exploit their creation for profit, something which is a contrived (i.e. artificial) right, not a principle of natural justice, which is reasonable to confer in limited circumstances for a limited duration for the good of the creator and the benefit of society. Deliberately conflating terms like theft and piracy supports the agenda of industries built around making maximum profit out of content (many of whom exploit the actual artists / programmers to a greater or lesser extent) to extend copyright terms indefinitely. Interestingly, this will actually be counter productive to the intentions of most decent people, that is - we end up with markets saturated with reworked content 'owned' by studios and software houses, which actually makes it harder for genuine innovators to make a sale.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701150)

You are correct; stealing does require that the original no longer be in possession of the rightful owner. I do agree that we need to come up with and use a term other than theft for this. There are two different things going on:

1) Making an unauthorized copy. Let's call that copyright violation.
2) Using that software after violating copyright. Let's call that freeloading.

I think we should be able to agree on these new terms. They pretty much EXACTLY spell out what is going on, irregardless of your stance on whether it should be legal or not.

Re:Inflammatory headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700764)

Such headlines are designed to draw ire, and generate clicks. Haven't you worked that out yet?

Re:Inflammatory headline (5, Informative)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700770)

http://mw1.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/freeloader [merriam-webster.com]
"a person who is supported by or seeks support from another without making an adequate return"
Please tell me how the use of that term was incorrect.

Re:Inflammatory headline (0, Troll)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700808)

Such a definition was probably not intended to apply to making digital copies, which costs the 'wronged' party nothing. Traditionally, freeloading has carried a cost, which is why it became a negative term to begin with.

Re:Inflammatory headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700836)

Now in this case, the 'freeloader' is potentially expending a dollar amount (call the average contact list 50 people) of $5 in 10cent sms charges and advertising the *name* of the software he downloaded. This sounds like forced advertising and theft.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700874)

And it doesn't count if he or she is not aware of it. The app is a Trojan.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700932)

Because creating software is so easy, that people shouldn't expect any return for it.

Re:Inflammatory headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701020)

Obviously you don't code for a living. Maybe you shouldn't expect any return for serving people french fries, any moron can dump a basket of potatoes into a vat of hot oil, why should he get paid for it.

Re:Inflammatory headline (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700970)

Bullshit. Software development takes at a minimum, time. Developers such as this one weight the opportunity cost of the time they invest in developing the software against the money they expect to make from its sale. People who pirate the software, instead of paying, only encourage the developers to underestimate the potential value of their work, and therefore, less development will occur.

Has a cost been incurred? Absolutely. Just because it can't be measured as a physical good does not mean it was not a cost. The most valuable things in an economy are man-hours worked. And despite the software being a good that can be copied with no cost, it clearly has value, or it would not be pirated.

Your notion of morality, applied to the economy as a whole, would have chilling effects; it is by definition an economic free-loader problem. A classical economic study. There is no ambiguity as to whether or not piracy is accurately described as freeloading. A user gets a benefit from the toils of another, at no cost. Zero ambiguity.

Your notion of entitlement is as absurd as your psuedo-intellectual rambling and arrogant tone.

Re:Inflammatory headline (0)

neumayr (819083) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701182)

So you're saying because the suits based their calculations on erroneous data, by not taking into account the people that rather make the extra effort to avoid paying the USD 2.10, there is extra cost that those people are to be blamed for?

Sounds like virtual money to me, and also the suit's fault.

Re:Inflammatory headline (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700788)

Uh, what? Using non-free software without paying for it is stealing. People that steal software are "freeloading". There's nothing ambiguous about the subject. People spend time and money building software, to later sell it, the same as basically any other for-profit human activity (invest resources to produce something, to sell, to make money, to pay for food/housing/whatever). If you could have paid for something, but opted to steal it instead, then you're a douche bag. Bottom line.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700910)

*sigh* No, it's not stealing, stealing is the removal of a mobile object belonging to someone else with the intent to keep it for yourself or the benefit of a third party and the intent to deprave the other person from its use. If you intent to be picky about semantics, at least get your act together first.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701066)

Okay, so you're removing the developer's time in creating the product, and intend to deprive (I assume you didn't mean deprave) the developer of its use. How does this definition not fit?

If you intent to be picky about semantics, at least get your act together first.

Perhaps you should consider your own statement ;)

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701172)

How about if someone took the information that represents your bank account balance and moved them to his bank account. No mobile object has been removed and only bits diddled. How about if someone cloned your ATM card and sniped your PIN, then made withdrawals? None of your mobile objects have been removed. Still think it is not stealing?

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700806)

Huh? The load a non-free app on their phone, for free! How are they not FREE LOADers???

Re:Inflammatory headline (2)

kikito (971480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700840)

I think people that download stuff from shady Internet sites and install them on their phones deserve other names. Here's a short list: stupid, ignorant, irresponsible and dumb.

Re:Inflammatory headline (4, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700852)

You remind me of the client from Clients from Hell [clientsfromhell.net] :

[I’m not a designer but the attorney hired by a designer. I’m informing the client over the phone that he’s being sued for not paying the amount specified.]

Me: “Good afternoon, my name is [xxx], representing [designer] and [company]. We’re calling about payment that has not yet been received for a project which you agreed to pay for.”

Client: “What?! Who’s suing me?! Who is this?”

Me: “As I said, my name is [xxx], representing [designer] and [company]. You have X,XXX.XX that was supposed to be paid several months ago, as agreed upon by a contract with my clients.”

Client: “Are you suing me for a website? You’re not making any damn sense!”

Me: “You owe someone a fair deal of money and you’ve made it very clear that you have no intention of paying. I have several emails from your email address responding to my clients with messages such as “sayonara, suckers” and I am calling to see if you’d like to pay your fees now, or if we need to bring this into a courtroom, which I’m sure we’re all looking to avoid.”

Client: “I don’t know who this is or what the hell you want from me but listen up: fooling someone to make you a website isn’t a crime!”

Me: “You’re actually looking at some large fines and — should this be considered a felony — jail time.”

Client: “You’re a damn lawyer, you should know websites aren’t real. A website isn’t a thing, you can’t steal it! [designer] can still look at it, it’s still kinda his!”

[Within three days time, the designer received a check with the amount listed and an additional $20.00 “for your asshole lawyer boyfriend.” The designer had to resist framing the check for the novelty.]

Re:Inflammatory headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700866)

I'm sympathetic to your point of view but this isn't an example of hyperbole.

Re:Inflammatory headline (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700876)

Horse shit.

It's definitely not theft, but piracy is in fact legally prohibited - that is, "against the law" or "illegal". The legal instrument of copyright does in fact exist, and gives the holder the right to charge a price for it - whether the pirates believe it does or not.

So by not paying the price asked and acquiring it through other means, they are in fact freeloading - if you define freeloading as "getting for free that for which payment is expected"

So if you want to condone this action, you need to disagree with the premise of copyright (I don't, though it should be much shorter). Even if you disagree with the implementation of copyright, like I do (penalties for non-commercial infringement, length of time, etc), that is insufficient to condone this action.

Nothing emotional about it. It is pretty unarguably freeloading, and if it makes you feel bad perhaps that's because you should - because it definitely isn't an ad-homenim, it's an accurate description of the behavior you're engaging in. 'You' being someone in general, of course.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701000)

The funny thing is that you're actually right. From a certain point of view, copyright infringement is freeloading. From a certain point of view, copyright infringement is theft. The problem is that making claims like "it's theft/freeloading, pure and simple" do nothing whatsoever to address the issue itself; they only exacerbate the giant Internet flamewar that is the piracy debate. Most people consider "freeloading" to be a negative term, so when they hear "pirates are freeloaders", they automatically assume that "pirates are bad" without asking themselves "Is noncommercial, nonprofit copyright infringement really such a serious issue that we should be scrambling to make it impossible?". It's the lazy way out, and I wish we would avoid such terms for the sake of intellectual honesty.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701108)

But as it stands, it is freeloading. And you're putting words in peoples' mouths. When I hear "pirates are freeloaders", I think about how they're getting things for free that I followed the rules on. I don't like that - in school, in life, in business, or for software.

We should definitely be discussing the rules themselves, but the pirates are absolutely 100% responsible for breaking them as they currently stand. This is inarguable, and they are currently freeloading while others are not. This has nothing to do with what the rules actually are, and discussing them is a separate issue.

Accurate description is not intellectually dishonest. If the description is emotionally charged, perhaps the thing being described is emotionally charged as well. Like I said above, the emotions don't come from what people get, it's how they got it that bothers people. That's what freeloading refers to, so I will continue to use it, even though I basically agree with you about copyright. Freeloading is a more apt description the more I think about it.

Re:Inflammatory headline (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700904)

You free/leftards always sound the same. You keep asking others to apply critical thought to things while sounding as morons. No, lets not call things by their names as it might hurt feelings. Criminals are not criminals. No, they're victims. Victims? Those are the real criminals. Jeee.. give us a break.

Re:Inflammatory headline (4, Insightful)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700908)

Oh, come on. This is just silly.

There are perfectly reasonable arguments to be made against the use of "theft" or "stealing" in this context, because acquiring a digital good without paying for it doesn't normally deprive anybody else of that good.

But "freeloaders"? Granted, that term has various shades of meaning, but the dominant usage is equivalent to "free rider": someone who obtains a benefit without paying any of the costs involved in providing that benefit. Which describes pirates exactly. It's no more hyperbolic than describing sharks as "predators" or tapeworms as "parasites"; it's just saying what they do.

Kind of a ridiculous argument (1)

Radiophobic (1973144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700914)

Its not the same as calling it theft or stealing. Both those imply that there is a loss of original item. This does not; it implies that the person in question is trying to get something that has value without paying for it. You go out to dinner with friends, one of those friends seems to forget their wallet constantly, they are a freeloader, not a thief or pirate.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

Drakino (10965) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700936)

Calling pirates freeloader is pretty fitting actually in the modern day. Many pieces of software (both free and paid) have hidden costs these days. One big hidden cost is the servers necessary to host the download, to run services, and to provide support forums. By pirating an app, you deprive the author the revenue necessary to recoup the cost of those servers, while possibly adding load to those servers. It's not a "zero harm" situation anymore. Even if the app is free and mirrored without permission, it may be depriving the author of ad revenue if they host ad banners on their site where the download comes from.

At the end of the day, not everyone in the entertainment or software industry can afford to provide all their work and effort for free. While someone may disagree with the value proposition of paying for that work is one thing, it's crossed the line when piracy starts occurring. If you don't want to pay, then find an alternative, or go write/create your own.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701134)

They are freeloaders and thieves, jackass. And, I am pretty sure you are a freeloading thief, asshole.

Re:Inflammatory headline (1, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701194)

I think 'freeloader' is a perfectly appropriate term. Essentially people who do this are taking advantage of a system designed to incentivize creation without paying the cost for that system. While I debate the merits of this system in our current society, I think freeloader is a perfectly valid term, somewhat analogous to 'free rider', which they also are.

I think 'pirate' is a horrible, overblown term, and I do not agree with terms like 'steal' or 'theft'. What's going on is none of those things. But they are riding on the back of a system without paying its cost.

The authors of this software are not 'entitled' to get any money for having done so. But it would be in the best interests of everybody who enjoys their software to find a way to give them some money so they have more time to create more useful software. We have a system for making sure this happens that tries to impose the limitations of physical property on ideas in the hopes that the system we have for valuing and exchanging physical property can be leveraged. I think those limitations are currently extremely burdensome, whereas they once were relatively painless. But that's what we have right now.

I think most people who fall into the 'freeloader' category are headless of the implications of the choice they are making. I would have more respect for them if they had a better idea of how we should handle the problem and were making a conscious choice to do what they were doing with an eye towards replacing the system we have with one that worked better.

My contempt is still reserved though for those who think the current system works and just needs better enforcement.

So? (1, Flamebait)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700732)

You act like anyone on this planet (affected parties aside) cared whether you copy software.

Re:So? (1)

AnonymmousCoward (2026904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700884)

So true. If I received this message I would likely just lol.

Efficacy may be limited (4, Insightful)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700746)

There are those circles (like mine) where such messages lead to high compliments.

Re:Efficacy may be limited (5, Funny)

WitnessForTheOffense (1669778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700786)

Miss Scarlet: "I hardly think it will enhance your reputation at the U.N. Professor Plum, if it's revealed that you have been implicated not only in adultery with one of your patients, but in her death and the deaths of five other people."

Professor Plum: "You don't know what kind of people they have at the U.N., I might go up in their estimation."

Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700748)

how many times are we going to run this story?

Incredible! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700758)

The app uses the camera on the back of a smartphone to show a user a visual of his upcoming surroundings

Wow! You know what else does that? Eyes.

Anyone who pays $2.10 for this should be shamed, not the pirates.

Re:Incredible! (-1, Flamebait)

bigNuns (18804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701068)

Really? You can see through your phone with your eyes??? Maybe I need to upgrade mine, think there is an app for that?

Re:Incredible! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701140)

Unless your phone is a few inches from your face, you have a serious problem if you cannot see around a small device in normal holding length.

once/still great humans; spirits hijacked by fear (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700776)

that, & a few centuries of nonclear misinformation/downright deception, depopulations, secret abuse, hate/fear/war mongering etc.... gimme that old time religion. the right to remain silent is not in jeopardy at this time?.

Bring it on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700794)

So I get both recognition from my peers and later on to sue the makers? Awesome!

really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700804)

Why would anyone pay $2.10 for what is essentially a useless app? of course i's going to be pirated, its price point is obscene for the intended use.

Re:really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700826)

Yes, tell the judge that shoplifting is justifiable given the retailer's prices

Re:really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701028)

Why would you pay $999.99 for an I am rich application that shows nothing but an glowing gem?

The simple answer: because someone will pay for it.

seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700822)

I know the article is tech-related and about piracy, malware, etc, and is actually interesting to read about, but what is wrong with people today? People would actually pay $2.10 to be able to text and walk instead of just, say, paying attention to their surroundings? We're slowly losing a grip on being human.

The Trojan should have disabled the functionality (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700854)

The app uses the camera on the back of a smartphone to show a user a visual of his upcoming surroundings, which will supposedly prevent the user from running into the street or across a set of train tracks.

Constantly show a safe environment. The truck or train would take care of the rest. That would certainly teach them to rely on an app instead of staying vigilant themselves.

Re:The Trojan should have disabled the functionali (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700948)

That might actually be illegal, for the same reason it's illegal to set beartraps in front of your door even if somebody does break in. Somebody breaking the law does not allow you to break the law in return.

In any case, this is a much smarter business proposition. I think this is hilarious and IMHO the punishment fits the crime - you were too cheap to pay $2.10 for a piece of software you're using, so I'll make you look like a dick. But the developers would come off like assholes if somebody did get killed, somewhat defeating the purpose.

I'm all for this sort of DRM - like the Batman game that put a jump most of the way through that a pirating user couldn't perform.

Re:The Trojan should have disabled the functionali (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700962)

Your idea is callous, evil, despicable, anti-social and probably shows you have some mental issues.

I like it!

Re:The Trojan should have disabled the functionali (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701042)

I hate to be a debbie downer, but that would have very, very serious legal implications. In fact, if the app doesn't work properly even if you paid for it, it'd still have very serious legal implications. I hope the developer(s) have a good lawyer.

Costs of texting (2)

Felix Da Rat (93827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700894)

If you figure that a lot of carriers charge around $0.10 / text, if someone has more than 21 friends in their phone, it'll cost more in messages charges than buying the app. Some vendors charge even more per text (which is a separate rant), so this could add up FAST.

I don't have a problem with that - heck I hope the author could find a way to get paid by those messages. But I could see some litigious asshat with 700 'friends' in their phone getting pissed when they get a huge bill.

If I was the author, I'd cap it at 21 friends - has all the effects of the shaming, but closely reflects the authors own stated value of the app.

Re:Costs of texting (3, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701122)

In the US, the receivers of the message are also going to pay ten cents. So the author is punishing them, as well.

I hope someone decides to sue the author of the app for it, too. If I break into your house and steal something, you can't break into the houses of all my friends. The law doesn't work that way.

And this is actually quite innocent (3, Insightful)

trifish (826353) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700896)

People need to realize that pirated software really is a major malware distribution channel today, and has been for several years.

Tell your nephew that 90% of the cracks or keygens she downloads will also install a Trojan sending her passwords and credit card numbers back to the botnet masters.

And this is not a "genuine advantage" marketing fluff -- it is hard reality.

Re:And this is actually quite innocent (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700980)

Now, is that really true? No, that's exactly what the software distributors want you to think. All the statistics created about the effects of piracy are fabricated.

Re:And this is actually quite innocent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700994)

You do realize that's this *feature* has been coded by the original developer and not the cracker/release group ?

Your NEPHEW? (3, Funny)

jamrock (863246) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701006)

Tell your nephew that 90% of the cracks or keygens she downloads

Damn. Your family life must be.....interesting.

Read the comments? (5, Interesting)

margeman2k3 (1933034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700902)

Not sure how many people read through the comments on the avast! page, but something definitely smells there.
The CEO of the company that made this app sounds like a weird blend of troll and one of those king-of-nigeria scams.
* He keeps ranting about how he's going to sue avast
* He keeps shouting about how it's all a lie created by avast in order to slander his company
* He repeatedly claims that his calls to avast were blocked, even though the CEO admitted that one of his colleagues spoke to the dev.
* The only contact information for that company is found here [incorporateapps.com] , which you can only get to through the avast article.
* avast lists a few other red flags from this company: "checked the registration of www.incorporateapps.com and see some red-flags: semi-anonymous, no email contact, possibly eastern-european but registered in Germany, and registered through Tucows"

But yeah, something here just doesn't feel right.

Re:Read the comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701090)

I can't speak for most of the bullet points, but the contact email for the developer is clearly written in the on-device market's app's description. If the user got the application from the market, then the email is clearly stated -- and this is what the developer has repeatedly said in the comments section. Nobody seems to be understanding this.

I can understand IncorporateApps being upset, how they're being dragged through this too when it's an unlicensed version of the application that Avast got from who-knows-where.

Cheap bastard Trojan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700942)

The message it sends to all your contacts is "The bloody app ........ just pirated cost $2.10. Cheap bastard!"

Uh oh (4, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700950)

Sending unsolicited, paid SMS to the whole contact list of a person with a specially crafted trojan seems to be a more serious offence than the one-time copyright infringement of not paying for a $ 2.10 app, which actually not even qualifies as petty theft (because infringement is not theft).

Basically, the developer has created a malware/trojan version of this app and for this he might (and, in my opinion, also should) get into serious legal trouble. In other words, what a jerk...especially, if you take into account what kind of a stupid application he sells.

Re:Uh oh (3, Insightful)

schwnj (990042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701012)

This is what I was thinking. Although I'm sympathize with the developer, this is the wrong way to go about dealing with privacy. Aside from the text costs associated with the "pirate" sending all of those text messages, it is likely the case that many of the recipients of those messages will also have to pay for receiving them. If the app permissions don't specify automatically sending text messages, then this developer could get into hot water.

Re:Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701098)

The premise is sort of a preemptive use of the clean hands [wikipedia.org] doctrine.

If there ever is a lawsuit surrounding this, the developer already starts in a position of dominance.

Re:Uh oh (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701082)

He may also feel the wrath of the hardcore pirates, aside from being sued into non existence.

"prevent the user from running into the street" (1)

WonderingAround (2007742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700974)

I don't know if it's dumber to successfully pay good money to be able to walk around guided only by what you can see on a 3 inch screen behind your texts or if you were fooled by the "freeloader" app? Who or what is a freeloader anyways? I guess you can't say "Pirated Android App Shames Pirates" or "Freeloading Android App Shames Freeloaders". Maybe "freeloader's" and pirate's don't want to be associated with one another.

Teaches a lesson (1)

cbytes (1736804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701064)

This is really brilliant. It actually shows what has been hard to prove in a very clear and understandable way. Sometimes pirating is justified, and sometimes the developer really is asking for it. Bravo!

so let me get this right..... (1)

mikerubin (449692) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701072)

there is an app you can buy that uses a camera on a small hand held device that shows you where you are walking while you are holding the small hand held device?
Why cant you just look up?

In most contexts this would be illegal (5, Insightful)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701078)

You can't set traps for people even if the only way they would be harmed by it would be because they themselves are doing something illegal.

This does "harm" the person running the illegitimate app because it may cost them money to send all those messages plus any potential fallout from people thinking they are a software pirate.

Re:In most contexts this would be illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701112)

It should figure out how many text messages it could send for $2.10, send that many, and stop there.

Apple.... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701124)

Try a walled garden. Keeps the retards out...

i call dibs on Open Walk And Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701132)

Just installed the sdk. The original developer brought it on himself. Charging $2.10 for something this simple and then releasing a pirated version with a trojan himself.

Cooler than app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701142)

The focus of the story is his Trojan. It stinks when your trojan gets more attention than your terrible app.

60 comments, and yet (0)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701146)

no one has mentioned the utter inanity of the need for an application that shows the world around you so you can use a computer while walking through green lights.

The funny thing is, I think at 99 cents, anything can sell even if it's totally useless.

So it's robbing you, via a re-direction scheme... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701186)

... seems that the real thieves are the writers of the app... Typical... Sounds like one of Sony's schemes...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?