Stealing from developers

Both of these services are dangerous for app developers because they offer simple, one-tap installs of pirated apps and do not require that devices have been jailbroken in order to do so. This is an enormous problem, as it opens up the arena for their use from the relatively small fraction of users with jailbroken devices — as was the case with Installous — to any unscrupulous users of iPhones and iPads.

Don’t steal from developers people. Bad karma shit will come back on you.

  • AnkleSkater

    Agree that this shouldn’t be done. It’s an even more serious offense than P2P music. At the same time, the people behind these services are evil but clever folks.

  • Mother Hydra

    And yet the same apologists will chime in saying ridiculous things such as “these sites have legitimate purposes.” Can we all just get on board with paying for something and to hell with anyone that doesn’t just like we say to hell with anyone complaining about politics that did not vote?

  • I just don’t get why you would pirate an app when the device you’re using it on cost upwards of $ 250,– Most of the apps out there aren’t more than $ 2,– and people still think that’s too much.

    • deviladv

      simple causes:

      1) They didn’t buy the phone, they got it as a gift, so they have no money to buy stuff

      2) They got the “free” phone on their plan. they had to pay for the line, there’s no way around that, but if the phone is free it’s free.

      3) content is easy to copy, it’s digital. I personally resist buying apps not because one app is cheap, but because if I don’t control myself, I personally will buy more apps than I probably should. Also, content is hard to “return.” If I don’t like it, how easy is it to return a digital copy? Buyers remorse is powerful if you can’t get your money back. I can return a physical object with no remorse. This doesn’t cause me to pirate, it just describes my psychology of why , and the psychology of others.

      4) Because they can. Pure knowledge. Lots of piraters are hoarders and never use what they pirate. They just want to learn how to crack and pirate.

      You have to be able to see underlying causes in order to be able to address them. I don’t see these causes being seriously addressible without a radical change in compensation for content.

      • That doesn’t matter.

        Whether you acknowledge that your iPod Touch costs this much, or your iPhone costs that much, it always does. In fact, if you buy the iPhone on contract and don’t realise that you’re subsidising it, you’re stupid. These are premium devices, people know this, for many it’s part of the appeal. This can be positive in the sense that someone pays for the promise of higher quality; or negative when someone pays a premium to be seen using a particular brand.

        But everyone knows that they’re buying/using a premium device.

        Now, that doesn’t necessarily require them to be willing to spend more money; e.g. funnel money into the ecosystem, but they sure as hell shouldn’t think for one second that they can simply steal what they want.

        The next point is the nature of the beast ‘content’. You pay to consume it. If you have played/watched/read/listened to it, you have gotten your money’s worth. Whether you liked it or not becomes meaningless the moment you’ve consumed it.

        Not to forget that there are methods of returning apps for example. I’ve done it more than once and with the exception of ‘Pulp’ by Acrylic Software, I have always got my money back. In the end it’s up to the developer.

        • deviladv

          I’m describing people the way they are. You are describing people the way they should be. I merely answered the question and you are putting value judgments on the situation. If you can’t recognize reasons for why things are you’ll never effect change to make things the way they should be.

          And since when do a majority of kids appreciate that they are using a “premium device?” You can’t reply to my post saying it doesn’t matter when these are facts of the way people are. I’m not advocating copyright infringement, I’m explaining why people don’t care when they do.

          You make a good point about returning apps. However you also said its up to the developer. Not every developer would do such a thing, so it increases the worrying about buyers remorse. This is how I and others think and I’m just explaining that to you. Personally, I buy my content, I’m just picky to make sure I like it first.

          • I understand that you’re describing the situation as it is, but the things people tells you why they pirated this, and infringed that aren’t reasons, they’re lame excuses.

            Kids appreciate it, believe me. A kid—I’m talking about the 11 to 16 y.o. group—knows full-well if he’s using an Apple device, a Samsung or some kind of knock-off.

            See, that’s the point in ecosystems like Apple’s AppStores: Be picky, be careful and be aware of the reality that is buying from said stores, e.g. the terms and conditions. This is called personal responsibility.

    • samdchuck

      Realy simple: Why pay for something that you can get for free? To make you feel good? To be an ‘honest person’? Because you’re supposed to? If people could get that $250 iPhone by downloading it for free they would. People tend to give a lot more worth to a physical object than they do consumable content. Doesn’t make it right though.

  • deviladv

    Making value judgments on the problem doesn’t fix the problem. People will always pirate. People have been copying tapes and CDs for years. DRM on MP3s didn’t work because it made the experience worse (made it way too hard to copy legally on your own devices). And there is an argument to be made that copyright is too restrictive and gives holders too much power and doesn’t allow derivative works to flourish.

    By the way, stealing implies I’m depriving you access to the content. Pirating does not steal, it infringes on the legal right that the government has granted you to control how copies are distributed. You still have access to the original content. Saying to someone you are “stealing” an MP3 doesn’t have the same weight because it has no physical form. To them, it’s little more than peeking over someone’s shoulder and writing down what they have already written down on a piece of paper. Am I stealing in that situation?

    The only way to fix the pirating issue is to change the compensation model. Education works in some areas, like with Jim’s daughter, but that’s an edge cause and most people don’t like paying for things if they can get it for free. Digital content is something you can perfectly duplicate very easily. DRM doesn’t work, and neither does shaming people who don’t care.

    I’m not advocating copyright infringement. I’m merely offering up a devil’s advocate argument.

    • Nope, your argument falls short because while you’re not depriving others of the possibility to obtain something, you’re depriving the content creator of income by ignoring the price he/she has set for the item.

      That is stealing.

      • deviladv

        That assumes the person intends to pay for it at all. A lot of piracy either the user would not have paid or never actually uses the content, just hoards it. There is a portion of people who might be persuaded but no one has good figures on where this divide is but the former is bigger than the latter. Also if you steal from a factory, you deprive someone from selling that item, but if you illegally copy, the creator can still sell a copy to another person.

        The final arbiter of this is that the law defines stealing as taking a physical object. Copying without requested compensation is against the law, but it’s still copyright infringement.

        • Intent is irrelevant in this case, the action is.

          I agree that stealing is still defined as something material taken unlawfully by one person and yes it’s technically copyright infringement.

          But, you’re taking something from someone without paying what they’re asking for, thus misappropriating said item. Given that creating the item involved time, labour and money, you’re stealing from the creator.

          The rest is hair-splitting.

          • deviladv

            Intent is relevant if you intend to fix the problem. If you simply want to define it as illegal then intent is not relevant, but I’m not talking about whether it should be legal or illegal, I’m talking about how to fix the problem. Making illegal on the scale it is now is not fixing the problem.

          • I think there lies part of our misunderstanding: It already is illegal to steal.

            Here’s the crux of the matter: Fixing it doesn’t mean that content creators have to give in and make their content even easier to obtain, or introduce an honorary payment system—those seldom work—but to educate people that they’re threatening another persons livelihood by not paying for the stuff they take.

            It’s not up to the dev or author to do anything about this; they made it, they have the right to ask for as much money as they see fit, not the other way round. If you don’t want to pay this much or can’t, then don’t consume it.

      • samdchuck

        No it’s not stealing. Theft results in a loss of investment, as in you payed money for something and I took it now you don’t have your money or your product. While piracy is just the missing of profit, you still have your product.

        There’s a reason why it’s copyright infringement and piracy: because it’s not theft.

    • Peter Cohen

      “Pirating does not steal.”