Piracy is theft. And Apple App Store piracy is hitting the little guy harder than most. Leave the BS moral arguments at the door.
So, what can be done?
Well, there is no doubt that the App Stores high profile means that its a big target for pirates. On top of that, the iPhone platform has received a lot of hacker attention for jailbreaking purposes. Its a small leap to go from jailbreaking the OS to cracking apps.
To make matters worse, according to people Ive spoken to, the mechanism used to bind apps to an iPhone or iPod touch is pretty basic and offers little in the way of protection. The protection mechanism that Apple uses to secure iTunes audio and video purchases is far superior.
Given that Apple takes a 30% cut on each App Store sale, Id expect the company to do more to protect developers. Ive heard from semi-reliable sources that Apple is planning to make things more difficult for pirates, but given that Apple hasnt managed to make the iPhone jailbreak resistant, if I were an app developer I wouldnt be holding my breath.
If I were developing apps for the App Store Id be doing two things.
First, Id be keeping an eye on the piracy situation. If an app was cracked Id want to know what sales were like pre and post the release of the cracked app. Who knows, I might be the lucky one who benefits from piracy.
In addition to keeping an eye on the piracy situation, Id be taking proactive steps to make my apps harder to crack. Maybe a registration mechanism, or a key, or maybe just a mechanism that checked whether the iPhone was jailbroken (it has to be possible).
One things for sure, I certainly wouldnt be sitting back and doing nothing while a bunch of freeloaders was ripping me off.
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