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  • Piracy Detected. Your Cracked App is Now a Demo.
    The war between iPhone developers and app crackers continues . . .



    Ben Chatelain the developer behind the App Store app Full Screen Web Browser has taken steps to prevent piracy of his app. Just days after the initial app release on the App Store Ben received notification via a Google Alert that his app had been pirated and the cracked copy was being distributed by Appulo.

    Frustrated by the events Ben went on a mission to stop cracking of Full Screen Web Browser (App Store link). He checked out informative posts about making an iPhone app crash if cracked but was hesitant to enable the measures because he didn't want the application to crash for legitimate users or crash during the App Store review process and subsequently face rejection from the App Store.

    After some thought Ben came up with the solution that he is utilizing now. The application looks to see if it has been cracked and sends pings to a server with a device identifier (UDID) so that illegal usage can be tracked. If the app has been cracked the server controls a demo period with ten runs after which the the application shows a message allowing you the option to quite or buy complete with a guilt trip "Purchasing a legal copy helps support independent software development and will help me feed my 1-year old baby."

    With App Store application cracking running rampant and many developers up in arms over the issue we will be sure to see more and more measures like this taken in the future.

    edit: In case I didn't make it painfully obvious this allows you to try (the cracked app) before you buy. Apple needs to get on it and implement a demo system in its App Store already.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Piracy Detected. Your Cracked App is Now a Demo. started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 64 Comments
    1. uberfu's Avatar
      uberfu -
      You people screaming how great it is for the Developer to step up and inplement his own DRM because Apple isn't doing anything on their end - have it ALL Wrong!

      It's not Apple's responsibility to lock down 3rd party titles_ It's shady enough that they are doing this with music to begin with_ First off whatever method the Dev used to code something may be different from the way the next Dev coded something and DRm from Apple might work on Dev 1's title but might break something in Dev 2's title_

      This is like saying that an Auto-Maker isn't responible for putting seatbelts in their car to make it safe - that they should be able to ship it out to the Dealer without seatbelts_ Then the Dealer [or Software Distributor aka Apple] should add the seatbelts in after they receive the cars_

      The music in the iTMS is really the same deal - except Apple caved to enough pressure from the Music Industry to add it in originally - and we all know how that went_ The Music Industry either didn't know how - which is their own fault - or they were too lazy to do it themselves to coersed Apple into it as a term of them signing on_

      But this time - there is no multi-billion dollar independent software developer industry and united coalition [ie - the IRAA] to throw it's weight at Apple telling them to protect their wares_

      Software hacking and piracy has been going on since the advent of "shareware" began - much less mainstream titles_ Just like it's the responsibility of the Ford Auto Factory to ensure that there are seatbelts added to the car before it leaves for the dealership - so is the responsibility for the software developer to ensure to the best of his knowledge a secure mechanism to protect his title_ And act like the larger software companies that alter the method from one release to another_ Put out an update - break the crack_

      Also - I'm sure he's getting enough legit business from the iTMS and mainstream customers that he's not hurting that much as a result_ Otherwise - as with many other titles in the past it wouldn't be cost effective enough for him to continue to develop his title and he'd pull it and make an announcement or not_

      So - NO - I don't think this is awesome of the developer to give him accolades for taking matters into his own hands_ This should be the "norm" - not the exception_ I do give him credit for being one of the first publicly to get up off his perverbial "lazy arse" and do what was his responsibility in the first place_ taking responsibility for your own actions is always a good thing_

      I wish him much success and he's found a method to challenge the hacking community_ Which is mostly what they thrive on anyway_ Maybe this will stay in the news a little longer and we can follow up on it more_ Some of the back and forth_
    1. nikada's Avatar
      nikada -
      like soulthought posted, i doubt apple will let this tipe of anti-pirate defense into the appstore. Remember all the fuss about Aurora Feint, when i stored the content of your contacts into a online database?
    1. wsupitstonyy's Avatar
      wsupitstonyy -
      guarantee you it will never be stopped. when technology advances there comes more improvements and loopholes. we'll eventually have no reason to fight. let's all listen to Neyo - Mad illegally too. okay thanks bye.
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by soulthoughts View Post
      I think someone touched on this just a bit but doesn't it bother anyone that an app is sending data unbeknownst to the user? Don't get me wrong, I support the developer trying to get paid for his work but something about sending data behind the scenes bothers me.
      I agree