My App was pirated - what should i do?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by v-i-c-, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    #1
    One week after it hit the App Store, i found links to illegal copies of my first iPhone App. :(

    I have no experience with this kind of thing.
    I know i can't prevent it anymore (now that it's circulating), but maybe someone knows how to make it more difficult for them next time? I have another project in the works that I've invested over 10 months hard work, and I rather not have this happen again, if there is a way to prevent it.

    I did ask the host to remove the links from his site, but it's probably on 10 other sites by now. Ideas?

    I'm a bit amazed they'd bother to pirate a $.99 cent app, but I guess that's the world we live in :(
     
  2. macrumors regular

    drf1229

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #2
    Unfortionately, when you have a paid app thats just bound to happen. I don't think there is any stopping it. Even the smartest developer can't outsmart the dumbest criminal. (If that makes any sense :))
     
  3. macrumors demi-god

    fishkorp

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Location:
    Ellicott City, MD
    #3
    There are ways of detecting pirated apps and making them not function, many app developers do that. The pirates have pretty much given up on Beejive because of this. However, all the good ones don't share their methods or secrets, otherwise the crackers would find a way around the protection. You can get some basic things to try by just Googling around.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    kAoTiX

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #4
    I use Beejive illegally, no point beating around the bush.

    I don't think you can do anything to stop people pirating your apps. Nothing is unbeatable and in all honesty spending any amount of time trying to stop it is wasted time.
    Things like Windows and major games with 'serious' protection get cracked over night and these developers spend months creating this type of protection.

    Put it this way, I don't honestly think you would make any more revenue from your app if it was 'uncrackable' and people were forced to buy it. I obviously mean that with no disrespect but generally if someone is going to pirate something they aren't going to consider purchasing.

    Just my views really, ultimately it's up to you.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #5
    OK, dude, you owe me a new keyboard for the coffee I just sprayed all over it.

    http://appulo.us/appdb/?page=viewapp&id=800

    But granted appulous links often just have scripts run over them and they don't have internal copy protection defeated. Let me check my favorite torrent site ... why yes, yes there it is. "The BeejiveIM I just uploaded has been patched and there's instructions in the release for how to properly install it. The version I released is 100% working..."


    If you really want to worry about the people that aren't going to buy your app anyway no matter what you do -- and I would say that choosing to do that instead of working on features that will make honest people buy it is a complete misallocation of resources -- then your only practical recourse is to rely on in-app purchase for most of your revenue. That hasn't been cracked in the general case, and you can probably keep ahead of the crackers in a given particular case with some fairly trivial obfuscation and frequent updates.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    St Louis
    #6
    kaotix and alexcurylo, I'm curious about your responses. Are you developers? And if so, I assume that it's ok with you that people might pirate YOUR apps? :confused:
     
  7. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #7
    It's not worth your time worrying about it.

    There is decent evidence that just enough DRM to make the lazy majority realize that they have to pay for apps results in significantly better sales numbers. Apple already provides that, in that far less than 50% of devices in use by people who put any money into iTunes are security-broken. Maybe less than 10%.

    There is very little evidence that much more on-device DRM beyond this has any reasonable payback.

    You might spend 100 hours on copy protection coding, and gain $2 in additional sales, if even that, and now you just spent over a week working for 2 cents an hour before somebody earns their street cred cracking your hard work, sometimes in less time than you spent. The people who crack apps often have no actual interest in that particular app, so the price is irrelevant. And, in fact, the harder an app is to crack, the more reputation points they can gain.

    Server-side DRM for apps with online content is a far more interesting story.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    yayitsezekiel

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    #8
    arrgh! thar be booty!

    sorry there's not really much you can do that would be economical. Being a pirate myself, people will generally pirate anything that is pirate-able. Unfortunately, that includes $.99 apps. Don't hate, I'm trying to give you the mindset of the people who took your app.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    San José
    #9
    Did you also steal your two-thousand dollar laptop? :rolleyes:
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    NickFalk

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    #10
    While your honesty is commendable I'm also sad to hear what you're saying. Personally I have a very hard time understanding how you justify taking someones intelectual property and not paying for it. As a small time 100% unsuccessful developer myself (deservedly so). I'm trying to understand where you're coming from.

    I can understand the challenge of hacking being a driving-force, but the actual distribution of other people's work is a bit harder to fathom. Especially so for a platform like the iPhone where the majority of developers are small-timers sweating over these software-projects, trying to make a buck following their dreams. These aren't power-hungry megalomaniac multi-billion-companies these are regular guys like yourself dreaming of making a living from creating iPhone apps...

    :confused:
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    kAoTiX

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #11
    To my knowledge nobody in this thread said they distributed peoples apps illegally. And I find it hard to believe that you cannot see how people can 'steal' something, do you live on another planet? At the end of the day we are commiting a crime and in doing so take full responsibility for any repercussions surrounding that.

    Another point to make is that I highly doubt pirates take any significant revenue from developers in such a way to make the whole app development process pointless. Lets be fair, there are over a million apps in the app store. Surely if piracy was a major issue and a terrible drain on revenue to developers they wouldn't do it? This is my understanding of it.

    @icewing: I am not an iPhone developer but I am a Windows platform software developer of 5 years. To me, piracy is part of the game. I see no problem with someone taking something I make and releasing it for free publically.
    The amount of people that would actually pirate it would be so insignificant that it has no bearing on the money I make from legitimate sales.

    I refuse to implement serious software protection as it is more hassle than worth. If more software developers went down this route you could almost guarantee that a lot of problems with software would be solved over night due to the fact that a piece of software isn't being protected by someone elses poorly written code.
    That being said, I do implement some form of licensing purely to maintain the fact that someone is purchasing a product from me and it still needs to be monitored.

    I don't think this thread will go anywhere but into a huge debate on morals and the laws behind piracy and how you wont get any presents for Christmas if you pirate apps.
    People can do what they want, you cannot stop them.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    NickFalk

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    #12
    I never said any such thing. I'm obviously acknowleding the existence of software theft. I can understand the fact that people want to pay as little as possible, but still you'll find that very few people are actual shop-lifters. I'm just askin how you justify your actions? And I guess you somehow came up with an answer here:
    There figure is actually 100K, not a million. But still: I know several small-time developers who have quit developing all together as they never saw anything remotely resembling proper returns on their investments.

    Personally I'm not even getting my coffee-expenses back. But, I haven't really released anything that deserves hit-status. Whether pirating is causing developers a huge loss is a subject it is nigh on impossible to answer, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't help...



    I'm sure every developer (myself included) agree that pirating is "part of the game" but the moment we start saying it is OK, is the moment we admit there's no point paying for software at all. Of course it is not OK. I certainly don't believe aggressive action is the answer to the problem. I do believe however that the very least thing any sensible person should do is to agree it is a problem.

    I agree 100%.

    You're probably right, but by telling them it is OK(ish) you will just make pirating even more socially acceptable.

    Again: I just find it hard to believe people find it is OK not to pay for people's work.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    #13
    OK - don't hate me when i start flooding the usual places with fakes. You know it's just sports for me.
    Seriously THIS is really what we should do: SPAM is the answer - Developers should flood any place that is floodable.
    Unfortunately this means buying $.99 apps will be easier. :p
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #14
    Ignore the pirates, work on improving the app to attract more paying customers.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #15
    Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk Got Billions of dollars with the average Development Team of 1,000+ Programmers. With all that there apps get cracked in less than 24 hours of release.

    What the hell do you think you can do? if Major Corporations Can't stop there stuff from being pirated.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #16
    Take a look here, for instance, and note "Seller Name". I assure you, there is only one "Alex Curylo" on the entire planet.

    http://appulo.us/appdb/?page=viewapp&id=7505

    More generally, I've been doing commercial desktop software for 22 years, with pretty much every imaginable level of copy protection from "zero" to "hardware dongle". There has been not a single instance where I believe the time spent on copy protection would not have been more usefully employed elsewhere.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    yayitsezekiel

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    #17
    I think that's the best advice because there is always a large number of people who run non-jailbroken iphones/ipod touches and will buy applications. there is always hope ;)
     
  18. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #18
    Try a history lesson. Intellectual property didn't even exist as a wide-spread legal or social construct in most of the world until a few centuries ago. And there's still not a consensus (some of the behaviors you think are quite civilized might well be considered barbaric in other parts of the planet... and vice versa of course).

    YMMV
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    NickFalk

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    #19
    Good point. I don't have a problem with anyone who grew up in the bush a few centuries ago pirating. ;-)
     
  20. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    #20
    Already working on the update :)
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #21
    Take it as a compliment -- you're software is good enough to be pirated. And then like the other guys advice on making it better to attract others ...
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #22
    Yeah, but Beejive is giving the hackers fits trying to crack it. Read the frustration on the following forum:

    http://hackulo.us/forums/index.php?...sh-302-new-version-09302009/page__hl__beejive

    So do whatever Beejive is doing.:)
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    kAoTiX

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #23
    Best answer to date. This is pure win. Think about it :D
    Work on your app for your paying customers and simply do as suggested and ignore the pirates who don't want to pay for things. Personally I pirate apps and don't care what other people think.
    I have bought many iPhone apps that I found worthy of my money. The others are either pure crap or not what I wanted so I found no use. No refunds is silly.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    yayitsezekiel

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    #24
    at least i'm not the only one who's honest :eek:
     
  25. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    #25
    After all the pirating, the sales are absolutely down now. I've set it to FREE but not for a long time (to avoid creating to much traffic). Have fun with it.
     

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