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Old February 19th, 2012, 12:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default App piracy & copyright infringement discussion

As a hard working and dedicated fan to the android I have to give my two cents. These developers dedicate their time and money to bring quality apps to the market and it pains me to see someone stealing their stuff.

I know at times I have stayed up 5 days in a row working 12 to 15 hours days surviving on coffee to create and design an app. Most of these apps are fairly cheap and they are not making as much money as you think.

So here is an idea.... Buy it. Support the developer if you like it. Without your support that awesome app you stole will never get updates to make it even better. Without your support these good developers can't survive and crappy developers won't get any better.

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Old February 19th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree with your sentiment, but I'm gonna move this thread to the lounge as it deals with piracy/ip infringment in general.

Also an important side note: We try not to make comments about particular users, even problem ones Better to stick to the issue.

Cheers
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Old February 19th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I absolutely agree. Damn it, come on, most apps are under $5. Support the devs. I don't run any ad blocker on my phone as apps I get for free in return for ads is so the dev can keep the lights on. If there is a paid ad free version and the price is reasonable, I buy the app. Otherwise I don't use it or I deal with the ads (except AirPush). I cannot stand folks trying to get around buying apps and I am glad that we have the report button here for letting the folks in charge know that someone is promoting or linking to piracy site.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I usually do buy the app if I can find the paid version. I don't know how Market lists things - but if I was interested in a browser, the free/paid version should show up first, not pages of skins and themes.

I also bought Chomp SMS - excerpt from email.
Our hope is that the FAQ page answers your inquiry as quickly as possible, irrespective of timezones and business hours.

See chompSMS - Frequently Asked Questions -
( on phone as directed -says web page not available or downand it talks about donations - not paid for. Support us isn't there, either)

However, if this FAQ does not help you, then please follow the instructions in the FAQ on how to email us and bypass this auto-reply email.

Thanks for all your ongoing support, we appreciate it!

Usually you get a download link or a small file to enable the paid version.
I got a receipt and a link - for Google Wallet! I paid by cc.

If this is any way to do business by confusing customers - please stop it or make sure Market has it right.

Make it easier to get the app. Make sure both free and paid are on the same page, (in sidebar) and if paid has a slightly different name, make sure we know that's the paid version of the free app. I have seen this happen.

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Old February 19th, 2012, 05:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What does one do when paid apps are NOT available? Paid Google Market is only available in certain countries. Amazon App Store is USA only.

I've only actually pirated one app though, Tapatalk. There's NO free equivalent that I could find, had a friend in the US email me it. Should I try and send the dev a donation for it? Apart from Tapatalk, I've been completely OK with free or ad-supported apps. Although the ads with the ad-supported apps only appear when my phone is online, It's offline most of the time, only online at home with wifi.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 06:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What does one do when paid apps are NOT available? Paid Google Market is only available in certain countries. Amazon App Store is USA only.

I've only actually pirated one app though, Tapatalk. There's NO free equivalent that I could find, had a friend in the US email me it. Should I try and send the dev a donation for it? Apart from Tapatalk, I've been completely OK with free or ad-supported apps. Although the ads with the ad-supported apps only appear when my phone is online, It's offline most of the time, only online at home with wifi.
mikedt

Your profile says you are in China. If so, is the Android Market available there? If not what equivalent marketplace do you use?
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Old February 19th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What does one do when paid apps are NOT available? Paid Google Market is only available in certain countries. Amazon App Store is USA only.

I've only actually pirated one app though, Tapatalk. There's NO free equivalent that I could find, had a friend in the US email me it. Should I try and send the dev a donation for it? Apart from Tapatalk, I've been completely OK with free or ad-supported apps. Although the ads with the ad-supported apps only appear when my phone is online, It's offline most of the time, only online at home with wifi.
Contact the dev. I can understand your frustration with having limited access to quality apps, but if the devs aren't getting compensated for those apps, they won't make them. I've only contacted a few, but they are all people. Ask them, I'm sure they would rather help you get the app the right way instead of pirating it. They at least should appreciate you being forthright.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 06:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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See also getjar.com for developers' supported distribution of paid apps for free when the Market is unavailable to you.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 03:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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mikedt

Your profile says you are in China.
Yup, I'm a British expat living in the PRC.

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If so, is the Android Market available there? If not what equivalent marketplace do you use?
I use Google Market as I bought my phone in the UK, but it's free apps only here. Phones and tablets sold here though, don't have anything Google on them. Google basically has nothing to do with Android in China, apart from Hong Kong and Macau. The carriers, e.g. China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, operate their own app stores on Android devices that they supply. Non-carrier devices have Chinese app stores as well, operated by Sina.com etc. Of course all the apps available are Chinese, and probably a lot of pirated stuff. I've seen Angry Birds on a few people's phones and tablets, they do NOT say "Rovio".
China's Unofficial Android App Stores are Malware Minefields | Tech in Asia
...TBH I tend to steer well clear of these.

EDIT:

BTW there's an unofficial unlicensed Angry Birds theme park now.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/16/scitech/main20107294.shtml
....only in China of course.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 06:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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See also getjar.com for developers' supported distribution of paid apps for free when the Market is unavailable to you.
Now that is useful. Bookmarked, will check it out more tomorrow.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 06:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes, the app stealing/piracy issue could become larger and more serious as the smartphone app developers grow and flourish. We all watched as the music and movie piracy industries became just that, industries with sophisticated methods of reproducing the products, not just individuals out there trying to snag a free tune.

The loss in revenue began to be counted in the billions of dollars. I can imagine what would happen to grass roots app developers if app stealing became as rampant as the music and movie stealing was; we'd likely see whole categories of apps and widgets being overtaken by high tech piracy operations eventually employing their own developers, squeezing out the legitimate ones; basically starving them out of the app business.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 08:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Now that is useful. Bookmarked, will check it out more tomorrow.
I'm glad to see folks like you looking for legitimate ways to get paid apps. And thanks to Earlymon, I didn't realize the devs were using getjar as a method of overseas distribution. I live in the US, so I really hadn't thought about it. I knew getjar was a legit market, just never realized it served that purpose.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 08:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The only thing I will say here is this. Developers and Users need to be aware of the risk that is involved. If I as a "User" get a "Pirated" app then I must be aware that the Pirate could have placed vicious code in with the app. Developers must be aware that putting your stuff out there will open it to Pirates. Rather Dev's offer an Add Free or and Add version of a free version or not, it needs to be considered that yes your app may cost only 1.00 however If I have already gone through several other apps of that type then the 1.00 for me has cost me 5,10,20 ? I can spend several hundreds of dollars trying to find an app that works the way I need it to. So offer us a free version that will give us the functionality of what we will need.

The problem with Proprietary software is that Someone else will find a way to do the same things for free. Only those who can afford to fight Piracy will be able to survive the rest will be like waves in the ocean.

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Old February 20th, 2012, 08:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Microsoft and Apple.
Neither Microsoft or Apple develop for the Android platform, nor are they likely to given that each has a rival mobile OS. Let's keep on-topic, please.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I knew getjar was a legit market, just never realized it served that purpose.
About a year or so ago they were infused with big bux:

GetJar Secures $25 Million in Series C Funding From Tiger Global Management About GetJar
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Old February 20th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Nice read, thanks. At least if I see the "not available here so that is what I do" questions I have a suggestion.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 09:37 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Please discuss piracy not related to Android apps here -

Copyrights - respect the law - please read

Cheers, thanks!
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Old February 20th, 2012, 09:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I don't care about it either way. If your getting onto this line of work, this is one of the costs/disadvantages of doing business. This goes for any kind of "intellectual" property. I don't know why this type of property is given special treatment. If I go borrow a hammer from my neighbor, I don't get sued by craftsman or whoever made the thing. Developers aren't slaving away like other people who don't get paid what they deserve, but somehow we're supposed to be sympathetic to their "plight"? Like I said I don't really care. You'll make money off your idea regardless if your really passionate about it.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm trying to understand the hammer analogy.

"Borrowing" something from a neighbor, which presumably the neighbor paid for, does not seem to fit as superimposed over app software piracy, which is obtaining a developed product that is for sale while not paying for it: stealing.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I can take that hammer i didn't pay for and build something that i will turn around and sell. Is craftsman gonna sue me because they didn't get a cut? No.

Might not be the greatest analogy but again, I'm sure everybody that gets onto developing apps is aware of piracy. Its one of the drawbacks. What industry do you know of that doesn't have negative aspects?

Plus there's always somebody out there who can make an app that does what the original does for free. So no point being mad about piracy.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I can take that hammer i didn't pay for and build something that i will turn around and sell. Is craftsman gonna sue me because they didn't get a cut? No.

Might not be the greatest analogy but again, I'm sure everybody that gets onto developing apps is aware of piracy. Its one of the drawbacks. What industry do you know of that doesn't have negative aspects?

Plus there's always somebody out there who can make an app that does what the original does for free. So no point being mad about piracy.
I think where you analogy falls short its that only one person can use the hammer at a time and Sears was already paid for it. An app that is purchased once then loaded on a torrent site so thousands can use it simultaneously with the developer only being compensated once.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:30 AM   #22 (permalink)
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The proliferation of an illegal and/or immoral activity does not legitimize that activity; the natural inclination of concerned people is to combat those things diligently.

There are black markets for every retail product. And there are legitimate outlets for them. The choice is ours to make which side we want to go with. But to say, "I don't care either way" seems to be short sited, and also probably needs another analogy.

Perhaps if you invented something and your hammer lending neighbor took the blueprints and claimed them as his.

I don't know, it seems that analogies are not needed, again, you've either obtained the product through the channels intended by the dev or you have not.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:53 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Developers can be just as "immoral" as the illegal downloader. I PAID extra for beejive IM app so I could have a LIFETIME license back when I had my blackberry and now just because I switched to android they aren't accomidating me. When I buy a lifetime license, let alone pay extra for it it should mean lifetime. I'm not repurchasing their app. In fact I found one (IMO messenger) for free.

Developers either embrace how things are and will remain or they need to find another line of work just like anybody else affected by technology.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Well, answering what we may perceive as an immoral act with another immoral act in the retail market doesn't make any sense to me at all.

If this is a "I can be a pirate because a dev over charged me" argument, then we can explore the alternatives to your piracy (or advocating piracy under what you see as "the right circumstances"). Alternatives such as exploring other devs/apps/app outlets (AppBrain, Getjar, Android Market).
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Old February 20th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #25 (permalink)
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At the end of the day the app developer or intellectual property owner is at the losing end of this battle regardless of how one feels about the matter. If they chose to peddle their wares in a medium that involves almost immediate returns via the internet, then they should be aware of the equally immediate losses.

No choice but to accept it or adapt.

I just hope that developers don't go to the extremes that media has gone to blowing millions and adopting fascist plans to control the internet and spy on peoples computers. That's disgusting.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 11:21 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Actually I think you've got a very good point there about the methods that app software developers might seek to deploy in order to protect their work (read "money" ).

There is a threshold of restrictions to obtain the stuff, and to use the stuff; when it gets to the point of "licensing" and spying on the users.. well, I part company with them as best I can, while still knowing that it's a tough battle for them and they have to meet the sophistication of the thieves in order to survive.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:33 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Developers can be just as "immoral" as the illegal downloader. I PAID extra for beejive IM app so I could have a LIFETIME license back when I had my blackberry and now just because I switched to android they aren't accomidating me. When I buy a lifetime license, let alone pay extra for it it should mean lifetime. I'm not repurchasing their app. In fact I found one (IMO messenger) for free.

Developers either embrace how things are and will remain or they need to find another line of work just like anybody else affected by technology.
Now were they referring to the "lifetime" of you, i.e. for the rest of your natural life? Or were they referring to the "lifetime" of your Blackberry?
Did the word "lifetime" have an asterisk "*" next to it, referring to some small print?

I'm sure the problem here is the use of the word "lifetime", rather like carriers and ISPs use of the word "unlimited", when in fact it's not unlimited.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 04:40 AM   #28 (permalink)
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At the end of the day the app developer or intellectual property owner is at the losing end of this battle regardless of how one feels about the matter. If they chose to peddle their wares in a medium that involves almost immediate returns via the internet, then they should be aware of the equally immediate losses.

No choice but to accept it or adapt.

I just hope that developers don't go to the extremes that media has gone to blowing millions and adopting fascist plans to control the internet and spy on peoples computers. That's disgusting.
Do you understand that there are two classes of developers for Android?

Let's take Rovio as one example. Within weeks of releasing the ad-supported Angry Birds on Android, they were pulling in over a million (US$) per month and making more here than they were on their paid-only iPhone version.

They are in the small minority.

The overwhelming majority of app developers we're talking about here are small time operators, who might love to become Rovio someday, but who for the most part work for peanuts.

And it's that second class that we are constantly enforcing copyright protection for around here, they seem to be the big target. When they get discouraged enough, they simply fold up.

I don't know who these Warner Brothers sized developers are that you think needs to just suck up and learn how to deal with things.

As far as the earlier comment that if someone makes a good paid app, someone will just copy it for free - code pirates don't release things for free, they tend to charge for them, and they get kicked out of the Market for their troubles.

You have many fine theories, but I don't see how to relate them to the way things really are, where the guys getting ripped off might actually make anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand bucks for their troubles.

Before you worry about their potential fascism, try instead to understand what is going on here before demonizing for things that they haven't done over amounts of money they haven't made, and try less to lecture them about the state of the buying public - that part, they probably know firsthand.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 08:06 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Yes, the app stealing/piracy issue could become larger and more serious as the smartphone app developers grow and flourish. We all watched as the music and movie piracy industries became just that, industries with sophisticated methods of reproducing the products, not just individuals out there trying to snag a free tune.

The loss in revenue began to be counted in the billions of dollars. I can imagine what would happen to grass roots app developers if app stealing became as rampant as the music and movie stealing was; we'd likely see whole categories of apps and widgets being overtaken by high tech piracy operations eventually employing their own developers, squeezing out the legitimate ones; basically starving them out of the app business.
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More opportunities, more competition. The middlemen are the ones screaming about profits. If a band decides to let you buy electronically by distributing songs itself, that cuts out the major labels. Some comedian just tried that and had a very positive response.

More restrictions lead to piracy. Sony tried it. The recording industry would love to restrict a song to one device only. You would have to BUY another copy to play elsewhere.

The devs do need to get paid. Whoever is distributing shouldn't get the lion's share of the profits. Isn't Apple already doing that to their app writers?

Copyright would have to be looked at carefully. With so many small app developers the odds of two or more coming up with the same idea at the same time really isn't piracy. I don't know how that would be solved.

If the app is extremely popular and someone just tries to copy it - no.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 09:38 AM   #30 (permalink)
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The devs do need to get paid. Whoever is distributing shouldn't get the lion's share of the profits. Isn't Apple already doing that to their app writers?
No IIRC Apple, Google, and Amazon all take 30% which has become standard for the industry. The structure of the industry is different there aren't as many middlemen and with current technology I don't see a need for there to be middlemen as you don't need a sponsorship or someone to back you to release an app.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 06:13 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Let's take Roxio Rovio as one example. Within weeks of releasing the ad-supported Angry Birds on Android [...]
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 06:52 AM   #32 (permalink)
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LoL my bad, many thanks!
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 07:18 AM   #33 (permalink)
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you used it in another paragraph as well
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 07:39 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I confess to googling "roxio."

I remembered the burner, but thought EM was somehow .. oh, never mind.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 08:09 AM   #35 (permalink)
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In my mind, I completely typed Rovio, but in my fingers, well...
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