January 25, 2015

Save a life, buy an app

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Rest in peace to the bad guys, or, if you’re too cheap to support a developer by paying for their application, the good guys. The United States Department of Justice has gone on a killing spree, crushing three of the best-known websites and markets for Android piracy. Snappz Market, Appbucket, and Applanet have all been shut down, thanks to a new Government initiative to put an end to Android application piracy once and for all. When visited, the websites no longer have the original illegal downloads they used to, but you get a nice, shiny ‘FBI Seizure’ warning, giving you a heads-up about the fines and some sort of lecture explaining how Android piracy (or just software piracy in general) and how it’s the same thing as illegally torrenting music or movies.

Since the founding of the Android platform, piracy has been an issue, as well as on the iPhone (Cydia). In this day and age, people are – for lack of a better word – too cheap to pay for the hard work that goes into developing a mobile application. [pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”left” textColor=”#0c7d6a”]“We will continue to seize and shut down websites that market pirated apps, and to pursue those responsible for criminal charges if appropriate.”[/pullquote1]Even the most talented, skilled developers can take several months to create an app, and this is something that the general public doesn’t seem to understand. For most developers, this is their only source of income – sure, some work part-time jobs, but developing is a full time job. Some development companies have lost nearly 80% of their profits due in part to websites such as Appbucket.

There are still several websites that offer illegal APK downloads; there’s only one problem, however – the apps on these websites usually aren’t the latest version, which is a problem if the version available has noticeable bugs, etc. So far, the government has only shut down three of these types of websites, but I believe that United States attorney Sally Quillian Yates puts it best:

“We will continue to seize and shut down websites that market pirated apps, and to pursue those responsible for criminal charges if appropriate.”

There you have it folks. If we get word of any other websites getting shut down, we’ll let you know.



26 Comments

  1. rsanchez1
    Reply

    Hey now, Cydia doesn’t just deal in pirated apps. They deal in apps that are prohibited by Apple, such as software hacking apps that we take for granted on Google Play.

    • Cody Larson
      Reply

      Cydia holds the repositories that, when downloaded, allow you to access pirated iOS apps.

  2. John Samuel αΩ
    Reply

    I can understand pirating a $24.99 movie, or a $14.99 album, or a $19.99 eBook. That was a lot of money to me when I was 16. But a $.99 app from an independent developer? It’s like stealing penny gumballs – it’s just easier to pay for it at that price. There is almost nothing on the planet cheaper than smartphone apps.

  3. Griswold
    Reply

    I am an Android developer and I strongly disagree with the domain seizures. Some people may be cheap as jewish scotsmen and not willing to buy an app for a few pennies but these people are users too, and if they like the app, they may end up buying it or the next one you make. There is no such thing as “income lost to piracy”, most of the pirates would not buy the apps anyway. In my opinion, if they save a few bucks on the pirated apps that are bad, they will have more money to spend on the apps they like. The apps good developers make. Therefore, seizing these domains can only harm good developers.

  4. kykDaar
    Reply

    Oh please, let’s be brutally honest: Anti-piracy has NOTHING to do doing good or fighting “bad” pirates; it’s all just another way for U.S. officials to line there pockets. I would know In S.Africa, where I’m from, corruption has become an artform.

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