Linked by David Adams on Thu 31st Mar 2011 16:41 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption If you download and use what appears to be a version of the commercial "Walk and Text" Android app from a file sharing site, you're in for a surprise. When you run it, it shows you that it's being "cracked" but it's really gathering information from your device, in preparation for an e-smackdown. It sends a bunch of personal information (name, phone number, IMEI) off to a server, and, just for lulz, text messages everyone on your contact list:
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Member since:

You can afford the data plan but can't cough up a few bucks to the developer?

If a program is under 10 bucks then I don't care if there is a trial or not.

I don't mind supporting an indy developer even if I don't end up liking the game or program.

Android has a major downside which is that it has attracted all the cheapskate pirates of the world.

Google needs to act, it's really a big freaking mess.

And that's really the sting of it! People are buying a luxury good (smartphone) with a premium plan to support data and then people are going to extreme measures to steal income from people who have worked very hard to provide the applications they are enjoying.

Its all but impossible to view these people with an extremely low opinion, even rivaling that of a common thief.

As an android developer, I've even compiled custom versions for people in poor countries. Generally it was that the device was provided by work and a couple of other tearful details. Of the dozen or so free copies I provided, I only ever found one copy show up on pirate sites. At which, I stopped providing gratis copies altogether. And this behavior isn't alone. I know a lot of developers want to help and advocate the platform and their own product, but pirates are literally stealing income, screwing over developers, and hurting the platform.

Please, absolutely do not support pirates in any ways...but I digress...

In short, thank you for your stance! I wish more people were of good character, such as yourself.

Edited 2011-03-31 22:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:

It's a similar situation to pc gaming piracy where there is a high cost of entry to a luxury product and yet piracy is much higher than on consoles which have a lower cost of entry.

I have a recent post on it actually

With Android the software could be tied closer to the hardware which would at least reduce casual piracy. For pc gaming I think the answer is building the game around server generated data. Indy devs have to just chalk up most pc installs as pirated which is a shame. Even that humble indy bundle where you could name your price was pirated.

Reply Parent Score: 1