Aug 2 2013
I created this website to prevent piracy and to allow people to win free licenses of paid tweaks when they can’t purshase because of number reasons like no credit card for example. So every week, I try to provide you a new giveaway of a new cool tweak, theme or app. But today, I want to let know what developers think about piracy on Cydia. On Tweakgiveaway, we have only developers who sell their work, so their work is surely hacked and pirated by number of users. So I asked them what do they think about piracy on Cydia and here their answers! (more are coming!)
Joshua Tucker (@joshmtucker):
Piracy is an unfortunate inevitability. The jailbreak community, like many similar communities, have a group of people who came because of the ability to “get free stuff,” but also, many Cydia users are unable to pay for packages because they are underage or aren’t able to use PayPal or Amazon Payments in their own country. Both of these represent a huge part of the Cydia user base.
Piracy can never be stopped, but there are many ways to prevent it. Often pirates are treated like dirt and constantly stand bashing from developers, other users, moderators on forums, etc. Is piracy bad? Yes – but you shouldn’t demean a person’s humanity over it. Most of us sometime in our lives engaged in a form piracy or have done something wrong. No doubt. You will never win a person to the “good side” if you make them feel like the scum of the earth. Price your packages fairly, treat others with utmost respect, and create things that people see value in – value that they’ll pay for. You’re not going to convince everyone, but don’t let that bog you down and shift your focus from doing new and creative things. Bill Cosby once said “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Dwelling on what you can’t get won’t allow you to continue what you can do – create great things.
Now that doesn’t mean you should give your packages away to every person that asks or vet requests for users who can’t access PayPal or Amazon, but you shouldn’t write off people immediately because of their choice to pirate something.
Ryan Petrich (@Rpetrich):
Piracy was something I worried about a fair bit when I first started building packages for Cydia, but it’s actually mostly a distraction from providing service to real customers and building new products. Building an anti-piracy system that works well and doesn’t destroy user confidence is actually a hard problem. Time is better spent improving real features or bringing new products to market.
Where piracy hurts is when old out of date versions of your product are being distributed. That gives people a skewed perspective of your product and fills your support inbox with issues that are difficult to remedy if it isn’t compatible with the latest iOS version, for example.
What kind of piracy are we talking about ?
About tweaks like mine which is now on numbers of pirate repos like Xsellize ? Or about apps like Zeusmos or vShare which allows users to pirate AppStore Apps ? Or both ?
Whatever, I think it’s a loss of earnings for the devs, but maybe not as important as the number of apps downloaded. Indeed, if those sites did not exist, does the number of sales would be higher ? And how much ?
Sometimes, I download a cracked app to test it and I delete it 5 min later or I buy it if I really like it!
My opinion is on the fence on this topic.
Mario Hros (@Kexik):
I develop for both AppStore and Cydia so I can say something about both.
I think we shouldn’t say that every pirating is automatically stealing. Unlike most big corporations I am not saying that pirates are making me millions on profit loss. That’s just because some people can’t buy it (mostly they are too young or students with a very limited budget or they just want to try the app first). When trying the app first though, some people may not like it and would not buy it but unfortunately often even those who would have bought it would not because they would say “why should I buy it now when I have this cracked version already”. And once the software get cracked and distributed, it can really cause some (not high) profit loss – because some people can get use to running Installous-like apps and they can say “why I would buy it when I see it here in Installous with download button – It’s simple”. Installing pirated apps is also not always good from user perspective – they can’t use iCloud or buy some IAPs in a cracked app (even if they change mind and would like to support the developer by buying some IAPs). That’s why for AppStore apps, when I have some time left I try to fight piracy a bit by adding some new checks (mostly developing them myself than picking up some well-known ways) and then I don’t care about it anymore. This at least makes a few week’s delay after release so that people which really want it are forced to buy it.
On Cydia though, piracy rate is much higher and the situation is quite different. I think that tweaks without any anti-piracy measures are cracked immediately and distributed very fast, directly to Cydia via warez repos and that is making big profit loss – considering Cydia itself is not a very big market compared to AppStore for example. It’s bad for many small developers. I was lucky that I developed a good jailbreak anticrack myself for my tweaks (sorry I won’t share it with anybody). Good fact is that Cydia tweaks have much more ways how to protect themselves than Appstore apps which run in the sandbox. They can modify themselves in memory or do really complicated and/or weird stuff. I even though about reporting some personal data and running GPS once the tweak detects it’s cracked – to find the cracker. But changed my mind in the end… what would I do with GPS position of the cracker anyway. Cracked tweaks could also damage some important iOS files but it’s too risky in case anti-crack measures fail for whatever reason for a legal customer (e.g. just an unexpected new firmware version or something like that).
And yes, unfortunately almost every anti-piracy measure makes also more complications for the “real” customer – various serial keys, validations, requests to be online, creating some accounts, registering UUIDs and other annoying stuff. But there can’t be done much about it… maybe just not use stupid things like serial keys and use some more automated ways of licensing.
Yaniv Danan (@hacx):
As much as developers think piracy is “Bad for business” it’s actually not. first, developers must keep in mind that people that don’t buy apps will NEVER buy apps, no matter how cheap they are or how good they are. therefor there is no way of sucking up more revenue from that niche by adding extra protection to the application (which as you know eventually get cracked).
Getting your application on Xsellize or any other repository that publishes cracked apps/tweaks actually increases your exposure and some where down the line it might reach a friend of a friend who might actually buy the software because he doesn’t have 1. a jailbroken device 2. he wants to support the developers.
Developers should use this exposure to their own advantage. for eg., they can show ads when they detect the user is using a cracked version. i found this technique quite useful and it does reduce significant revenue in some cases (depends on how well you distribute your ads across the app).
If i take for example 3 of my apps – AnyRing, Super Recorder & iSmart Dialer, i don’t really see any drop down in sales when any of them gets cracked and distributed. in the long run i actually see a up rise in revenue because of added Ads income.
So, to sum things up, i’m actually not against piracy. there is no way we can stop it. we (the developers) just have to be creative and use it for our advantage.
Software piracy is inevitable, especially in the Cydia store where the majority of users can’t pay easily.
Steven Portas (@Satropuk):
In a Cydia utopia the word piracy would be an unknown, everyone would pay for all their tweaks, apps, themes etc and developers and designers would be slightly happier, slightly. But we don’t live there, and we never will. The best we can hope is to slow the pirates down long enough for us to make enough money to make us feel the 1000s of hours of late night work after a long day of the normal 9 to 5 was worth it.
For me this problem comes from the creation of our time. We want what we want when we want it, and for most, we want it now, now, now!
I’ve only been involved in a few tweaks, one very big, and a few small. The small tweaks were all given away for free, and who could argue at that price? The other was $1.99.
Before I started really getting into and working on tweaks I had a conversation with the creator of NCSetting’s and I asked him, “why didn’t you charge for NCSettings”? His response was, “What’s the point? People will only pirate it”. That was kind of bummer, because its an awesome tweak, that has now been incorporated into iOS 7. In my eyes he should have be making money for his hard work. On the whole tweaks aren’t ridicules priced, and if you took the time to work out how much time was put into some tweaks you would and should have no problem sending a $1 or $2 for a tweak.
I dislike with a mild passion the people that take great pay for tweaks, themes and apps, and give them away for free. But I hate it even more when people take thous tweaks. We could go back and forth, chicken or egg, it doesn’t matter. Its stealing, and I was brought up knowing that stealing is NOT okay. You steal a tweak, you are taking money out of the pockets of the people that made it. Even worse, you could be taking food from their children’s mouth. And that ant’ right!
Just after the release of pay for tweak that I helped design the team was hit with a slue of people asking for the tweak for free because they can afford it. They can’t afford $2? They own a $500 iPhone and can’t afford $2? This strikes me as very strange. Even if these people were lucky enough to have amazing parents that gave them an iPhone, ask them for $2, if they say no, work for the freaking $2.
One of the team that I worked with got in touch with a person that pirates tweaks and apps and asked them not to, needless to say the tweak was on xsellize repository within hours of its release. So we went back and asked him why, his response “I’m giving it to the people that can’t afford it”… $2? $500 iPhone… $2??
Next time you want a tweak and somehow don’t have $2 right there, don’t steal it, wait, ask to borrow $2, do a little job around the house that’ll earn you $2, wait till pay day. Developers and designers don’t stay up to “stupid o’clock” just to have our stuff stolen.
The short of it. Piracy really sucks, no one can stop it, we can slow it down just enough to make some money, and maybe if a few more people put a thought into the work and scarifies that the developer and designs put into these tweaks may a few more will wait a day or two?
Ron Melkhior (@App1eNerd):
Piracy is the fuc*ed up version of trial stuff.
People say Piracy is for testing stuff, if they like it, they buy it. Which is the same as a trial version of a product.
The problem is, at least in the Cydia community, most of piracy comes from kids who got an iPod or an iPad mostly, but don’t have the money to buy apps/tweaks, and not by the philosophy of most tweak/app cracked that in order to “test” the apps/tweaks.
While all that happens, developers lose a whole lot of money, and it just feels sad when people crack your creation you’ve worked on and right now people are downloading it for free.
Let’s take an example, I’ve made a nice amount of money on my old tweak, SwipeCam, but if actually I earned a *cent* (while SwipeCam cost 1.5$) on every cracked download of SwipeCam, I would earn 1000% more.
And in short:
Fu*k the theory that cracked stuff was meant to check the app before buying it.
People could earn around a 1,000% more if they got a single cent for each cracked download.
Seriously, if it was legal to destroy the OS if I detected a cracked copy, I would do so
Aditya KD. (@caughtinflux):
Basically (and this cannot be said often enough) piracy IS BAD.
It is often equated with stealing, which isn’t exactly correct, but definitely makes it easier for many to understand. Every download by a pirate is definitely not a lost sale. Maybe half of them are “trying before buying”– a common excuse.
There’s a false sense of entitlement that comes with most people’s purchases of high end devices like iPhones (here in Mumbai, at least). They say “we have paid xxxx for this phone, why should I pay more for adding functionality?”. You can’t pay xxxx*0.001 for that software? Most pirates pirate because they are ignorant about how these things work. Search for “Cydia” on Google, and among the first few links, would be a YouTube video saying “How to Get Apps for Free”. Things like that on the public domain do make it easier. Then there are those with blatant disregard for other people’s property (intellectual, or otherwise). Unfortunately, the number of the latter is increasing as the days go by, since it’s getting easier and easier to simply get something you don’t have for free (although more difficult in some ways too).
Now, let’s look at the flip side.
Piracy is indeed a complex issue of law. There are varying degrees of it, but that isn’t reflected in the laws written to curb piracy. Sometimes, there are no other options. Companies creating products don’t make them available everywhere. Even I sometimes pirate TV shows that are not airing / will not be airing. (Breaking Bad season 1 just started here, it’s that bad).
Then there are people who actually need software, but cannot afford it. I don’t really think a college undergrad, working their asses off to meet tuition can afford to pay $1500-2000 for professional software that may be required in their respective courses. I like that now companies are offering lucrative deals for students (being one myself). Especially Adobe has great pricing for their stuff.
There’s also DRM. I could go on for ages about this. Xbox One, Ubisoft, SimCity, iBooks, etc. I know a lot of people who pirate stuff simply to get rid of DRM. Maybe quite a bit of piracy could be curbed by simply removing DRM.
That’s all I have for now. Ask me tomorrow, maybe I’ll have something completely different to say.
• Piracy is bad
• Maybe good?
No seriously, read it.
In the jailbreak community the piracy rate is very high, ~95%. I don’t care about piracy, I don’t put license check to disable my program. If it is pirated, but all pirates should know that if the 5% of people that pay will stop to pay the jailbreak community will die… That’s a work and they are steal our work. That’s my though!
Piracy clearly doesn’t help developers. My belief is that what people do is up to them, and I cannot really do anything about it. I do not necessarily appreciate it, however it is what it is. So if someone is going to pirate something it’s their choice to do these actions, but don’t expect anything else from those developers. It not only discourages developers but damages profits. What I think is ridiculous is when people openly pirate software, flaunt it, and then expect support. If something doesn’t work. So that aside, people do what they want, and I can’t help that. It’s unfortunate, but its there.
Lior Katz (@Liorkatzz):
Piracy is bad !
Look I can tell about myself that before I start developing, I have always downloaded piracy tweaks and apps but at the moment I start developing, I realize how much the developer works hard on their tweaks, then I started to buy tweaks and apps …
I am not proud of it but now I spent about 50$ on tweaks, for me, it’s al lot !!
I tried to do my best that no one can steal my tweak by I know it’s about meter of time until Fabius will hack my tweaks …
Erik Eisenberg (@Comdorcet):
I remember when people copied music to audio cassettes and shared with their friends and family. Now people share music, videos and of course software online with people they have never met and may not even want to meet. Copied audio cassettes is of course still basically piracy, but I think that is/was more or less tolerable because the amount of sharing/copying is limited. The amount of copying possible online is, however, virtually limitless. So online sharing really changed the whole game, but of course so has online purchasing through stores like Cydia. Unfortunately, when a developer adds a DRM to an app, there’s no way to differentiate between sharing with friends and family or sharing with strangers (granted, this may be possible to implement, but I’ve never heard of it being done). So DRM in my eyes is basically a necessary evil (although it’s not really evil, just annoying when it doesn’t work as it was meant to).
A lot of Cydia users say more developers should add a free trial feature to their apps/tweaks. This is most likely a good idea, but they shouldn’t forget that purchases can be refunded, either through the developer, or through the payment provider. I would like to add such a feature to my app/s, but I don’t know how much work it will be to add this, and I don’t know if it really will cut down on piracy.
I think the best way to find out if an app is worth purchasing is to check app review sites like iDownloadBlog, communities like Reddit, or to ask friends and family. If this doesn’t help and you buy an app that you think isn’t optimal, remember that the prices for apps are much less than a lot of stuff you can get in stores like Walmart or Costco or in restaurants. Contact the developer and write a review yourself. In the end, try to think of it as a donation to the jailbreak community; a way of ensuring that apps and tweaks (and hopefully jailbreaks themselves) will continue in the future!
Zeng Li (@_iceNuts):
Current state of piracy is a deadlock of crackers’ cracking and developers’ hacking. It’s not merely an attack on DRM system but also a lure for innocent users which may result in hard situations, because crackers always hijack code into the sealed software to grant commercial package free, in this sense, it’s much easier to leave a back door internally. Thus, piracy for a commercial package affects privacy.
Steve Garwood (@FlatIcons):
Piracy has its place in society. Sometimes it’s used in protest, sometimes for convenience, and sometimes just out of greed. The issue in my mind is that piracy on Cydia may help individuals personally, but it has a wholly negative impact on the jailbreak community. The jailbreak community is built upon independent development and to a certain extent, cutting out corporations and middle men. By pirating themes, tweaks, and applications on Cydia, individuals are making it that much more difficult for developers to continue to create the things that drive the industry in the first place. In effect, piracy on Cydia has the potential to destroy the community that drives it, making it a self-deprecating action.
Piracy prevention works to a certain extent on things like applications and tweaks (but not always), unfortunately it is impossible to stop when it comes to themes. Because themes are an unprotected bundle of easily readable and executable files, there is no effort required to pirate these bundles. And we all know that if something is easy to do, it will be done.
So while I truly believe that piracy on Cydia is a huge issue and discourages a lot of potentially great independent developers from supporting the packages that they release, I know that until fundamental changes are implemented, piracy will continue. What that change is, is anyone’s guess. My hope is that if enough people become cognizant of the damage they do by stealing packages (that might only cost $1 in the first place, less than a cup of coffee!) there will be a movement towards paying for what you use.
Michael Poole (@MichaelSP1991):
There is definitely the downsides to it, a lot of people fail to see how much time and effort is spent to create all these tweaks, not just spent during the programming of the tweak itself, but all the time spent learning the code and everything. A lot of people may use it to test tweaks before purchasing, however majority of people just abuse it and solely install pirated applications. Most developers are more than willing to work with customers, theres no need to pirate anything.
Henri Gil (@hgxl):
I think “cydia” is an underground app store and to get “cydia”, we need to hack our phones that’s why, it’s normal that on cydia, there are applications hacked. Best developpers will find how protect their apps until the day comes when they will be hacked.
Mitch Treece (@SBCoders):
People like free stuff. That’s just the way the world works. What people don’t understand is how much time and effort goes into providing these products and services. If they did – a lot more people would pay when payment is due. In the end, all piracy does (especially in the iOS jailbreak community) is undermine the developers and creators. It inhibits community growth, and does nothing to move the scene forward.
In short: If you steal other people’s work; you’re an asshole. Show support for things you like and enjoy.
Ulysse Nguyen (@ulysseleviet):
For me, piracy is necessary… “where light exist, there will always be darkness”
We cannot fight efficiently against it… now, there is different kinds of pirates : those who use pirate repos is order to test tweaks or themes before purchasing are not bad guys. The devs should be able to find a way to give users possibility to test the themes/tweaks.
Now I don’t appreciate those who say “I will NEVER buy anything for my iPhone”… devs spend much time on their projects and best way for them to know if people appreciate that is to ask money.
But well… there will always be pirates and me I don’t fight against them. I think we can all tolerate each others. Saying this, some pirates who appreciate my work and my personality did finally pay. Personal pride
Sorry, was a bit long… it’s a point I like to debate on
We all love to Jailbreak, and to add to our amazing device, our personal taste.
Creativity, good ideas, with a lot of research and hard work of developers and designers, produce a product that improves and adds a lot to the user experience on the device, piracy can reduce the motivation to continue and create quality products.
Wish success and prosperity to the Jailbreak community.
Jesus Badia (@WinfisDesign):
I believe it’s done nothing good for the community. Many people believe it’s a good way to get what they want for free, but the don’t realize they are harming the developer/designer and, consequently, they are harming themselves. I admit I’ve pirated some apps in the past, when I first knew about the jailbreak for the iPhone, but I soon realised it’s a bad idea. Good in the short term, but really, really bad in the long term. As they say, “don’t bite the hand that’s feeding you”.
I would be a hypocrite if I said that I was against it. There is a lot of software out there that is just too expensive for a home user but still essential. It’s just that now I’m on the other side of the fence and some of my tweaks are being pirated like crazy. I don’t like it, but I do it myself sometimes as well.
Hana Sakamoto (@FoolishSleuth):
I don’t think piracy affects developers. It only looks bad because it is available to people to download, free of cost. A lot of those people who download from pirating repos were never really sales. It’s only downloaded because it can be downloaded. Kinda like having cookies that anyone can take at a bakery. Sometimes it does turn into a sale though. I’ve heard of a lot of people claiming “I only pirate it to try it and then I buy it.” Just like in the times of Installous. I’m not saying that it’s justified, but it does happen.
I’ve had my one tweak pirated and I know it’s out there. Developers can’t really do anything to prevent such repos from putting it up free of charge. The only thing that is wrong about that is that a lot of times they ask for donations. It just doesn’t seem right that people would donate to continue piracy support. It’s an endless cycle.
“Piracy hurt developers, it shouldn’t exist
Majority of developers incomes rely on their product
I don’t think it’s too much to call those people, who using piracy, “thieves”
It’s the same as walk into a shop, and take an item without paying
But for piracy, it’s not only about Law/Legal, it’s also about Moral, conscience
No money/no credit card is not a reason to steal, it’s just an excuse
Don’t use it if you can’t afford it, I support any method of anti-piracy”
How do you expect I say I don’t care about it. I hate it when I see someone pirates tweaks and even not feels sorry about it.
But I have no idea how to change the situation. I also don’t know how to persuade a schoolmate to buy a tweak he uses daily. They have got used to believing that things that can not be held in their hands cost nothing.
In China, some jailbreak websites are also to blame. Their how-to posts directly tell new iOS users to add their piracy repos and install AppSync, tweaks and themes, without saying “it is paid in fact and please buy it if you like it”.
Well, piracy is pretty much everywhere to be found. Especially when it comes to software, the warez scene is very huge. Wether it is an App Store app, a Cydia tweak / app or anything else, you will most likely find a crack or whatever for it, if you search long enough. So to provide you a developer’s opinion about piracy, I’d like to say that the only way to get (almost) rid of pirates is to implement complex protections, which on one side costs time from which the rest of his work (means the tweak itself as an example) suffers, and which on the other side discourages the developer. I think, most developers just wonder why those guys stealing their work – and trust me, coding a tweak is much work – cannot even spare a few cents to dollars for what others worked on days to weeks. I mean, would all of those guys steal stuff at their local grocery? No. But it’s exactly the same.
Of course, there might be people without any possibility to pay for the dev’s work – I sometimes get requests on a free copy because of the lack of a PayPal account, but I guess every dev handles such requests differently. Overall, you should keep in mind that most developers use the money they earn to improve their work (e.g. buy a better computer or newer devices for testing) – so there will always be a progress, if you support them.
What I think about piracy is not very original. I mean I’m obviously against the piracy, and much more since I create paid themes. Each time my themes are pirated only a few hours after the official release!
But, as a lot of themers and developers, my first motivation to create things is not about dollars, so it’s not a big big problem for me.
The problem is more ethic : themers and developers spend a lot of time to do all their stuff, a lot of hours, a lot of days, a lot of weeks! And it’s not our main job (for most of us), so we have to find the time to continue to do our passion.
I will conclude by one question : what could we do against the piracy? Seriously, a lot of solutions were tested, but none worked as expected (or almost none)… I’m sad about that, but this is the reality.
So for my part, I try to forget the piracy, hoping for a good solution in the future, and the life goes on!
Massimo Piazza (@massimopiazza_):
Personally I don’t think that piracy on Cydia is a big problem. If one the one hand could be an economic damage for us, on the other hand, we must consider that cracked tweaks are only available on illegal repositories and moreover many people which could be undecided if purchase or not a tweak, have the chance to try them before.
Martin Pham (No Twitter account):
It is very easy to use cydia contents (tweaks, apps, themes,..) since it is not encrypted on the Cydia store. Everything you need is buy this package from Cydia, then repack contents into deb file, and you can re-distribute this deb on your repo, or some large repo which accept piracy packges. Or just simply wait for others buy and re-distribute for you.
There are APIs from saurik for checking Cydia store purchase, but as I saw, there are not lot of devs who are using it. But I think the main point, as I said, the packages are not encrypted (like Apple did to protect ipa files from AppStore), so dev’s packages will be protected (at least from re-distribution).
But you know, piracy is like Tom&Jerry game, but if tweaks/themes are good & with reasonable price, or it would be better: free package, but free trial for 10 days, or purchase advanced features, etc.. I really hope saurik would implement feature like In-App purchase in near future, or provide more ways to protect our packages. When devs feel safe, they can think more and more ideas and implement them & sell them on Cydia.
Ariel Aouizerate (@Aaouiz):
It is a bad thing that has turned to ‘normal’ in the past years.
Marc Bouchenoire (@BouchenoireMarc):
I think piracy shouldn’t exist because it stops the progress.
When you want something in real life, you pay for it because someone worked for the thing you want, it should be the same on internet.
Arik Shainer (@sH0iner1):
The piracy destroy every good land, and gave us the developers Lack of Ambition to develop more tweaks and apps.
Somebody have to stop it, and sooner is better!
John Coates (@Punksomething):
There is no doubt that piracy affects jailbreak developers. It has been mitigated to a large extent by the Cydia store that makes it so easy to purchase tweaks and apps. However no matter how convenient it is to purchase apps, many people will go out of their way to steal them. Users who pirate don’t only take away from revenue that encourages development, but also take a toll on developers by asking for support that many times is caused by the pirated version. Having said that I don’t think the problem is as bad as it could be, seeing as how the jailbreak community has a lot of respect and we’re a tight knit group. Piracy doesn’t upset me, but I’m always looking into ways to show pirates that my apps are worth purchasing. When people don’t pirate everybody wins.
TypoStudio K (@typ0s2d10):
I think piracy is a necessary evil.
Currently, the tweaks on Cydia has no trials almostly.
Developers are not fraud. They have to earn right way, for not just one time use.
Trial is not to easy to make and offer and pay.
I think, piracy saurces offer a trial.
As a developer, of course, I hate piracy.
However, I think piracy not really totally bad for developers.
For example, some tweak don’t have trial versions, so people cannot try before they buy.
Although people use pirated version of tweaks in this time, they may buy them in next time.
There’s an interesting phenomenon : the sell volume of a tweak increases a lot after the jailbreak tool released.
Of course, the release of jailbreak tool must let the sell volume increase.
However, as we know, users don’t need to buy tweaks again even if they changed their iOS device because they can just login their account and download all purchased tweaks free.
So, in my opinion, the increase of sell volume is caused by the users who use pirated version.
When they restore to a new iOS version and jailbreak again, they may purchase tweaks they pirated before.
Finally, I think developers shouldn’t afraid of piracy, they must be proud of their products, piracy is much better then no one use your product.
I think that it is not as bad as the “Big Companies” make it look, of course that people use the software/music/etc without paying and that may make angry to the developers/singers/actors/etc but there are two cases for this. They are Small and Big Companies.
Big Companies are mostly hurt by Piracy because they already have the money and the logistics to make advertisements and make that all their intended public know about them, and with it some of their intended public will just decide to use the pirated version because their software is usually more expensive.
But in the case of small companies (single developers or small discography/studios/etc) may get some benefits from it because it make easier to distribute the knowledge to the public. And if the application is worth, they will eventually start to raise the percentage of people that buy it and the remaining that does not, is what I call “Natural Piracy”, people who can’t buy your software because of many reasons, distribution problems, wont use the application enough times to pay the cost, no CC, among other reasons. This will exist forever and cant be eliminate.
In this place enter the people whose countries do not have any Movie by IP like Netflix, in my country, it recently opened and yet there are few titles to see and the DVD stores do not have the latest movies, so most of the people decide to download it and watch it in their home where it is cheaper and they can pause it, forward, rewind and see it again, unlike cinemas. (The same applies to video games and CDs that do not distribute around the world at the same time).
This is why I think that Piracy is not bad (but maybe also not good) for small developers, because the money spent in advertisement to get the application known would be much greater than the available and probably would get the same results. But definitely not good for Big Companies and this is why they all the time try to take the pirated stuff down.
Felipe Abella (@Felipe_Abella):
I think it’s a pity that jailbreak is also used for piracy, because it’s really against the goals of the jailbreak community, and encourage the developers to dedicate less to their projects.
Roy Chang (@Falcon212Themes):
Piracy does not only limit our creativity for us to develop tweak or theme in Cydia, but also hurting the community.
Out of topic but I think this problem could be easily solved by Saurik by implement limitation only for approved repo can be added.
Johnny Peter (@Mu1ex):
It hampers further development of that product.
Piracy is existent. It’s a real problem. Or it isn’t, perhaps. A lot of people (developers, wannabe lawyers, etc.) exaggerate and make ridiculous overstatements when it comes to piracy. I say ridiculous because most of these people have actually committed piracy themselves.
If you are about to start a pompous sentence like “hey you thief bastard, don’t you dare downloading this application for free”, then look into yourself and ask: “wait, have I really not downloaded a single MP3 ever? ” Surely you have. (If not, then respect. But that will be like 0.1 percent of all users, or less…).
I see the hands raising … I know, I know. Of course piracy is bad, it’s evil and it makes poor developers even poorer, and the industry collapses if you download this app and you don’t pay for it, etc. I’m not saying that everyone (or anybody, for that matter) should pirate apps, media files or any other kind of intellectual property. What I rather mean is that sometimes it’s forgivable. I’m saying it as a software developer coming from a not quite rich family background who has developed and contributed to paid applications. Yes, these were big projects. Yes, I’ve spent quite a lot of time with designing and coding. Yes, I don’t say I was happy that users pirated the apps. But I got over it, and I got over it easily. You ask me why?
First, you can’t really make anything that’s one-hundred percent asbolutely safe. That’s just impossible, and we all have to accept it as a fact. A talented cracker will eventually find a flaw in your protection system and sooner or later the DRM will be compromised. Think of PlayStation or iOS. The former was considered unbreakable for a long time. GeoHot cracked it. iOS is developed at Apple by a whole bunch of top engineers around the world. And a similarly-sized group of enthusiastic hackers has been able to break the security of every major public release so far. No exception. Then what does one expect from an indie or a moderately big company?
That said, if a developer wants to protect his product from being cracked, he should still make an effort implementing DRM/copy protection. If, as a developer, you rely on the big pink fluffy nothing, yet you complain about your app being cracked, then: Sorry, but your argument is invalid. One can get a pretty high amount of income and profit by making sure that the app stays uncracked as long as possible, and it can only be achieved by implementing some sort of strong and efficient protection .
Don’t be an evil developer. Let your goal be the satisfaction of your users and pride in your work, but not screwing as much money as possible out of customers. Of course, we all have to make a living but software development is doing well, it’s doing very well nowadays – it’s among those highly appreciated top notch fields which everyone is dreaming to be a part of. And if you’re good, you can make quite a nice amount of money, even if only 10% of your users buys a legitimate copy or pays for a license.
So be understanding, and be reasonable. For example, I can’t understand how come Adobe requires their users to pay $1000 or so for Photoshop. That’s just insane. No wonder, nine people out of ten in my acquaintance have a pirated copy of the software.
Second, I strongly believe in free software and in the power of opensource. Nobody will be able to tell me off through an article, so I feel I can freely be as radical as I want to and tell you that in my opinion, most, if not every, software should be opensource. In this spirit, I’ve opensourced almost every application and library I’ve developed so far. Precisely, there have been two exceptions (and those didn’t even depend entirely on my decision), all other programs are opensource. The reason behind this belief is long, so if you want a reasoning, go read a so-called “rant” by one known software engineer you respect and trust. Everybody, beginning with Linus Torvalds, through Apple, even mighty Bjarne Stroustrup has quite a few arguments in favor of free software.
The third reason I don’t hate cracking as strongly as other software developers is that in my opinion, crackers are cool guys . I hear you laughing and/or crying, sure. And why do I think they are cool? Because they are talented, smart (reverse engineering is hard for the average person and even for the average programmer) and they are working for the community. (I’m not, obviously, talking about those who crack software then sell it as their property for a reduced price. That’s disgusting.) This behavior is an important component of the (strereo-)typical hacker attitude – something to be respected. Seriously. They just happen to be “on the dark side” – but again, from another point of view – we, developers could be on the dark side as well if we consider that some programmers abuse their abilities and talent when they publish essential software (the kind of software that is filling the blank) for an enormous price – because they can do it, they are in a monopoly. That’s not nice, is it.
All in all, if I wanted to summarize my opinion in a few bullet points, they would read something like this:
- As a user, don’t pirate stuff, because it’s impolite and illegal. Most of those who are actively pirating applications don’t have a good reason for it. ( Aside : – But if you do, at least do have some reason for it… I know that kids can’t use the credit cards of their parents, and that stupid restrictions like Apple’s geofilter make it impossible for certain people to have access to a legitimate license at all, etc…)
- As a developer, don’t be a piracy freak, it’s just useless, and it can even poison your reputation within the developer community. Develop for the fun and for learning – if that’s not your default motivation, then programming is not for you anyway. Passion should be the most important point , not money. ( Aside : – But if you are a piracy freak , at least make an effort protecting your own code. You can’t eat your lunch and have your lunch – decide to be either lazy (to implement proper DRM) or a piracy freak, but don’t be both at the same time, it’s simply ridiculous.)
- As a cracker, be patient. Let that poor programmer guy enjoy at least a few weeks of « virginity » and gather enough money to spend on his familiy, alright? Peace