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Piracy Crime IOS Iphone Software Apple

Pirated iOS App Store Site Shuts Down 432

SternisheFan writes with this excerpt from CNET: "Installous, a major portal for pirated paid apps from Apple's App Store, won't be around anymore. Development team Hackulous today announced the closure of Installous on their official Web site. As of today, the pirated app store no longer works, and only shows these errors: 'Outdated version. Installous will now terminate' or 'API Error. API unavailable.' For many years, Installous offered complete access to thousands of paid iOS apps for free for anyone with a jailbroken iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Think of it as being able to walk into a fancy department store, steal anything you want, and never get caught."
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Pirated iOS App Store Site Shuts Down

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  • About time (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @10:16AM (#42441109)

    Honestly don't know how they were able to stay up for so long.

    Would have been nice to see Apple focusing on shutting down services like these to protect their appstore ecosystem rather than using their patents to go after samsung, etc

  • by Sam H ( 3979 ) <sam@zoy.org> on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @10:24AM (#42441161) Homepage

    Think of it as being able to walk into a fancy department store, steal anything you want, and never get caught.

    Oh wow, the piracy / physical theft analogy. Looks like the first Slashdot troll of the year!

  • Cost of Apps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timmyf2371 ( 586051 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @10:25AM (#42441173)
    I've never understood the desire to pirate apps iOS (or Android/WP) apps. If I'm paying over £500 for the device, then logic dictates that I have enough disposable income to pay the going rate for apps, particularly when most of the popular apps start at the ridiculously low price of 69p. Many of these are published by independent developers or small software firms, where every sale counts.

    And seriously, who is so cheap that they would refuse to pay 69p for whatever game is popular at the moment?
  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @10:49AM (#42441321)

    Someone had to do the work to get that particular combination of ones and zeroes to line up. Our laws give them copyright governing how they are distributed and they choose to ask for money in exchange.

  • by spottedkangaroo ( 451692 ) * on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:06AM (#42441409) Homepage
    Presumably because the arrangement of ones and zeros took hours of someone's life... they should really get paid for that. Aside from the lotto winners (angry birds, etc) the vast majority of developers make less than minimum wage off the apps. I have one that's sold close to a thousand copies and I'm still only at about $5.50/hour. So while stealing is clearly the wrong word (since you didn't deprive me of anything); copyright infringement applies and you should really feel pretty guilty -- particularly if you find my app useful.
  • by Zemran ( 3101 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:06AM (#42441413) Homepage Journal

    That may be true but it in no way makes physical theft (where an actual object is taken and the owner is deprived of that object) the same as copying (where no object is taken). The corporations want to make the analogy in order to make the plebs see copying as theft but it is a slight of hand. They are not the same thing and only the terminally stupid would fall for the trick.

  • Re:Cost of Apps (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flonker ( 526111 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:12AM (#42441457)

    Much of it comes from the frustration of purchasing an app only to find out within the first few seconds of using it that it was a waste of money. (I was thinking specifically about business and productivity apps, but it applies to games and entertainment as well.)

  • by timholman ( 71886 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:15AM (#42441477)

    The "argument" is not "pointless". Ones and zeros have almost no value. They are reproducible, infinitely, for free. But, you want to charge me a dollar just to use one particular combination of ones and zeros?

    It never ceases to amaze me how people with a background in computer programming and operations (as you clearly have) will discount their own labor, and the labor of others.

    The iOS / Android store model is everything that the Slashdot crowd claims to support in software development. Most of the money goes to the developers, and most of those developers are not rich. In return for putting the effort into writing and maintaining a software package that gives you many hours of enjoyment (or utility), a developer asks for less money that you'd pay to buy a candy bar or can of soda. It is the micropayment support system that everyone used to wish for back in the days of multi-hundred dollar monopoly software prices, and yet somehow, to some people, it is still too much to pay.

    I support the iOS / Android store model, and I say that as someone who has written an open source software utility with thousands of users. I distribute it freely, but that is my choice, not the choice of someone else. I have zero sympathy for those who think they have the right to make that choice for someone who is only asking you to pay one or two dollars for his time and effort.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:44AM (#42441721)

    If/when we fix copyright laws, then I might respect them more. You want copyrights for software? Five years. You want copyrights for music, books, and movies? Fifteen years. That's it, no more. Software is all but useless from an economic point of view after five years. Works of fiction never lose value, but still, fifteen years. Original research in a scientific field, I might go to 30 years. Genuine R&D, that takes dump truck loads of money? I might go thirty years on that as well.

    I agree with you on the length of copyrights. They are way too long. And I'm absolutely with you on taking civil disobedience action to make the point.

    So, what you need to do is only copy-without- permission software that is older than 5 years. And music, books and movies that are older than 15 years.

    If you copy new stuff, then that just makes it clear you're just a pirate, not a principled opposer of unfair copyright.

    In fact this argument about unfair copyright lengths has been used so often I keep expecting someone to launch a sight that lists, possibly with links to download, items that are beyond a certain age. To facilitate this principled civil disobedience. But I don't see any. Which makes me think that maybe this argument is really just a lot of hot air, designed to make the proposer feel better about his piracy.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:54AM (#42441793)

    They can *ask* to be paid, but there is no right to get paid or "Should".

    Indeed, it's called offering it for sale. But they certainly do have a right to get paid if you take a copy of the software.

    The distinction is that requiring that you get money for your effort is borderline extortion.

    Workers are applying extortion by expecting to get paid for their efforts? Have you ever had a job in your life?

    That's the trouble with open source fans. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

  • Why bother? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Andy Prough ( 2730467 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:11PM (#42441903)
    Pirated software is chock-full of malware. Are modern users too obtuse to observe this simple fact? Consider that much of what you are paying for with proprietary software is the QA process from the software maker, and the assurance that the software you install won't turn your computer into some 4chan script kiddie's zombie. Anyone who would pay the kind of ca$h required to obtain and use a new iPhone shouldn't be trying to stick pirated apps on there. Pay your five bucks - don't be a dumbass. At least you get some level of confidence (however small) that the app you install isn't going to infect your device.

    Or, a better alternative is to only use devices that allow you to install free, open source software, where the community of users and developers work together to carry out the QA process. Open source solutions exist for nearly every software function.
  • by Grashnak ( 1003791 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:13PM (#42441919)

    That's possibly the most moronic statement ever made about this topic.

    The next time your salary is due to be deposited or a client is due to pay your bill, I hope they suggest that they refuse to be extorted and tell you to fuck off.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @01:01PM (#42442219)

    we need 3rd party app stores not ones with Pirated apps but ones with say Content that is banded on other app stores, one that offer lower costs to dev's, one that let you have open-source software on them, ones with out API locks.

    You can get firefox on Android but not on windows phone or ios.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @01:45PM (#42442515) Journal
    If you consider theft to be the completely unauthorized taking of a resource, whether this resource is physical or not, then copyright infringement could still reasonably be considered theft. The resource, in the case of copyright, is the measure of control that the copyright holder is supposed to possess over who is allowed to make copies, which is the only real value of copyright in the first place. To suggest that the content maker has just as much control before you make an unauthorized copy as after is blatantly false... of course it is reduced - however insignificantly a single copy might affect it... while many thousands or millions of copies which were not generally possible for a private individual to economically accomplish before technology like the internet, simply scales that issue.

    If you want to argue that this type of control is not reasonable for a content maker to desire, then that's an entirely different kettle of fish to suggesting that copyright infringement isn't theft, and even at best is moving the goalposts. Please consider the alternative to copyright before subscribing to that belief however... and the alternative is not public domain.

  • Alright. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Andy Prough ( 2730467 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @02:09PM (#42442715)
    I'll amend my statement. "Average, non-technical computer users should assume that pirated software is chock-full of malware".
  • Re:Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @04:33PM (#42444353)

    "Pirated software is chock-full of malware."

    The software on Installous wasn't "pirated". It was copied. There is a real, significant, and LEGAL difference.

    Frankly I am getting goddamned tired of seeing people do the RIAA's job for them by labeling copied software as "pirated" when it's not.

    If you don't know the difference, LOOK IT UP.

  • by BradleyUffner ( 103496 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:13PM (#42445701) Homepage

    Copying is not theft. Copying is not stealing. It is NOT the same thing.

    Back in 1985 a man named Dowling was prosecuted for the Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property for selling infringing copies of Elvis records. U.S. Supreme Court in DOWLING v. UNITED STATES, 473 U.S. 207 (1985) http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&court=US&case=/us/473/207.html [findlaw.com] struck this down because copyright infringement is not theft. You have to deprive your victim of the item in order to steal it from them. Making copies doesn't deprive anyone of what is being copied, therefore its not theft.

    It is, however, just as illegal.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain