You wouldn’t steal a TV. You wouldn’t steal a DVD player. You wouldn’t steal an Xbox game. Why is it that you would steal intellectual property, or, rather, iPhone applications? Many people’s answer to this question is something close to this: “It’s too expensive, therefore; I want to ‘try’ it before actually buying it.” They also say that if they like the cracked version they’ll buy it. What if they don’t like the app enough to pay the developer’s set price, but they do like it enough to keep using it? They aren’t going to buy it. There are plenty of resources on the World Wide Web to let you know whether or not the app will sate your desire: YouTube, App Store app reviews, iPhone blogs, and more.
“Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.”
That quote plainly states what the FBI will do to you if they find you, and they aren’t going to take any excuses like, “I just wanted to try it first!” If you read the above quote thoroughly, you’ll notice “…including infringement without monetary gain…”. What that means is that if the use of pirated/cracked software is discovered you will be prosecuted even if you aren’t selling it; the fact that you are downloading the pirated apps makes you a criminal.
The fear of being arrested isn’t the only thing that should bother you, because you’re precious developers are at stake also. Abundant complaints are made due to the “outrageous and unreasonable” prices of potentially useful apps which is true, because you can easily find games on the App Store above $9.99, but that price is far below the cost of, let’s say, a Nintendo DS game. iPhone games are not your everyday cellphone games, and, due to the revolutionary accelerometer and touchscreen, you can hardly compare the two. As I said before, it is not only illegal; it is unfair to the developer to download cracked apps.
Imagine the following scenario: After years of zealous effort in an attempt to master your app developing skills, you pay the $99 to apply as an Apple iPhone developer. After downloading the iPhone SDK and spending endless nights concocting your own little version of Snake, you release it in the App Store with a price of $2.99. You don’t expect too many people to download your game due to the simplistic game-play at $2.99. Not a soul buys it, but instead downloads the cracked version. After looking to make a small income from this game, while it took you as much effort as it took a pro to make a better game, you failed to make money off of it.
The reason I used a simple developer as an example is that they are the ones who probably suffer the most. This does not mean, however, that big companies aren’t affected by this. If you use cracked apps, it is in fact to your disadvantage. I say this because most big developers sell their apps to make money, and once the flow of cash ceases to exist they have no reason to continue work on their app. That means there won’t be updates to your favorite apps if more people use cracked apps.
Downloading cracked apps not only makes you a criminal, it shows disrespect to all the masterful developers. Go ahead and stick with App Store; it’s the the right thing to do.