It seems like Apple has taken its fight with app piracy to a new level. Apptrackr, the web portal known for harboring hundreds of thousands of pirated apps, has published a blog post today about its recent troubles with the folks in Cupertino.

Apple has been serving Apptrackr and its many file hosts a number of takedown notices over the past several months. While the legal action hasn’t disrupted Apptrackr’s service, it has provoked the site to make a number of costly changes.

From Apptrackr’s post:

“Over the last several months, Apple has been scraping apptrackr for links and sending huge takedown notices for a ton of content. We’ve been working to keep apptrackr up-to-date, but the only (effective) way to prevent automated takedowns was to add a CAPTCHA to outbound links. In addition, we finished moving our servers to several different countries earlier this week. This has raised our costs far beyond what we can afford with declining donations, meaning that we will have to place an advertisement on that CAPTCHA page.”

The takedown notices aren’t doing much more than inconveniencing the pirates for the time being, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. We’ve been wondering for years what Apple was doing to combat the ever-growing app piracy problem on iOS.

Of course you all know how we feel about app piracy. It does nothing more than rob developers of their hard-earned money.

What’s your take on Apple’s legal action?

[RazorianFly]

  • And about time too….These are only good for try before you buy..

    • Anonymous

      Riiiight.

    • Anonymous

      But how long do you try, and when do you buy? I think it’s to easy for people, so they will try forever and never buy.

    • this model is implemented in the windows phone marketplace that you can try apps for a short period of time. If you like it, then you buy it. Thats why the piracy on windows phone is very low.

  • I don’t care about the legal action.. piracy is piracy.. but god damn apple….. implement some sort of refund policy. especially on the pricier app….

    • Anonymous

      Funny thing is that the South Korea (or Taiwan, can’t remember which one) government had to force Apple to institute a return policy on apps and they did. If you don’t like an app you can request a refund within 3 days I believe. Imagine the U.S. government doing that. NEVER. Cuz everybody is always crying “keep the government out of my life.”

      • KewlDewd

        I would love a return policy in the app store, but it’s not the government’s job to tell Apple or any other company what their return policy should be.

      • there already is ive done it before

      • Anonymous

        Andddddddd you just proved my point.

      • dude apple already had an apple refund thing if u dont like the app contacts customer care withing 7 days to get a full refund

      • Ali, can you provide the link for the AppStore refund policy? I can’t seem to find it. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this kind of “piracy” apps I haven’t spent a cent on crappy apps. I’ve downloaded a ton of apps that are really crap and you don’t get any support or the impossible refund. So I decided that I will never pay for an app before giving a try. I’m against to piracy but I’m also against of people trying to rip you off with pricy crap.

    • David Graff

      Let’s get real here. You spent how much on your iDevice, but you can’t afford a few dollars for apps? If you do not have the money for the app, then you do not deserve the app. I have heard of this defense countless times, but it’s crap. No matter what app you are “trying out” before you buy, you are literally taking money away from someone who has worked very hard to create something. I am studying so I can make apps, are you going to steal mine too?

      • I recently spent on a $2.99 app and find that it doesn’t work the way i want it, there is another app which is suit better for me, but previously there is no lite/free version for me to test before i can make a proper decision. I filed report later hoping to get refund for this app that I am not gonna use….but until today there is no feedback at all relate to my request….
        I consider my $2.99 is wasted…fair enough…but what if it is an app costs $19.99 or $24.99?
        the defense is not crap, it makes sense until developer be more considerate of putting lite app to allow user trial, or Apple give us better refund policy for unwanted/wrong-purchased app. I don’t want to keep spending money then find out the app not working fine and “burn” the cash for nothing….

      • Ben

        There are some bad and good developers; The good and honest developers should not be robbed, you do not make them pay for your bad decision or for your action. Do your best before you decide but do not let the innocent pay for the bad developers and your action.

      • Anonymous

        Dude if people who make an app had worked so hard in the first place I wouldn’t complain at all but let’s say you buy a set of spakers with your very hard worked and earned money on best buy. You come home and you realized that the left channel is broken, sometimes it produces sound and sometimes it won’t. So what if best buy tells you that you will not be able to get your money back and you have to deal with the problem?. Wil
        you be pissed or not?. It doesn’t matter if you paid 20 bucks or 100. You get a crappy product and you deserve a refund for it if you are not satisfied.
        I encourage you to built at least a lite version to give us “the custumer” the chance to test what are you offering beforehand. If you won’t, let me tell you, I’m going to be the first one who will download the “pirate” version. If I fell you did a good job with it so the app is worth it and doesn’t crash I will happily pay you but if is a crappy product I will delete it right away because I don’t want crap on my device, period!. I’ve paid all the apps I have installed on my device, and as I wrote I don’t leave crap installed.
        BTW, don’t tell people what they deserve even you fell they are cheap. Good luck with your studing and I hope I hear from you with an app I can happily pay for.

      • Gdghgfgjy Ggjffv

        Actually, I paid $200 to buy an iPhone because it was good. But I will never even waste a penny for such crap. (Not that I would actually use it if I was not going to pay for it, just check it out and see whether or not it was crappy or not.

      • Anonymous

        have had a dispute with Click and Buy over €2,14, their customer support is not even availavle in my own language, nor can I call them, because their nearest office is in either Germay or the UK.
        They won’t reply my mails, so I have no other option than to think: aplple, if you go in bussiness with such an incompetent firm, go f**ck yourself, I will use Installous instead.
        Not everybody with an iPhone is rich enough to have a credit card.
        I got my new iiPhone fr a hundred Euro’s with a two year contract, sso it is absoluterubbuish to say, as some here, you were wealthy enough to buy the phone, now you can spend a few bucks on apps.
        Why not use Pay Pall, like Cydia does? Goes well everytime!

      • Anonymous

        What if we got the iDevice as a gift? What if we won it? I don’t care if you worked hard on your app, if your app doesn’t work the way I want it to, I would get annoyed… Makes sense, right? Take for a more recent example Infinity Blade 2. $6.99. I bought that app completely trusting it, but it crashes my 3GS (not so much any more). That, in my book, was a complete waste. If I had tested it first, then it would have been ok. If people use Installous to test an app, then buy it, it helps the developer because you don’t get upset people rating it 1 star and leaving a complaint on the App Store, because they thought the app would do something different. How many people have rated Infinity Blade 2 lower because it was crashing? Do you think those people bothered to change the rating? Hmm?

      • david, so you’d buy a car without test driving it? what about if you bought a $3000 TV and it broke within the first week.. would you expect replacement or refund?

      • btw, dave $1 here, $1 there over years adds up to more than just a few dollars. really, it’s simple math. some people don’t like to get screwed.

    • Yeah, right. you’re going to pay for the app knowing you already have it for free.

      • Nick Brown

        I would, If I tried an app through installous and like it I buy it on the app store for the sole reason that I can then get the updates for the app easily and right away. I could care less about pay $1 or $5 for a good app. Keyword “good”

  • Pirating a $0.99 app is dumb

    • i agree with that, if you get an app like FreeAppKing, most of them are free at somepoint anyway. However, i agree with most of these other arguments more. these $1.99 apps that promise something only to do nothing of the sort are everywhere, and you cant tell me the devs of those are “deserving” as well. I hate this topic b/c its one that neither side can ever win.. Its like saying we should ban guns because they kill people. True, but not without the help of someone. same for pirating apps. There are always going to people downloading the .99 cent apps, but there are others who a)dont have access to the app store b)use it to downgrade apps and c) (yes, its controversial) “try first”. If you really want to make money in the app world, then make something people want. look how much the devs of angrybirds have made..

  • Blake Cook

    The app store needs an implemented try before you buy, or at least a refined refund policy. Only a handful of the apps in the app store are actually worth the money whereas the majority of apps submitted are simply crap and are obvious scams

  • Anonymous

    There are many apps out there that crashes often and some doesn’t even work or let you proceed; let alone having to pay for it – now, who would want to buy something that is broken and can’t be refund?

  • You can get a refund you retards. CNET posted a video about a year ago on how to do it. Your fucking welcome.

    • Tyler Miranda

      And its a pain in the ass. You shouldn’t need a video tutorial to figure out how to get a refund. What Apple really needs to do is to adopt Android’s refund policy. If you delete the app from your phone within 10 minutes of purchasing – you are not charged. Its that simple. You’re fucking welcome – prick.

      • Anonymous

        This comment is EPIC! Love it.

  • Dan

    If the site goes down, people will always be able to go to torrent sites. Personally, I use that site to try out apps on my iphone before buying the apps for my iPad 2. I honestly don’t care if people think it’s dumb wanting to try a 3$ app before buying it. I’ve paid for so much crap in the past that I prefer not to waste my money.

    • Simon Reidy

      I’m going to have to guiltily agree with you. I say “guiltily”, beuase I honestly get so torn on App Piracy. I don’t like it in principle because I’ve never been a thief, and I love all the hard and creative work app developers do. Particularly indie developers. I’ve never stolen a jailbroken app and never will. Why would I when they improve your iDevice so much, and typically cost so little money?

      I never try things out of my budget to begin with too, because I honestly am one of those strange people that buys an app after trying it for more than a few mins if I Iike it (I’m mainly talking iPad apps here which are on average about $7 in AUS; if its $1 I usually just buy it straight up). However I’m guessing I’m in the minority with the try/buy attitude judging by the amount of people that use Apptrackr.

      There are other reasons why occasionally pirating an app can be beneficial. There are some apps that only make it to the App Store for a short time before being pulled. Or a developer might have had to update their app to comply with Apple’s wishes by removing features. There’s a couple of emulators that fit this description. Once they are pulled or updated in the App Store to remove something like rom loading, the only way to get hold of the prior version is to install an older backed up ipa, but if you dont have it, then AppTrackr is the only place you can get discontinued/older versions of apps.

      Same situation for Apps that are sometimes only released in one geographical location (I’ve got hold of a couple of US-only apps this way). Some places don’t even have an app store. What are they supposed to do to get software?

      I don’t pretend to be a niave angel about this though. I still know what I’m doing is technically wrong, but being able to sample any app you want before committing to purchase is kind of awesome. Its just a shame that its obviously a system that is heavily abused and in the end can really hurt developers.

      Yep. I’m still torn about it 🙁

  • Apple can sue Samsung and Google, but they can’t sue Apptrakr? Implement a refund/try before you buy then sue their ass off Apple!!

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t used Installous for months, but recently installed it to try out apples Pages app. I tried it, loved the app, and a couple hours later purchased it from Apple. I think they really do need like a 1 day trial for App Store apps because this is becoming a hassle.

  • I bought that stupid weather app that was posted on here earlier.
    I regret it, wish I could have tried it out first.

    • Dan

      yeah that’s my point exactly

  • Mersim Hasanbašić

    WOW so HARDCORE i have to type a captha xD omG i do this always becuase im dowloading only illegal stuff from the internet haha
    it’s really not that hard to write two words 😀

  • Thanks idb for your moral advice. I couldn’t decide for myself or anything, so thank you SO MUCH. Please, keep the moral advice coming. That’s why people read your blog afterall, right?

  • I’ve used Install0us before, yes I admit it, I really couldn’t care less about developers and their so hard work but even since getting my 4S I’ve had to pay for apps, needless to say I refuse to pay for a lot I did use in the past i.e. guitar tool kit (fleeping £7 for an app) and yes I know how it goes, ‘if you have money to buy an iPhone 4S blah blah…’ yeah I do but I won’t pay for apps more than 69p that is.

  • That’s why I stopped using Installous and started to buy every apps I really need and want.
    And I also search for freed paid apps most of the times on the App Store.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like Heaven’s angels are meeting here. So, cut the cr*p, people. EVERYONE hates piracy now? Just wondering how many would lie just to look good.

  • Well… I bought some apps and anothers I just downloaded from installous.. everyone has do it.

  • Ignacio Irigoyen

    This all may came to and end if SOPA gets the necessary votes (and then it will be the end of the web as we know it)

  • Anonymous

    I only get a pirated app when I’m out of iTunes cards then buy it later good job apple

  • Hi guys…
    I really don’t have anything to say, frankly because am not in the position to make any opinion about it, if apptrcker is close and pirated apps are no more available i will simple sell my beloved iPad 2 and iPhone 4 … I live in Iraq , and here there is nothing called appstore or something official to get an iPhone or an apple device, even getting a credit card is so expensive so only business men could afford it, so there is really no way for me to play infinity blade except to get it from installous…. I understand that i might be the exception here among all of you but thats just the case for me, currently a friend of mine in kwait (a country near iraq) i send him 50 $ and he got me a visa card on a kwaiti bank ….. So now i can download an app called movingphotos3d (not cracked yet on installous) for 0.99 $ and am wondering what if my 50$ r over? Is it really the worth to send a friend over borders 50$ so i can try some bullshit app that i most likely wont like ???!!!!
    Make a lite version of every app, or make an appstore in everycountry i dont mind either …. I will purchase the app and curse the day installous was created …. In other words (dont tell me to breathe and lock me up in a toilet) lol

  • Hi guys…
    I really don’t have anything to say, frankly because am not in the position to make any opinion about it, if apptrcker is close and pirated apps are no more available i will simple sell my beloved iPad 2 and iPhone 4 … I live in Iraq , and here there is nothing called appstore or something official to get an iPhone or an apple device, even getting a credit card is so expensive so only business men could afford it, so there is really no way for me to play infinity blade except to get it from installous…. I understand that i might be the exception here among all of you but thats just the case for me, currently a friend of mine in kwait (a country near iraq) i send him 50 $ and he got me a visa card on a kwaiti bank ….. So now i can download an app called movingphotos3d (not cracked yet on installous) for 0.99 $ and am wondering what if my 50$ r over? Is it really the worth to send a friend over borders 50$ so i can try some bullshit app that i most likely wont like ???!!!!
    Make a lite version of every app, or make an appstore in everycountry i dont mind either …. I will purchase the app and curse the day installous was created …. In other words (dont tell me to breathe and lock me up in a toilet) lol

  • It borders on the edge of legality that’s up to the courts. Since they do not serve cracked applications from their servers (they merely link to where the cracked apps can be found) there arguably not directly facilitating copyright infringement.

    If a developer wants something to be removed and they feel it violates their intellectual property rights, send a cease and desist takedown notice to the websites actually hosting the material, not Apptrackr.

    • This is quite true, which is why this kind of thing is hard to take down because the file hosting sites have the actual fine while other sites just redirect to the page.

  • Anonymous

    Wow looks like alot of devlopers are make comments. Piracy Will never go away so Stop bitchin and enjoy fee stuff!!!

  • A lot of these anti-piracy posters here a bunch of hypocrites… While they argue that downloading an app off Installous is bad, yet their phones have sinfuliphone and xsellize repos.

    Even, Chpwn admitted he once had a pirated version of FolderEnhancer or something…

  • wow. i thought apptrackr is apple’s official app page. haha

  • Wont make a difference in the end. Piracy is unstoppable

  • Andre Grey

    everybody does piracy….computee programs,etc

  • Andre Grey

    computer*

  • Here is a idea if your those type of people that “tries” them out first read the comment on the app and look at the ratings that’s what I do I don’t pirate I buy my apps lol and when my parents don’t buy them I save up a week worth of lunch money and buy me a iTunes card and there I buy a app I want =]

    • Dan

      The apps I buy are sometimes 10$ (I have an ipad). So I’d rather try them out first. Wouldn’t it annoy you to buy something for 10$, play with it for 2 minutes then realize it’s not what you wanted and you will never use it again?

      • It’s happened that’s why I read the comments or try the out from ppl who have brought the app

    • Kok Hean

      Can’t do that in Asia 🙁

  • The only reason that even have installous is because some apps you can only get in certain countries and some apps ( like VLC media player) are no longer available on the appstore

  • Anonymous

    But how long do you try, and when do you buy? I think it’s to easy for people, so they will try forever and never buy.

  • creed waters

    zephyr cost 2.99 and doesnt even work correctly. seems to me like the dev is stealing my hard earned money. and 90% of the appstore apps/tweaks i paided for either have been abandoned or airnt iOS5 compatible yet even now.

    i will never, ever pay for apps/tweaks again!

    • Anonymous

      I have had a dispute with Click and Buy over €2,14, their customer support is not even availavle in my own language, nor can I call them, because their nearest office is in either Germay or the UK.
      They won’t reply my mails, so I have no other option than to think: aplple, if you go in bussiness with such an incompetent firm, go f**ck yourself, I will use Installous instead.
      Not everybody with an iPhone is rich enough to have a credit card.
      I got my new iiPhone fr a hundred Euro’s with a two year contract, sso it is absoluterubbuish to say, as some here, you were wealthy enough to buy the phone, now you can spend a few bucks on apps.
      Why not use Pay Pall, like Cydia does? Goes well everytime!

  • I’ve used apptrackr for 2 years and finally i think it’s the time to buy an itunes card… I’m against the piracy now!

  • I use pirate sites to access older versions of apps that I have PAID FOR. For example: SlingPlayer’s newer versions have problems. The original version works great! I paid $29.99 for a legitimate download, then downloaded a pirated version for better performance. Does that make me a thief for using Installous? I don’t think so.

  • i think the majority of the people who use apptrackr are kids cause they get iPods for christmas and their parents are to cheap to buy apps for them. almost all my friends (which are kids i am a kid btw) jailbreak cause their jew parents are to cheap to spend 99 cents on apps. if i had the money i would buy apps but i have none so i use apptrackr. later when i get iTunes cards i buy the apps later.

  • installous ftw

  • Jon Garrett

    I use installous because 95% of the apps I would have purchased turned out to be trash. I tried them, didn’t like them now they’re gone–all 2,000 of them.

    AND

    I had an occasion where I purchased a couple of apps but iTunes says I didn’t so why should I pay twice.

    try before you buy = Android Market

    buyers remorse and want a refund, no problem–the Android Market does that too.

  • Ervin James Navales

    I hate apple for being greedy that will make them rich in such a way that almost half of their costly apps are useless. I would like to see that microsoft will buy the entire apple company that will make their lives and morals change for christ sakes. And besides its only a apps, paying too much apps that you could not touch, tast. USE YOUR MONEY ON YOUR DAILY LIVES LIKE FOOD AND BILLS!!! I SUPPORT PIRACY, IT’s FREE!!!!

  • Ervin James Navales

    Oh before i forgot ALMOST ALL app developers used jailbreak Iphone, Ipod touch, Ipad to test whether there programs really work or not…
    e.g. Musicshake (from South Korea), Ubisoft, EA Games, Activision, and more…..

  • Lur

    Ya people are the biggest Hippocrates… Ya on a website for jail breaking ya device and acting like you don’t have a few jacked apps on ya device give me a fucking break you people get bent.