Piracy is a huge problem in the jailbreak community and here is the evidence to prove it

I’m not trying to pile on after my post about i0n1c, but my friend and iOS developer Filippo Bigarella just posted some stunning evidence as to how bad piracy is within the community.

Bigarella is the mind behind such tweaks as Springtomize 2 and CleverPin, and he’s clearly one of the most talented and dedicated developers in the community. Hence, it’s sad to learn that his hard work is taken for granted by so many people. His latest tweak, Springtomize 2, has an audacious 92% piracy rate!

And you wonder why people like i0n1c point to the piracy problem within the community?

Everyone knows that piracy is an issue, but I’m not sure anyone but the developers knew the extent of the issue. Out of almost 200,000 installs there is a 92% piracy rate. That’s staggering. It’s shocking, and it’s pretty ridiculous.

Granted there aren’t any numbers yet that show how many pirated users converted to legit versions of the tweak, but even if it’s a decent percentage, it’s still just a drop in the bucket when compared to the total piracy rate.

The sad thing is is that this isn’t an isolated case. The developers of other apps and tweaks such as FullScreen for Safari and LockInfo vouch for Bigarella’s statistics.

The ironic thing about all of this is that people are pirating the work of ones who are a big part of the same community. If they have such little regard for folks on the “same side” so to speak, then how much worse are jailbreakers overall when it comes to App Store piracy? I shudder to think of the numbers.

For the record I know loads of people who don’t pirate, and who legitimately pay for their apps and tweaks. I genuinely enjoy being able to customize my device and I gladly pay for every tweak or app that I don’t happen to receive a review copy of. But folks, as a whole, it’s really hard to argue against these numbers. It’s a shame, and for that reason jailbreaking will always have a black eye.

I know this post isn’t going to change anyone’s moral stance on the issue, but I thought that everyone should be aware of these crazy numbers. I’m not judging anyone in particular, as what you decide to do with your device is your decision. That being said, you can’t hate on folks like i0n1c who call out the community for being the way it is.

What do you think?

Update: Well respected jailbreak developer Ryan Petrich chimed in on the subject this morning with the following statement via Twitter:

That’s something I had considered, but didn’t think would make enough of a difference to make up for the huge margin differentials we’ve seen. Apparently though, this is pretty much the norm, and a lot of developers are used to this activity.

Petrich makes a good point. If the majority of purchasers are those that could not have technically purchased in the first place (overseas, underage, etc), then how much harm was actually done from a fiscal standpoint? It’s really hard to come up with decisive figures, and makes the whole issue a bit more perplexing in my opinion.

The generally consensus that I’ve seen thus far is that piracy comes with the territory. You deal with it, and make the best of the situation, and focus on the next big project.