In what seems like a small victory against app piracy, the Hackulous team announced today on its site that it is shutting down, bringing down its most popular apps in the process: Installous and AppSync.
Although it’s still unclear what the reasons behind the shut down are, Hackulous claims on its website that it’s mostly due to stagnant forums and the difficulty to moderate them. Although I never hang out in the forums, I find it hard to believe that there was little activity in there, especially given the notoriety of Hackulous in the piracy world…
Barely 12 hours goes by without a handful of new SiriProxy plugins surfacing that blow our minds, and we’ve come across a few more that we thought might blow your minds, too.
Put together and shown off on YouTube by Ian McDowell, these new plugins bring the power of Siri to Google Voice on the iPhone, but more impressively, allow the launching of, and interaction with apps on a Mac. Sending messages using Google’s telephony app is one thing, but launching apps on your computer is a completely different one.
The control of a Mac towards the end of the five-minute video certainly has a Star Trek feel to it, even down to the “Computer” prefix added to Ian’s commands…
Stefan Esser, better known as “i0n1c,” has been receiving a lot of heat from the jailbreak community as of late. Stefan is a prominent member of the jailbreak developer scene, and he was responsible for the untethered exploit that has been used for the iOS 4.3 jailbreak.
i0n1c recently introduced the idea of banning pirated apps in the iOS 5 jailbreak. He stated that if he were to release the jailbreak for iOS 5, he would consider placing a restriction on installing apps from the infamous ‘Installous’ repo. Millions of jailbreakers use Installous to download pirated apps.
Hackulous, the group behind Installous, obviously feels very differently about i0n1c’s notion. The frontman for Hackulous, known as Dissident, has also shared his thoughts on the issue of banning cracked apps through a jailbreak.
The Administrator for the pirate community Hackulous had some sort of open letter on TorrentFreak a few days ago where he explains why he thinks app piracy is not as bad as you may think. In this long piece, he goes over 4 mains points to convey his idea.
1. Most of the pirates who use our services do so because they simply cannot afford to purchase the applications. One of the prominent members of the Dev Team, planetbeing, described the pirates who use our software as “predominantly in their early teens where money is scarce and time is abundant.”
Since these users have never had any intention or capability to purchase the applications whether or not cracked versions are available, developers of these apps are losing significantly less than what they believe they are to these people.
2. Another portion of our pirates are those who have the capability of purchasing iPhone apps, but not the desire. These pirates typically do not “need” any particular application for free, they just want whatever application that can provide a certain level of entertainment for them.
They are not so much making the choice between purchasing or pirating software A, but rather making the choice between pirating software A or B. So again, the profit lost attributed to this tribe of pirates has been overestimated; these pirates would not have forked over their money anyway, they would just move on.
3. Over three million devices are running our software, Installous, to download and install cracked iPhone apps. The people using these devices are Apple customers who are likely to purchase another device, purchase new Apple products, or refer their friends to Apple. As I have stated before, the people who use our services to trial iPhone applications actually help Apple more than they hurt it.
Why, you ask? If a majority of our three million users are pirates, the value in Apple’s devices is significantly higher: These millions of users, who would otherwise be incapable or unwilling to purchase apps, now have a rich source of entertainment that greatly enhances their experience with their devices.
Apple does not like piracy, but as long as piracy increases the value of jailbroken iPhones, they have no need to be passionate about stopping it. As music has shown Apple and Steve Jobs himself, DRM can always be defeated. Apple is in fact embracing piracy for what it can accomplish for their company.
4. Piracy also helps to expose an application to the masses, much like music piracy helps artists and bands get more publicity. Without cracked app sites like apptrackr, a lot of applications would be left languishing in the pits of the App Store among the rest of the 240,984 apps (at last count) available.
I think these are some valid but very candid points.