Update to “A few words about cracked versions of Electronic Toolbox”
As I concentrated on improving and extending Electronic Toolbox during the last weeks and months, I lost track about the number of cracked versions of ETB circulating on various platforms.
Last week, I found I should check and was quite surprised that again, various versions of my App are available for free again. Those versions have been downloaded and installed about hundred thousand times and the installation base of those cracked versions is higher than the installation base of the version from the AppStore.
I even found two cracked versions that were not just cracked but also contained some additional code. As far as I was able to see, this code accesses the address book and creates a lot of network traffic. Also, some iOS system files (etc/hosts and some others) are being modified. Very strange though.
I still can’t understand why people are not willing to pay a few bucks (the same amount they pay for a BigMac) for an app that is being supported and extended now over years whereas a BigMac just lasts for a few minutes.
Moreover, some of those people even asked for support and submitted change requests.
So last week, I decided to find out who is uploading cracked versions of my App to those platforms. To my surprise, almost all file-hoster (e.g. uploading.com, limelinx.com, datafilehost.com, sendspace.com etc.) were open to co-operate. They sent me detailed information about who uploaded and who downloaded the suspicious files. Very detailed information that helped me to identify a couple of those guys. Of course, some of them have previously bought a legal version of my app but some didn’t and just wanted to swagger with their ability to crack apps.
I was surprised about the co-operation of those file-hosters but I anticipate that they are quite under pressure after the FBI took action against megaupload.com.
I first thought I should take legal action against those guys and some of my friends encouraged me to do so as they saw this as a good opportunity to make much money.
As this it is not my intention to make money with other people’s mistakes but to develop great apps that are useful for many people, I decided against that.
Instead, I contacted a few of those guys via phone (yes, it was even possible to get the phone numbers of some of them) or via E-Mail. Obviously, those people were all quite shocked to get contacted by the developer of the app they cracked. None of them denied that they uploaded my app (otherwise I thought I should change my mind and take legal action against them).
All of them promised that they will never ever upload cracked apps again and my feeling was that they regret what they did.
I really had the impression that they learned their lessons. My lessons learned were, that it is obviously much easier than thought, to catch people who up- and even download cracked apps and that it can be quite dangerous to download cracked apps as there are obviously cracked apps available that have been flavored with additional code.
Now that I caught some of those guys, I will get back to my work on Electronic Toolbox.
My ToDo List of user requests and my own ideas is still quite long and there is much work for me to do but I am happy to implement all of them.
So you can expect more data-updates and app-updates during the next weeks.
Thanks to all users who paid for my app and special thanks to your amazing support!
I am pretty sure that this case : Sony vs. Tenenbaum, where Joel Tennenbaum uploaded a few songs on file-sharing platforms and now finally found guilty and has to pay US$ 675.000 for his damages can be compared to uploading cracked apps on file-sharing platforms.