Software piracy sucks. Ask any developer: app piracy is a major problem on Android, and more so on Android than on other mobile platforms, thanks to the relative ease of installing applications outside of the Google Play Store. But the United States Department of Justice is not turning a blind eye to mobile piracy. The Department charged four men with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement earlier this week in Georgia's northern federal district court.
A couple of days ago, we ran a story about a circulating rumor that Google had expressed strong concerns with the launch of an Acer phone powered by Chinese Internet firm Alibaba's Aliyun OS. As the post explained, Alibaba claimed that Google had warned Acer that releasing the CloudMobile A800 could result in the search giant "terminating its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with [Acer]." These rather strong words led to speculation over just what the issue could be with Aliyun, and whether Google had issued the warning at all.
Oh, RIM. You're hemorrhaging customers, executives, and share value. It's painfully obvious you're on track for a disaster of Palm-proportions. And still, your upper-level management fling zingers at the competition that would make anyone but the die-hardest of BlackBerry fans skip the facepalm and go straight to a facedesk. It's almost like watching a Shakespearean tragedy unfold.
If you've not been keeping up with the cutting edge of all things RIM, allow me to give you a quick run-down.
If there is one thing I despise in the world of Android, it is piracy and specifically Android sites that let you download paid apps, oftentimes for a monthly membership fee. Most Android developers are not large corporations, but rather independent, smalltime individuals to whom every download counts. Today's story, therefore, gives me added pleasure, because in it, pirates are implicated in one of the most embarrassing ways I can imagine.
We received an email from David Keyes at KeyesLabs today, with a detailed analysis of piracy in various countries. For those that don't know, David is the author of the battery saving app Screebl, and the open source licensing library AAL. A true pioneer in Android app copy protection.
According to David's data, the often used excuse of "Paid apps are not available in my country" is at least partly bogus.