Why Mourn the Death of Pirates?

on January 1, 2013
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Cnet screenshot

At some level, I have a bit of grudging admiration for CNET for publishing an article so obviously hostile to the the interests of its corporate parent, CBS. But on the other hand, it is long past time for anyone who want to be considered a responsible commentator on tech to praise common thievery. Christopher MacManus writes:

For many years, Installous offered complete access to thousands of paid iOS apps for free for anyone with a jailbroken iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Think of it as being able to walk into a fancy department store, steal anything you want, and never get caught.

In my personal experiences with the app, I could often download the latest iOS applications and games for free from a variety of sources within mere seconds. After downloading, you could then install the app on your iDevice as if you purchased it from Apple’s App Store. Additionally, during its prime, it wasn’t unrealistic to expect expensive App Store apps hitting Installous mere hours after release.

I suppose it would also be nice to be able to shoot people I don’t like, but we don’t allow that sort of thing. Folks who download commercial apps they haven’t paid for don’t even have the lame excuse of those who torrent movies or TV shows that aren’t otherwise available for download or streaming. It is stealing pure and simple, and most of the time it isn’t ripping off some big corporation (another lame excuse for theft) but picking the pocket of a developer.

Maybe CNET intended this as some sort of New Year’s joke, in which case it isn’t very funny. MacManus identifies himself as a freelancer, so I imagine he expects to be paid for his work. He should extend the same courtesy to others.