Apple Cracking Down on App Store Piracy

Apple looks to be taking a hard stance against iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users that chose to steal apps instead of pay for them. The cracked app tracking website Apptrackr has apparently been receiving takedown notices from Apple, so the site has been moving servers in hopes of avoiding legal action from the Cupertino company.

Apptrackr doesn’t directly host cracked apps, although it does offer links to pirated titles for users looking to get software without paying for it. Dissident, the Apptrackr site runner, said, “Since we do not serve cracked applications from our servers (we merely link to where the cracked apps can be found) we are arguably not directly facilitating copyright infringement.”

Apptrackr website: Pirate software, ahoy!Apptrackr: We only show you where to steal software

Apple, however, sees Apptrackr differently, so it it actively working to stop app piraters and the services they rely on to find cracked iOS software.

Apptrackr’s servers are now hosted outside the U.S., and the site uses CAPTCHA checks as another way to help distance itself from the actual cracked apps, according to Cult of Mac.

Installing apps that should be paid for first requires jailbreaking your iOS device, which also lets users install apps that otherwise aren’t available through Apple’s App Store. In the case of pirated apps, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users turn to utilities like Installous to find the titles they want and manage the installation process.

Apple hasn’t filed any lawsuits against Apptrackr yet, although that’s certainly a possibility. Regardless of whether or not Apptrackr has stepped over the legal line, facing off with Apple’s legal department could be more than Dissident and the rest of the Apptrackr team can handle.

Apple hasn’t said if it plans to take legal action against the pirated app website.