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Nokia closes Porn'n'Warez swap site

Farewell then, MOSH

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Nokia is closing its Web 2.0-tastic user generated content website MOSH.

The venture was unveiled with a chorus of kumbayas in June 2007, promising to allow users "to create, upload and share your applications, games, audio, images, and video instantaneously. Or you can just take it easy and enjoy what other people have decided to upload and share."

Naturally, they did - and Mosh became a magnet for porn, warez and unlicensed MP3s. This had repercussions for Nokia's serious music business, causing a major fall out with key supplier Warner Music, which withheld its catalogue in protest.

Mosh's timing was particularly unfortunate, as it coincided with the rise of tools to bypass Symbian authentication, permitting many commercial S60 phone applications to be obtained without paying the developer. This had a knock-on effect on community sites which depended on application sales and even caused freeware developers to give up, as My-Symbian's Michael Jerz explained here.

"People got so much depraved by warez that they no longer bother to show any appreciation to those releasing FREE applications, while such appreciation is actually what freeware developers expect the most," he wrote last month. "But warez are free, too, and don't require saying 'thanks' to anyone, and tens of thousands of people using warez got used to just downloading software without doing ANYTHING in exchange. This is how warez kills BOTH commercial AND freeware development."

So just as Nokia was seeing its base lured by the sexier and more lucrative promises of the Apple application store*, it was hosting a huge repository of S60 warez - sending a clear message to its community that it needed anonymous freetards more than it needed loyal developers. Nice one!

And has Nokia has joined the dots yet? Apparently not. The company spun the closure to Reuters stenographer Tarmo Virki as a "success". Which makes you wonder what a failure looks like over there. ®

Bootnote Applications sold through Apple's store may command much lower prices than traditional S60 apps, but the market of paying customers is much larger, so developers make up in volume what they lose in margin. Apple charges lower fees than Scrooge-like sites like Handago, another incentive for coders. Now what if, instead of launching the 2.0 buzzword compliant cesspit Mosh, Nokia had pre-empted Apple and gone ahead with a iTunes-like store for apps?

Remember Nokia had a full ten months' lead time between Apple unveiling the (then-closed) iPhone and the unveiling of the iPhone SDK - and 18 months until Apple began to sell applications through iTunes. Who knows what might have been, if Nokia hadn't pandered to the webtard crowd.

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