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Apple cracks down on black market in iOS beta passes

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Apple has forced several sites selling access to beta versions of its iOS operating system to shut down after filing DMCA requests with their hosters.

Developers are given access to beta versions of iOS so they can test out their apps, but Apple sells devs a batch of passes for 100 iOS devices for $99.

Generally dev companies use all 100 passes, but sometimes they don't – leading the less scrupulous among them to flog the extras. On the black market, the beta licences currently fetch approximately $10. The device activations are parcelled out by unique device identifiers (UDIDs).

One site – UDID Activation – now claims on its home page to have activated over 15,000 devices at the time El Reg went to press. At $8.99 apiece that would've netted the site's owners a cool $134,850.

Following the media kerfuffle, Apple has moved to squash the black market and several of the key sites have disappeared, including activatemyios.com and iosudidregistrations.com. El Reg notes udidactivation.com is still active.

Last year it was revealed that Apple had pulled the licences of developers found to be selling on their spare UDID activations. This time it seems they're going for the reseller sites. One site owner told MacStories that he did not believe he was doing anything illegal, but that his hoster had pulled his website after a copyright request from Apple. ®

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