Apple cracks down on black market in iOS beta passes
Psst, activate your UDID with us, bitchez
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. ®
How much of a fanboi must you be to pay for beta software which will be free in a couple of months.
You don't seem to understand what the developer program is - you're meant to try out the betas with YOUR stuff.
Actually I wish Google gave developers more timely access to pre-release Android versions, we only got about 2 weeks between the release of the Jelly Bean SDK and tablets getting into the hands of presumably lots of people..
Two of our apps are crashing on it and we have no one available to debug it.
Re: Technically illegal, I think
There are two legal elements in play here:
1. It's a breach of contract on the part of the developer. All developers are required to sign an NDA when dealing with developer previews and beta releases from Apple. Quite why any developer would stupid enough to think it a good idea to sell on their licenses to such software to third parties escapes me: they must be seriously hard of reading.
2. Copyright law applies to Apple software just as it does to The Beatles' White Album. The reseller has no right to sell Apple's property without Apple's permission. So, yes, it's illegal in the "criminal" sense too. Hence the use of the DMCA to take down the offending websites.