People share pirated movies and music. Others justify it by saying the filmmakers make so much money, so the fact that they lost on one sale would mean nothing. The art world has probably seen all piracy forms. Today, the highest piracy is that of android apps. Nothing seems to be safe anymore. For app developer’s piracy is a nightmare!
To say that Android app piracy is on the increase will be an understatement. At an 80% rate increase since the introduction of apps, it feels like the piracy outdoes the number of apps coming onto the market by far. But why do people consider app piracy instead of buying them? I put it down to three reasons:
- Less disposable income to purchase the apps. These people would rather ignore their financial situation and indulge their pleasures at someone else’s cost.
- Utter sheer greediness. These are people that even when they can afford something in their lives, they would rather have it for free, if not, steal it!
- Distribution problems. There are lots of people worldwide who would gladly pay for Android apps but because they aren’t available in their country, like China where they can’t access Google Play, eventually they resort to piracy.
Despite what the reasons are, pirating an app is stealing. It’s as good as any form of theft. At the worst it’s as disgusting as an employed person who walks up to a street beggar, grabs all their day’s collections, spit at them and continue on with their lives as if all is well. With the exception of a few, the reality is that most app developers started their work with an almost zero budget. The other reality is that not all of them are going to make a billion dollars out of it.
Perhaps if there was more education and awareness, pirates would have a better understanding of some of the consequences of their actions. On the financial front, when there’s so much piracy around an app, the developers start bleeding cash, maintaining a program that has no returns. Failure to develop a tighter version that can’t be pirated and is much better, they will be out of work.They then become part of their respective country’s statistic – an addition to the number of those unemployed. The more unemployed people a country has, the likelihood of crime going up is high.
On an economical level, the income that the developers make contributes to a country’s Gross Net Income. In the absence of this contribution, the higher the government has to tax people to keep benefits and grants running. So in essence it comes to bite us all back, in the long run. On an emotional level for a developer – that’s their dream killed which in worst cases could result in suicide.
Some of the Android app pirates are not moved by the number of sites they see being seized by say the FBI or local authorities in their respective countries, and will continue to pirate. The big question is on how to stop them. I think there are three solutions that could eventually reduce the problem to a minimum. These are;
- App stores such as Apple, Google have to protect these app developers. The more money an app brings in for the developer, the more money they make. They should tighten security systems and nip the problem in the bud.
- Local policing authorities should give the maximum punishment on pirates who get caught as a lesson for others to obey the anti-piracy laws.
- App stores should create more distribution channels for their apps, and make them more accessible on a worldwide scale.