RipDev Releases Kali Anti-Piracy Service to Protect iPhone Apps from being Pirated

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We had reported about a jailbreak app called Crackulous which strips the copy protection from iPhone apps and render them free for distribution.

At that time, we had commented that this was bad news for iPhone developers and that cracking iPhone apps or installing cracked iPhone apps was crossing the line which had resulted in an interesting debate among iPhone Hacks readers.

We now have some good news to report for the iPhone developers. RipDev, the folks behind the Installer app have recently released Kali Anti-Piracy which is a service to protect iPhone apps from being pirated.

RipDev describe Kali Anti-Piracy as follows:

"With Kali Anti-Piracy your application is being wrapped in the additional layer of protection engineered by experts in Mac OS X and iPhone OS architectures, giving potential hackers much harder time in achieving the precious "crack". Moreover, we are constantly monitoring the current trends and news in the underground hacker communities to make sure Kali AP stays on top of the "competition"."

They have mentioned that the integration process in also quite simple:

The integration process with your product is quite simple — just follow simple instructions found in the downloadable SDK once you sign up and activate your product on the Developer's portal. Your product code will be automatically processed by the Kali Anti-Piracy intelligent algorithm in a way that if the product was pirated, it will cease to launch or function properly.

RipDev has also clarified that iPhone apps wrapped with additional layer of protection will be compliant with Apple's iPhone SDK agreement.

Kali Anti-Piracy uses only documented and allowed calls, therefore, it
is fully compliant with the Apple iPhone SDK. Products protected with
Kali AP are passing the Apple approval process and are currently
successfully selling in the AppStore.

They have also addressed Privacy concerns:

Kali Anti-Piracy is entirely self-contained, and will never “phone
home” or otherwise contact the remote servers without your knowledge.
We take end user privacy very seriously.

RipDev will be charging an initial setup cost of $100 if iPhone app costs less than or equal to $9.99 on the App Store and $300 if it costs more than $9.99. On top of this RipDev will also charge a small percentage in a tiered structured for each iPhone app that gets downloaded which are using their additional layer of protection.

We are not aware of any iPhone developer to find out if they have found RipDev's Kali Anti-Piracy software useful.

Though we expect Apple to address this issue in upcoming firmware releases, if iPhone Developers are concerned about their iPhone app getting cracked; this appears to be an interesting option.

Update:

As readers have pointed out this might not be all good news, iPhone developers should do their maths before opting for this solution. If you consider that only a fraction of the iPhone users jailbreak their iPhone and fraction of those users will actually cross the line of installing cracked apps, piracy might not be as widespread to justify paying a percentage for each copy of the iPhone app sold on the App Store for the additional layer of protection.

So Andrew who is an iPhone developer rightly points out: Its "All about economics". Thanks folks for your feedback.

Please let us know your thought's about RipDev's Kali Anti-Piracy Software in the comments below.

[via RipDev]

  • K

    Wow what a rip off. $100? These guys are just looking for money and if you are an app developer I would suspect in a HUGE profit loss

  • http://www.freegadgets4you.co.uk freegadgets4you

    Wish people would stop pretending this is good news :-)
    I hate paying for stuff specialy when its crap, like most of the stuff on the app store.

  • Andrew

    So let me get this straight. I am a developer and I get a percentage off my profit taken because Apple hosts my product, ok. But for an extra layer of protection, I have to pay a setup fee of 100$ and after Apple takes their commission, I have to pay ANOTHER fee to these guys for every sell I make?

    Umm, even with this so called piracy, the truth is, Apps in the AppStore sell quite a bit of products and there is a lot to be made on it. There has been research (though I can't remember where I read this) that if someone does pirate you application, they are not likely to pay for the product in the first place no matter what.

    Please, don't buy into this crap and only a very small percentage of people jailbreak, let alone an even smaller population uses cracks. I wouldn't worry about piracy of your applications for a while though the problem should be fixed about allowing trials. because there is a lot of junk in the AppStore I wish I could test before using. Anyways, don't use this please…and don't encourage them by wasting your money. Do the math, you will lose more per app than you would buying this and using it. All about economics.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/iphonehacks iPhoneHacks

    Thanks folks for the feedback, I have update the posted highlighting some of the concerns you have raised.

  • marcus

    not worth it, not gonna install cracked apps so the developers need to save there money and use the extra to help make their apps that much better we love updates that improve on your app, Apple will come out with updates that will keep cracked apps at bay so dont worry too much about that

  • Rob

    Since cracked apps cannot be updated, couldn't the dev release some kind of "lite" version 1.0 (the one which will ultimately get cracked) and require the iphone users who PAY for the app to update it to a 1.1 which is a full version?
    That way the ones who opt for the crack version still don't get the full version for free.

    Just an idea. It sounds like a lot more work but I'm sure there are ways to do this easily.

  • buck

    cracked apps can be updated.

  • Awayze

    Yeh but theres ALWAYS one person that will upgrade, crack it and then share it with the rest of us. Theres soooo much cr*p in the App Store that trying crack versions is usually a good thing if there isn't a lite version of the app.

    Besides I don't think any dev would charge for an update. They'd release a full version of the app so new iPhone users can try the app before buying.

  • buck

    cat and mouse game

  • J3z

    yea seems more like a new developer mafia lol.. offering protection for a cut, when apple clearly can't secure their stuff lol.. who get's screwed here?? making the mafia app #1 and most widely used hahaha.. nice try

  • Geogo3r

    Le Sigh.

    This isn't smart at all. It's just going to be like all other anti-piracy policies and programs out there; It's just going to be more of a hassle for those legitimately buying the product.

  • http://missvirtualreality.blogspot.com Miss Virtual Reality

    That may be a quick and expensive fix to this, but as well all know that hackers are damn good at hacking. So they will find a way to get around Kali Anti-Piracy.