The Two Sides of Piracy

Android developers and the tech media often complain about rampant piracy of Android apps. Apps are usually uploaded to pirate sites within minutes of their release, courtesy of Google’s inadequate security on the feed powering Google Play/Android Market/whatever. Developers and pundits worry about lost revenue, trojans being added to the pirated apps, and so on.

Worrying and complaining about that stuff is perfectly fine.

However, I find it curious that the same groups — and, in some cases, the same individuals or firms — who complain about stuff being pirated have no qualms about pirating apps themselves. Whether it is developers grabbing pirated copies of the Google Play/Android Market/whatever client for their emulator or Lifehacker espousing the download of pirated copies of HTC Beats or the Amazon Kindle app, people seem to have no problems pirating stuff when it benefits them.

This is classic hypocrisy, “do as I say, not as I do” behavior.

If you wish to have a debate as to whether such-and-so app should be freely distributable, such as the Google Play/Android Market/whatever client, go right ahead. Specifically with respect to that app, I have heard arguments on both sides.

And if you feel that violating the copyrights of others is your way of demonstrating against oppressive copyright regimes (i.e., “sticking it to The Man”), that’s your prerogative.

But those who pirate the works of others have no grounds to complain when others pirate their own apps though. What’s good for the goose is frequently good for the gander, after all.


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