Cracked applications that refuse to work when installed on devices are sooo last year, a recent incident involving iPhones, iPads and the famous Oxford Dictionary of English reveals. If, up until now, pirate users would only worry about ending up with a non-working application, they should now be concerned with being publicly pointed at as thieves.
According to author Jenn Frank, due to a flaw in the digital rights management system in the electronic version of the $27 Oxford Dictionary of English, some users have found the application posting comments like “How about we all stop using pirated iOS apps? I promise to stop. I really willâ€ on behalf of the device user. The application also pushes a nag window on the deviceâ€™s screen that says â€œI am a software thiefâ€.
â€œUm. This is weird. My cell phone is accusing me of stealing the Oxford Dictionary of English,â€ wrote the wrongfully-accused user. â€œThat was a really expensive piece of software.â€
The applicationâ€™s developer, Enfour, has issued an emergency fix to mitigate the issue earlier this month, but hundreds of tweets with the #softwarepirateconfession hash tag are still posted on the userâ€™s Twitter accounts. The worst part is that the application requires mandatory access to the userâ€™s Twitter account upon installation just to be able to post this message.
It appears that public humiliation for pirate customers is slowly becoming the next best thing since the invention of the serial number. In April 2011, an Android application called Walk and Text sent an SMS message to all the pirate userâ€™s contacts telling them that the respective user was cheap: “Hey, just downlaoded [sic] a pirated app off the internet, Walk and Text for Android. Im stupid and cheap, it costed [sic] only 1 buck. Don’t ‘borrow’ like I did,” read the SMS.