Report: Pirated Android apps discovered in RIM's BlackBerry World
In a Reddit post published Tuesday, a developer calling himself "bal00" asserts he discovered his Android app available as a BlackBerry World download after receiving complaints about compatibility issues from two BlackBerry PlayBook owners. "I figured they were running some kind of Android ROM on their devices. I asked one of them for his Google account, and he informed me that he only had a BB ID, not a Google account, and that he had downloaded the app from BB App World," wrote bal00. "Sure enough, someone had downloaded my app from Google Play, converted the APK and published it for BB using his account, along with half a dozen other Android apps that were obviously not his own. Most of them have since been taken down, but his account remains active, and he still has three apps published that look like they might be from Google Play."
RIM's BlackBerry 10 software development kit, issued late last year, includes the BlackBerry Runtime for Android, which enables developers to port and repackage apps originally written for the Google mobile OS. "RIM has made it very easy to repackage existing Android apps for BB10/Playbook OS," bal00 notes. "Which is great, if it wasn't for the fact that they don't seem to check the origin of the apps."
RIM said it will not tolerate software piracy and will investigate all copyright claims. "RIM respects intellectual property. We expect others to do the same," RIM's senior public relations and social media manager Alex Kinsella said in a statement. "If a developer believes that their copyright or trademark rights are being infringed by third-party content on the BlackBerry App World storefront, the developer can submit a complaint to our IP team and the issue will be reviewed. In the case of copyright or trademark violations, the offending content will be removed immediately."
In November, Research In Motion announced it will rebrand BlackBerry App World to simply BlackBerry World as it moves to incorporate music and video downloads ahead of BlackBerry 10, slated for launch on Jan. 30. BlackBerry 10 runs on the same QNX-based software powering the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet: Features include the new BlackBerry Flow user interface highlighted by BlackBerry Hub, which enables simplified access to all messages, notifications, feeds and calendar events, as well as BlackBerry Balance, which separates personal applications and information from encrypted work profiles, enabling organizations to protect their data while giving users the flexibility to optimize their devices for personal use.
Piracy remains a growing problem across the mobile app ecosystem. Last week, piracy community Hackulous closed down, spelling the demise of its Installous jailbreak app, which offered access to free, pirated versions of premium apps developed for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platform. Installous enabled users with jaibroken Apple devices to download free pirated iOS apps and games from a variety of sources, then install the software as if they had purchased it directly from Apple's own App Store. Rival app piracy options that do not require consumers to jailbreak their iOS device have also emerged in recent weeks.
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