Gizmodo reports that Crackulous, an iPhone application that allows pirated apps to run on jailbroken iPhones, was released. As its name might suggest, Crackulous strips the copy protection scheme put in place on iPhone applications purchased from Apple's iTunes Store, allowing anyone to share the cracked app with friends or on BitTorrent, peer-to-peer networks, or sharing sites.
Ah, but there is a twist in this story.
In an exchange posted on Gizmodo, the author of Crackulous emailed to explain that a link to Crackulous that Gizmodo posted linked to a pirated version of Crackulous. That's right, the maker of an iPhone app allowing users to pirate other iPhone apps had their own app pirated, and got upset over it. Talk about poetic justice.
In one of the emails, Crackulous' creator writes, "...I need people to support my work... I deserve appreciation," apparently not realizing the fact that Crackulous's mere existence means that some iPhone app developers will not get the appreciation and support they are due.
We don't condone piracy in any form, but the matter of iPhone app piracy does highlight one legitimate issue with the iPhone App Store as it stands today: The lack of iPhone app trial versions. Currently there is no way to try an iPhone app before you decide to buy it. I imagine that at least some of those who may be interested in iPhone app piracy fall into this camp. Hopefully this is one issue Apple will rectify in the not-too-distant future.