UPDATE: I was initially a little surprised by the vociferous reaction to this post about installing Installous, an unofficial App Store for pirated apps. The instructions are a quick Google search away and we’re hardly the first to publish an Installous how-to.
I guess we raised a few red flags — like putting “How To Pirate Apps” in the headline and including a half-hearted disclaimer. The intent was for it to be part of a comprehensive Jailbreaking Superguide that deals with all the things people want to do when they jailbreak their devices, including playing around with Installous.
The intent for the Superguide is to be straightforward and frank — a one-stop shop for everything people want to know about jailbreaking. We don’t condone piracy, but it’s a fact that a lot of people jailbreak their devices to experiment with things like Installous. I find it dishonest and hypocritical when publications skirt around issues like this; like publishing BitTorrent guides and pretending that no one’s going to download a pirated movie.
However, it’s obviously disingenuous to say we condemn piracy in a post that shows readers how to pirate software. Personally, I’ve always believed publishing information is one thing and acting on that information is another. I’ve always liked publications that informed me about things we’re not supposed to do. I can then make my own moral decision whether to act on that information or not.
But while pirating is something people indisputably do when jailbreaking, it was a misstep for us to actually include a comprehensive DIY. Whatever our intentions, it teeters on advocacy, and was thoughtlessly disrespectful to the many app developers out there who make their livings off of programs we admire and think people should pay for.
As our readers have pointed out in comments and on Twitter, we crossed a line here. CultofMac.com isn’t some modern-day Anarchist Cookbook. We support developers and enjoy their many wonderful creations. Saying there are ways out there to install cracked apps is one thing, showing people how to do it is another.
So my apologies to readers for misjudging this, and to developers for being insensitive and opportunistic.
Also, please don’t attack the author, Sayam. This was my idea, not his. He’s a freelance writer and I commissioned him to write it, so please don’t be mean to him.
PS: The BitTorrent link to “pirate” copies of my Cult of Mac book posted in the comments is actually a publisher-sanctioned seed. No Starch Press turned it into an e-book and seeded it. So please help yourself, it’s free and legal.
See TorrentFreak: Publisher Posts Mac Books on The Pirate Bay.