The situation involving Facebook and Google's business certificates a few weeks ago continues to rumble, with Apple apparently looking closer to what others are using the same certificates for. It's something of a litter going on, and Apple has begun to revoke certificates for those who use them to share pirated versions of apps.
Those who TutuApp, Panda Help, AppValley and TweakBox have used Apple's corporate certificates as a way to distribute pirate versions of paid apps, as well as free versions of apps that would normally be supported by ad revenue. There is a decent number of apps that have been available through such distributors, with Minecraft, Spotify and Pokemon GO three of the biggest names you probably come across.
Distributors made their money by charging an annual subscription, with members accessing all the apps. If that sounds familiar, it's because it's the same subscription model that Apple is said to also consider.
For now, however, it kills business licenses belonging to such pirate companies.
"Developers who abuse our business certificates are in violation of the Apple Developer Enterprise program agreement and will have the certificates terminated, and if appropriate, they will be removed from the developer program altogether," an Apple spokesman told Reuters. "We continually assess cases of abuse and are prepared to take immediate action."
Of course, this is bound to become a continuous blow.
After Reuters initially contacted Apple for comment last week, some of the pirates were banned from the system, but in days they used different certificates and were operated again.
Sharing pirated apps obviously violates Apple's policy and it shouldn't come as a surprise that Apple has acted here. We just wonder why it took so long that several companies could build businesses around pirate applications this way.
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