Does Google Need To Step Up Their Market Regulations To Stop Android Piracy?
App developers have started to voice a need for Google to step up their regulations of the Android Marketplace. The Android Market has been continuing to improve lately and Google has taken swift action to remove malware, but developers still think that Android piracy is a major concern. Google has adopted a policy that allows most anyone to upload apps into the market and while this has lead to more apps/ user created content, it has opened up a whole with certain users publishing others content as their own.
Should Google Adopt Stricter Apple App Store Like Policies?
Apple has taken a hardline approach with their App Store and all additions go through a rigorous pre-approval processes. An Android developer based in the UK, Kevin Baker reported on his experience after discovering someone was selling his app as their own in the market.
"I have a game on the market called Sinister Planet which was released about eight months ago. Sales have been pretty slow, although picking up slowly over the months, despite a lot of great reviews. The main problem is that Android Market discoverablity is very poor, and Google themselves don't help the situation by only featuring apps their are either (1) created by Google, or (2) iPhone ports. Independent developers like myself hardly ever get a look in.
"One of my customers emailed me three weeks ago, and informed me that another company was selling a version of my app - pirated and uploaded as their own. Of course I contacted Google right away. It took Google two days to take the app down. This publisher was also selling other versions of pirated games. I contacted the original developers of those games but they were still being sold a week later. You'd think [Google] might have a hotline for things like that!
"I would also note that the publisher selling the pirated games is still trading on the Android Market. They didn't even get their account suspended. If there's going to be malware hidden inside apps, it's that the exact place where it would be? Why are these accounts still allowed to be trading? It's negligent as far as I'm concerned."
Baker's Sinister Planet
"Pirated" Galaxy Wars
What Needs To Be Done About Android Piracy?
This is clearly a case of a developer having his hard work stolen and points out that Android Piracy is real problem facing the market. Google needs to to address this problem head on as it will only cause a loss of developers or more developers choosing to only be offered on the up and coming Amazon Android App Store.
The issue of Malware also needs to be addressed directly and apps should be tested for any malicious software before they are uploaded into the market. This problem is only going to grow if not taken care of now. Google needs to restore faith in the Android dvelopment community and show that Android Piracy will not be tollerated and violators will be prosecuted.
Clearly Google does not have the answer at this point as they try to walk the line between inviting user content and controlling Android Piracy. What solutions do you guys think Google needs to implement?