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back to article 'I'm a PIRATE' confessions spew from OED iPhone dictionary

Users of iOS dictionary apps from Collins, Longman and the OED have found themselves outed as pirates on Twitter, as a name-and-shame tactic used by the apps' developer backfires. The company concerned, Enfour, apparently reckons that 75 per cent of its users are pirates, which is why it planted some code in its applications to …

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Pirate

A clear case of libel (or thousands of cases!) and in English law apparently libel caused by negligence is still illegal and likely to result in significant compensation!

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WTF?

I don't get it...

Why would anyone want to link a dictionary app to twitter?

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Re: I don't get it...

"Why would anyone want to link a dictionary app to twitter?"

These are iOS users.

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Re: I don't get it...

Without giving any significant thought, maybe a "word of the day" that you can then tweet?

Not vital functionality, granted, but entirely in keeping with the current vogue of linking every tiny thing to Twitter and FarceBook.

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K
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WTF?

I don't get it... #2 ..

Why would anyone pay $50 for a dictionary!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't get it... #2a ..

> Why would anyone pay $50 for a dictionary!

Why would anyone pay $50 for a dictionary that requires a twitter account to work?

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Re: I don't get it... #2 ..

Dictionaries have always been expensive to compile, and a well compiled dictionary is a very valuable thing. And a good dictionary that's *installed* rather than "on the cloud" is a heck of a lot easier to use (and potentially cheaper in the long run, given mobile data price gauging....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't get it... #2 ..

> Dictionaries have always been expensive to compile, and a well compiled dictionary is a very valuable thing.

You can buy a pocket edition of the OED for six bucks. Not only is this version eminently portable, it never crashes and never runs out of power....

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Thumb Up

Re: I don't get it... #2 ..

"You can buy a pocket edition of the OED for six bucks. Not only is this version eminently portable, it never crashes and never runs out of power...."

...or publicly accuses you of being a scurvy sea-dog.

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Anonymous Coward

If it's happened to legitimate users, shirley the Apple police allowed this into the app store?

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WTF?

You think that Apple would give a flying f*** what messages apps shove out over Tw@ter why exactly?

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You think that Apple would give a flying f*** what messages apps shove out over Tw@ter why exactly?

*****

The whole point of a walled garden approach from the consumers point of view is meant to be that the apps have been vetted to by experts so that they know apps can't do anything harmful to them.

Of course, that's not what is actually happening but that is still cited as one of the benefits of the system.

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The only people that believe that the walled garden approach had anything to do with security/protecting customers are the blinked fanbois who will downvote this.

When the Mac was launched it used "1984" imagery to define a dystopian future, but Apple's intensions all along has been to become "big brother". How long before the next 'feature' of iOS is to limit what websites you can go to "protect" the user, or it starts altering content to promote products that have paid Apple for the privilege.

As I've said before, great engineering but s**t operating model and hence why I'll won't buy a Apple product.

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Unhappy

@RainForestGuppy

Approve of post. Hate the rubbish spelling & grammar / tense confusion.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @RainForestGuppy

To downvote or not to downvote? That's the question.

To downvote would be good to sustain the self-image of a John Galt-like superman thumbing his nose at the dumb masses. So it's a service, really.

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Re: @RainForestGuppy

I couldn't agree more. I have to squeeze El Reg posts between meetings and doing real work, so they are a bit rushed.

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Silver badge

What could go wrong ?- What would be the consequences?

These, and other questions, were not asked. It's funny how often that happens.

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Facepalm

Re: What could go wrong ?- What would be the consequences?

That's because manager types will think that they are getting what they want, rather than what they ask for and then they will assume that everything will go according to plan and nothing will go wrong.

Shortly after this, reality kicks in. Everything goes arse over tit and everyone ends up with egg on their face.

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Bronze badge

Were I a pirate....

I'd be just fine. I don't use Twitter.

Aaaarrrrgggghhh! Dead man's chest! Splice the main brace!

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Flame

The libel point is clear..

... and I can't see how the company can avoid it. They are stuffed, legally.

About the only thing they can do is offer immediate compensation with an agreement not to sue...

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FAIL

OK. Cross OED of my shopping list.

Even without the disgusting business practices of the company, I don't use Twitter and I sure as hell will never buy a product that insists on having my credentials to ANY site other than it's own.

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FAIL

Re: OK. Cross OED of my shopping list.

Although it might be useful to help differentiate between "Of" and "Off"

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FAIL

Re: OK. Cross OED of my shopping list.

AddyNuf - if you're going to go after someone for their spelling/grammar - you might wish to read and re-read what they have written. The only "of" in the OC is grammatically and logically sound. You should have aimed at the OC's use of an apostrophe in a possessive "its."

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FAIL

Re: OK. Cross OED of my shopping list.

If you're going to go after someone for going after someone for their spelling/grammar - you might wish to read and re-read everything they posted rather than just the body.

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Unhappy

Re: OK. Cross OED of my shopping list.

yeah - i did re-read, but only after I posted... my bad.

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Bronze badge

Jailbroken phone?

Don't iOS devices need to be jailbroken to install pirate stuff?

Was the phone jailbroken and the system detecting that?

However, wouldn't this be illegal apart from the Libel aspect?

Unauthorised access of a computer. (i.e the twitter host.)

Someone will get sued good and proper I suspect.

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Pirate

Re: Jailbroken phone?

Yes, indeed. There is an app, only available via jailbreak, called "installous". Its only purpose is to validate stolen software. As I understand things, it's the presence of this app that is being detected and used to trigger the tweets. So, even if the OED app has been paid for, the phone has been actively configured for piracy.

Now bring on the down votes...

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Stop

Re: Jailbroken phone?

"As I understand things, it's the presence of this app that is being detected... the phone has been actively configured for piracy."

No. All it means is the phone has been rooted and the app "Installous" has been found on the phone - anything beyond that is speculative.

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FAIL

omnishambles [ˈɒmniʃamb(ə)lz]

noun [singular]

(UK, chiefly politics)

A situation that is bad or mismanaged in every way.

eg. Between the car accident, the food poisoning and the lost keys, the holiday was an omnishambles.

Synonyms:

-clusterfuck

-debacle

-fiasco

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Anonymous Coward

Is this the Daily Mail or something?

>Enfour's idea of shaming users into paying for their software is very Japanese,

That doesn't sound very Japanese... Airing dirty laundry in public is a big no no.

>but its hard to imagine many gaijin being bothered by such a tweet appearing in their stream,

Why does being "foreign" or not even matter here? Did you just want to drop the G bomb (which is nothing like the N bomb) to stir up some anti-Japanese feeling? Did you get turned down by a Japanese girl or something?

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Alert

Re: Is this the Daily Mail or something?

Lighten up, its the reg, anything and everything gets made fun of. Since when did we all get so tits up about innocent banter?

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Thumb Up

Re: Is this the Daily Mail or something?

"Airing dirty laundry in public is a big no no."

And I imagine publicly accusing people of "stealing" when they've paid legitimately will be seen as being massively more offensive in Japan than in the west - the sort of thing that a few dollars won't necessarily fix.

There's no question that Enfour have royally fucked themselves here. Letting a few people get away with it if it means no innocent people are caught in the net is *much* better from a PR point of view than getting all the guilty ones plus a few innocents - surely rule #1 is make sure you know people are guilty before taking the law into your own hands? the libel lawsuits will be coming thick and fast I imagine. No doubt there will be protest piracy as a result as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is this the Daily Mail or something?

>innocent banter

How very <insert your own "race", nationality, ancient bloodline here> of you!

You <see above> are all the same.

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Silver badge

So does this mean that the people loving all over the walled garden as being somehow immune to malware get a free cup of shut the fuck up?

Or is it not malware if the developers say it's not malware? I bet that argument went really well for Sony, and all that did was rootkit you in private, not try to out you for something you didn't do.

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FAIL

Great, another Trojan horse. And why haven't these been yanked off the store?

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Anonymous Coward

Need to Wize up

It's "libel".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Need to Wize up

* YEAH

* IT'S

Hopefully you are somewhat Wizer for this advice.

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Re: Need to Wize up

*YEAH

O rly?

No, I've nothing to contribute to the conversation either.

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Bronze badge

I believe there is a law against those ...

There seem to be something commonly used definition of a "cybercrime" which goes along the lines

"Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim"

.... although I was unable to find actual legalese. In any case there probably is a law which puts developers of such apps on the wrong side. I wonder who and when will sue them?

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Just to be clear

"Piracy on mobile devices is still rife"

"App stores packed with pirated content are blatant"

You mean Android, right?

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Trollface

Tweeting a pirate confession is far too subtle...

Should've uploaded a picture of a burning poppy instead.

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Facepalm

Fools

Isnt it a bit short sighted to expect every single person buying your app to have a twitter account?

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Unhappy

Re: Fools

The devs. probably have shares in Twitter.

I have a Twitter account for work - I use it to broadcast announcements to students, a task for which is is very well suited. But have no personal use for one.

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75% of users are pirates?

With a price tag like that, no wonder! Nobody's going to pay $50 for a mobile phone app, especially one that replaces free online services - unless they can charge it to an expense account or something.

So it's hardly surprising that the majority of users are pirates who wanted a dictionary app and snagged the most reputable looking dictionary app they could get their hands on (er, hooks on, these are pirates right?).

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Re: 75% of users are pirates?

But that's the plan isn't it?

Charge rates that orders of magnitude beyond exorbitant

Watch as potential customers turn pirate to access it

Then scream and wail how "teh piratz" are killing your company

Send lawyers off in all directions

???

Instead of profit, lather, rinse, repeat.

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