I wasn't surprised to read that the Apple iTunes store had been hacked. It was just a matter of time. I was even less surprised to see that the applications were a prime target for the hackers and pirates. I can see that peer to peer networks and illegal downloads will be appealing to some iPhone users (and iPod Touch users) just like any other.

What did surprise me was to see in Wired Magazine that some of the developers not only tolerate it (we'll come on to why not in a second) but think it's 'cool'. That's an actual quote, assuming the mag is to be believed, and I know of no reason it shouldn't be.

Tolerating piracy is complex. Selling illegal copies of your own intellectual property is an annoyance, someone's taking money to which you have the right, is the theory. Oddly, however, legitimate sales have always appeared to grow when some ungodly fiend is publishing your stuff illegally. It acts as your marketing in some way.

So I can understand people noticing that while pirate copies are growing in number they're helping the overall market to grow too, so your share might be smaller but it's a share of a larger total.

But 'cool'? Someone stealing your stuff is 'cool'?

There are times when I feel like a very old commentator indeed...

About the Author

Author, 'This Is Social Media' (Capstone Publishing 2009); freelance journalist in the UK for the Guardian, Times, Telegraph, Independent and others.