Taking a stand against piracy and warez

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Whatever you think of piracy on the Symbian platform - insignificant online backwater or the elephant in the room - Gaurav Tiwari has written an empassioned article here explaining how piracy in the Symbian world has played a major part in discouraging the most prominent developers from continuing programming for the platform. He makes the excellent point to the myriad 'fan' (warez) sites that, far from 'supporting' Symbian, they're actually harming the platform they profess to love.

From Gaurav's piece:

Not only this, they reach the height of shamelessness and say that Symbian is dying and we are supporting it. Are they really doing so?

All top level game and app developers have abandoned their projects for symbian, only because of those warez sites. Quickoffice hasn’t update its app since 2011 for Nokia Belle and 2009 for S60V5, I asked them the reason and what they told was truly embarrassing. They weren’t getting as much money from Symbian platform, thus they stopped working on it. Picsel had a plan to launch SmartOffice 2.0 for Belle this year but they stopped that project too. Similar situation is of Gameloft. They aren’t publishing any more HD games and have no plan to return back to Symbian except some Java games. Similar situations have been encountered by other top level developers like EA Games, 10tons LTD, Lonely Cat Games, SPB, PiZero etc more or less. I think you got the reason. The reason is piracy. Developing apps/games/themes for Symbian is not that easy as compared to other platforms, still they gave the best of apps and games to us. But after 2011, Piracy broke their moral. I can name some sites who have pirated all games and apps from them to an external site.

Many people say that Nokia ditched Symbian therefore it is dying. Is that true? What are we doing then? A user purchases a brand new Nokia Belle device for hundreds for dollars. But he is not even capable to spent a single more dollar to buy that amazing Asphalt 6 HD game. (Height of misery) He downloads it via some third party website of warez. After a few hours of gaming he finds that it was an amazing game and he thanks to the site which gave him the game. Why? Why is there no love for actual developer?


Who cares about Symbian then? Those warez? I am sorry if I am rude, dear ‘FanClubs’ and more… If you really want to support Symbian in its last days, then please make an app for it to enhance it better. Believe me, if you can make apps/themes, We can let you share all premium contents from our developer- members. If you really did that, I promise, you would understand how bad it feels when someone shares your app without your permission and without giving any profit to you.

Well..assume for a minute that those warez sites are doing it all for the good of Symbian users. Then there arises a question. Why do they put plenty of advertisements on their sidebars? Why don’t they host the files at their own? Answer is simple. They get money for linking to external file hosting services and also get a lot of money from the advertisements. To be honest, they are making money, even from free apps. They are parasites leeching money from other's hard work. If they really care about people, they should use either their own host and remove the spamming advertisement banners from the sidebars [and even the texts.]

All valid comment and I heartily support the assertion that the fan/warez sites are doing harm to the thing they say they love. I'd also point out that the other massive factor in the decline in big company software releases for Symbian is of course because the companies see less of a future in the ecosystem - after all, following Stephen Elop's infamous February 2011 announcement about 'franchising' Symbian and giving the OS an effective End Of Life warning, we now have the situation where in many countries you can't even buy Symbian-powered phones anymore.

Comments welcome. How big a factor do you think piracy has been in the Symbian world?

Source / Credit: Symbian Developers Blog