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WARNING - Forget Clones, Now they are stealing game source code

02-24-2017, 03:38 AM
#1
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 32
WARNING - Forget Clones, Now they are stealing game source code

All,

I just noticed two pirated versions of my game Dual Tennis published on apple app store.
Exact same game, same source code, just different developer.

More details here:
Forget Clones, now worry about Daylight Robbery on Appstore

I have contacted Apple and raised copyright infringement procedure as well.

Yogesh

Last edited by Kierun Studios; 02-24-2017 at 03:59 AM.
02-24-2017, 06:54 AM
#2
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 152
Unfortunately this isn't entirely new. I see it damn near every day when checking AppShopper for new games. And the overwhelming majority are from China, where copyrighting does not exist. It's starting to get more prevalent from outside China also. But most all of them come from places without copyright laws, too.

02-24-2017, 06:55 AM
#3
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 441
If they are just taking the code and changing the assets then the only way to stop this is to encrypt your assets and check the authenticity on load. If the assets are not the same then close the game down.

You could have some fun here by letting the game be alive with the new assets for a time period then print a message saying piracy is bad or words to that effect. That would send a message to these thieves and give them some bad press.

I'm sorry this has happened to you.
02-25-2017, 12:12 AM
#4
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 32
@NinthNinja - They are not even changing the assets. They take the app, remove the title and any asset linked to your game name and just republish as its theirs.

This is stealing and is illegal.

In future, I'll have to see if I can dynamically get the name of the app at runtime and if its not matching show some piracy message
02-25-2017, 01:45 PM
#5
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kierun Studios View Post
@NinthNinja - They are not even changing the assets. They take the app, remove the title and any asset linked to your game name and just republish as its theirs.

This is stealing and is illegal.

In future, I'll have to see if I can dynamically get the name of the app at runtime and if its not matching show some piracy message
It is illegal in the US/Canada/UK etc... The problem with most of this sort of thing comes out of places like China, where copyright protections don't exist. Which sadly makes it very hard, if not impossible to go after people that do it.
02-27-2017, 04:42 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 441
If you go into this further there are quite a few Chinese companies that have had investment from US companies. These Chinese companies because of lack of copyright can clone or rip source code and publish. The parent investment company should be liable for copyright infringement. I think I read somewhere that a guy got a game published from a US company and was ripped off by a Chinese company, the the publisher had investment from an investment company that also invested in the Chinese company. So when the publisher complained to the investment company, the investment company complained to the Chinese company. That issue was sorted out because of conflicting interests as the Chinese company did not want to lose it's investment strategy.

But because the Chinese market is hard to crack western companies invest in Chinese companies. Now there should be laws to make these investment firms liable for copyright infringement. If they invest in the Chinese market then they should be liable from profit made from shady dealings. Simple as that.
02-28-2017, 02:19 AM
#7
You should do some encryption to your server URL/data,
otherwise they going to get free server for their copy of games.
As for ripping off your source code, I dont think u can do anything much.
Do make a report of copyright infringement with proof to Apple. It is quite
difficult to prove that you wrote your code too, since many freelance programmer
also sells their codes in websites, so there are definitly many apps/games that
have same codes in them. Good luck to u.
03-02-2017, 02:47 AM
#8
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 2
Do you know how they did that?
I thought that it's difficult to decompile apk & ipa files?
03-03-2017, 12:09 AM
#9
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 32
They can work with the ipa and just delete the graphics and update bundle identifiers.

Today another clone "New Pingpong SMASH" hit the appstore. Another exact clone of my game - Dual Tennis.

I'm really disappointed how apple allows such cloning.
03-05-2017, 05:14 PM
#10
Joined: Mar 2017
Location: Cyberspace
Posts: 5
Good detective work. It's a difficult problem to solve completely but your reporting it, and bringing attention to it, will surely help combat it.