Apple has moved to crack down on sites illegally selling access to the iOS6 beta version, filing Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests with Seattle, WA-based webhosting firm Fused in relation to several black market domains it hosts.
Registered developers are sold access to the latest pre-release version of Apple's native operating system so they can create and test new apps, with access for 100 devices costing dev companies $99 (£65).
The opportunity to abuse the system arises when dev firms don't use all of the 100 passes allocated to them and less honourable types seek to profit from the spares. In other cases, activation websites register developer accounts with Apple for the sole purpose of buying the pass bundles and flogging them in the digital underworld.
The beta passes typically sell for around $10 (£6.50) in the digital underworld. Some sites, like activatemyios.com and iosudidregistrations.com, have already disappeared, but others, like udidactivation.com, are still active and advertising their services.
"Here at UDID Activation we believe in doing everything fast, and doing everything right. That's why we have specialized teams of well qualified employees to help help answer your questions and activate your UDIDs," the udidactivation.com website reads.
Fused's chief executive David McKendrick, for one, thinks Apple is taking the wrong approach to the issue, with activation websites able to simply move their operations to hosts outside of the US and the jurisdiction of the DMCA
"Apple is definitely fighting a losing battle on this one. Unless they go directly after the developer accounts abusing the process, they have little chance scrubbing these sites off the web," he said.
However, the Apple dev community generally seems to support the latest initiative to combat the unauthorised sale of trial software.
"Having pre-release OS is exciting to a small audience of non-developers. Even though there is some demand, selling it is against Apple's terms just seems silly for a serious developer to do," said David Smiddy, President and Founder of En Route!, who develop an app enabling friends and relatives to keep up-to-date with the travel movements of their loved ones.
Apple's aggressive move to target the websites follows on from previous efforts to fight beta access leaks, with the company pulling the licenses of developers found to be engaged with reselling sites in the past.
Source : BBC