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Pirate apps sinking?

How copyright infringing apps may harm your business

 

Piracy and intellectual theft is not new in the world of apps. As smartphone penetration around the world grows (currently there are around 3.2 billion smartphone users), so does the usage of apps. In fact, the app market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

The value of the global app market is projected to reach $189 billion by the end of this year. The two biggest app stores in the world, the Apple App store and Google Play offer 2.2 and 2.7 million apps respectively.

Unfortunately, not all of those apps are genuine.

Like many other digital assets, apps are recognized as intellectual property, which means that they’re protected by copyright laws worldwide. However, the coding, design, and many other elements of apps are often stolen by copyright infringers.

This IP theft is not easy to detect by app developers; after all, who has the time and the means to look through millions of apps in countless app stores all over the world, looking for stolen intellectual property?

Luckily, you don’t have to do that by yourself. First of all, online brand protection experts like globaleyez are here to help you (read on to find out how). And secondly, several states have upped their legislative measures to help app owners protect their intellectual property. Most recently, Russia.

Apple and Google team up against app pirates

As of 1 October 2020, Russia provides elevated protection against app piracy, including ISP blocking and forced removal of the infringing apps from app stores. Roscomndazor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media in Russia reached out to Apple and Google, asking for their cooperation in this matter.

The two tech giants wasted no time. Both of them responded promptly, promising cooperation in all matters regarding copyright protection of apps offered by the companies’ app stores.

How does it work

From now on, app copyright owners can file a complaint with Roscomndazor if they detect pirated apps using their intellectual property. The Russian agency investigates, and has a 72-hour deadline to find the hoster of the infringing app.

They send a notice to the platform, demanding the remedy of the situation, i.e. replacing the infringing content, or the removal of the entire app in question. This has to happen within 24 hours, unless the platform itself wants to be held accountable in a court of law for hosting pirated apps.

Many other countries have similar laws in place. The EU, the US, and China, for example, all offer various levels of protection for digital copyright. While these are definitely necessary and welcome in the fight against copyright infringement and piracy, they’re nowhere near enough to keep your app safe.

For starters, how do you even notice if your copyrights are violated in a remote app store? Well, this is where globaleyez comes in.

App monitoring service by globaleyez

With the rise of app usage all over the world, app monitoring became an essential part of online brand protection. There are various ways apps can steal your IP content, use your brand name, or harm your business. Many of these are hard to detect by companies if they try to do it without the help of online brand protection experts.

  1. The sharing of copyrighted content, like music, movies, or images is the best-known act of digital piracy.
  2. App shopping, like Facebook, Instagram, or Whatsapp can give rise to trading fake products and other issues.
  3. The unauthorized usage of IP protected coding and design is also very common in pirated apps.
  4. Not to mention using brand imagery like logos, names, or pictures by unauthorized apps for commercial purposes.

For example, a car-race game called “BMW racing” would be a lot more popular than one with the name “car racing”. However, since asking permission from BMW (or any other well-known brand) would be lengthy, expensive, and most likely denied, many infringing app developers decide to just use BMW’s imagery and hope for the best.

And in many cases, they could get away with it. This is why you need globaleyez.

How does our app monitoring service work

globaleyez can automatically monitor over 30 app stores worldwide, including the Apple App store and Google Play. We provide in-depth analyses of apps regarding content, developer, publisher, and behaviour.

We use a highly individual, 360° approach to brand protection that includes tailoring our services to each of our clients’ very specific needs. In the case of app monitoring, this means that we create a unique list of app stores you need us to monitor (adding or removing stores from our automatically monitored 30+ app stores).

You give us your criteria of what we should look for, e.g. unauthorized developers, brand imagery, download volume, or even outdated versions of your app. Based on our findings, you can ask us to enforce the offending apps’ removal from the stores.

Who is it for?

globaleyez’s app monitoring service is for any brand that offers a mobile app to their customers. No matter your reach or target audience, app piracy could leave your brand vulnerable to loss of trust and revenue, among other things.

In the case of banks, insurance companies, or any other institution that handles sensitive customer data, this loss of trust could be more than devastating.

Imagine someone setting up a mobile app in your name - gathering highly confidential information from your customers for phishing or other fraudulent usage.

- Oliver, Managing Director at globaleyez

Remember, thanks to our highly individual approach, you can ask us to monitor as many (or as few) app stores as you specifically need, which means our app monitoring service can be tailored to any requirement, as well as any budget.

Conclusion

Since apps are a relatively new feature of our everyday lives, app monitoring as a service hasn’t been around for a long time. We have a chance to develop our service according to the ever-changing requirements of the app market, which makes us agile and flexible.

The recent actions of Apple and Google in case of the new Russian law show that tech giants take the issue of pirated apps very seriously. However, there’s only so much a state or a large app store can do. If you want individual protection from app piracy, you need to take action to protect your brand in the world of mobile apps as well.

Contact us and find out how globaleyez’s app monitoring (or any other) service can answer your brand protection needs.

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