Following an article by Wired’s Andy Baio about websites that are selling access to Apple beta software to people who aren’t registered developers, Apple has begun taking down the developer agreement violating sites.
MacStories noticed that several of the websites mentioned in Wired’s article have been removed within the past few weeks since it was published. One site owner who replied to MacStories’ inquiries confirmed that Apple had complained to hosting providers about copyright infringement, leading to the removal of the websites.
The websites in question would allow anyone to have their UDID (Unique Device Identifier) activated for installation of iOS betas, for a small price of under $10. Legally, developers are required to register for an account with Apple, giving each developer account 100 devices to test the betas on, but these websites sell those device slots to make profit.
One website owner who has had his site removed told MacStories that the service had made US$75,000 since June, when the first iOS 6 beta was released to developers. “We do not believe our service was infringing and our services did not violate their guidelines for iOS 6,” the site owner said, claiming that he is planning to launch a similar but more secure site in the near future.
The CEO of Fused, a web hosting company, told Baio over Twitter that Apple has been “fairly heavy-handed” in sending Digital Millennium Copyright Act site removal requests for UDID-selling websites that his company hosts on its network.
Apple also appears to have been cracking down on sites selling OS X beta download access to non-developers. iMZDL.com has put a notice on its website which reads: “We will no longer be putting up downloads on iMZDL.com for Apple Betas.”