How can indie game piracy on Amazon be curbed?
Recent piracy victim Touchten Games says programmes such as Dex Protector and public education can help stop illegal practicesBy Jonathan Toyad 07 Apr, 2014
Rather, a company by the name of Banana Games was selling the title on Amazon without Touchten’s consent, making this an act of piracy. While this rampant act was recent, this wasn’t an isolated case. Qajoo Studio‘s Run Princess and Armor Games’ Infectonator were also sold on Amazon under a proxy company, where it potentially could earn sales that was meant for its publishers and creators.
Touchten Games told e27, the unethical process of ripping off games and selling it as your own is easy. First off, pirates can download the free .apk file from the target game’s page on Google Play. Then, the pirates can set up a proxy company via Amazon; in this case it’s called Banana Games. They then put the game up on sale as if it was their own. All proceeds and payment will go straight to Banana Games with no possible hassle.
At this point in time, the Amazon links are taken down. However, Touchten CEO Anton Soeharyo said that the process of reporting copyright infringement is very tedious and requires a lot of legwork on the developer’s part. In contrast, setting up a fake company to reap money from other people’s work on Amazon is easy. So how can this be solved?
Soeharyo suggested that developers use an app called Dex Protector that prevents IP theft and code tampering for Android applications. Of course, the price of the app isn’t friendly for beginners and students as it’s S$651.84 (US$515), but he feels that it is the easiest solution.
He also said that public education would be a long-term solution to curbing it. “[From this], customers can learn not to support piracy, while future hackers and crackers will be shamed and stop their activity.” (Sic)
He added that digital store managers and operators should be vigilant and proactive in finding pirated copies on their sites and ban them.