Apple is sending legal notices to websites that sell access to pre-release, beta versions of its iOS6 iPhone and iPad software. As apple charges developers $99 (£63.85) to access Beta software before it is released for testing purposes.
Different websites charge about $10 (£6.45) to register an individual device so that it can run iOS6 beta software.
The Beta software (which is for $ 99 (£63.85) entitles developers to “activate” the Unique Device IDentifier (UDID) numbers of up to one hundred iOS devices with Apple so that they can run iOS 6 beta software. iOS6 is expected to be released later this year.
Within the last month Apple has issued DCMA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices to Fused, a Seattle-based web hosting company, in relation to activation websites it hosts, according to Fused chief executive David McKendrick.
Mr McKendrick said, “Apple claimed in the notices that they breached its developer agreement or facilitated copyright infringement. This is definitely a new move on Apple’s part. 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, many of the sites in question were in the process of moving their sites to hosting firms based outside the US”
Apple prohibits developers from providing pre-release software to anyone other than their employees and contractors who have a “demonstrable” need to use it to develop and test applications on their behalf.
Activation websites exploit the willingness of some Apple device owners to pay to get access to the very latest versions of iOS6 before they are officially made available – despite the fact that beta software is often prone to crashing and may not include all the features that appear in the software when it is finally released.