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RIM Explains Piracy Protection Introduced in PlayBook OS 2.0.1

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Alec Saunders raised a furor when he first talked about what RIM was doing to curb piracy on the PlayBook and BlackBerry 10. At first it sounded like he meant that RIM was going to block sideloading but he clarified that. Now we have details from RIM on what they did in OS 2.0.1 to protect developers from having their apps pirated.

In short backup files performed using desktop manager are now tied to a BlackBerry ID to stop users from sharing backup files between devices but still allowing that same user to switch devices. Backup files, including the applications, are now also encrypted and that key is tied to the users BlackBerry ID so each key is different per user. RIM then goes on to recommend that developers released their app for only OS 2.0.1+ in their next release so they can take advantage of these protections.

Check out the full details on the BlackBerry devblog. I have yet to hear from any devs on if these measures have really stemmed piracy but I will report back when I do. If you are a developer let us know what you think in the comments!

PS: I have hoped that RIM would develop a simple solution to tie all of your apps to your BlackBerry ID so devs can easily check if the app is authorized even without a data connection. Hopefully they are working on something in that vein.

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  1. This method from RIM actually does work! i actually had a couple of apps that were not downloaded from Appworld and some of them now dont work and show an error message and when i click the ok button, it brings you to that specific app in Appworld to purchase it (ex: files and folders).

  2. About time! It took them over a year to plug that hole.
    The biggest problems were the fact that any user had access to the API keys of any app they wanted and that any competitor had access to your source code.
    So even if having keys in the client is not the most secure way to build an app, at least RIM is making it more difficult to steal IP.

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