Is Apple taking aim at sites that sell access toto non-developers?
Apple-tracking blog MacStories reported yesterday that a host of Web sites known for selling access to Apple's iOS beta are no longer online. After trying to contact many of the site's owners, the publication's e-mails bounced back. Finally, the publication was able to connect with one site owner who said that his hosting provider took his site down after Apple filed a copyright-infringement claim.
That followed a claim made by David, CEO of Web hosting provider Fused who goes by his first name, that "Apple has been fairly heavy-handed with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requests to the ones we host."
It appears that the trouble for the sites started last month when Wired reporter Andy Baio highlighted how companies with developer access to the iOS beta were selling them to non-developers. Soon after, a source told MacStories, the takedown requests started flying.
In the Wired story, Apple directed Wired to its Developer Program License Agreement, which prohibits developers from selling access to software to unauthorized users.
For the sites selling access, however, it was a lucrative enterprise. With each registered iOS developer account, Apple allows up to 100 unique device IDs to be activated. After setting up their own, the developers then set out to sell the remaining spots. In many cases, when those spots are filled up, they just open more accounts. According to Wired, companies were selling those spots for around $10 per device.
UDID Activation has become one of the top destinations for non-developers to try out Apple's upcoming mobile operating system. And unlike many of its competitors, that site is still online. Customers looking for a simple activation to iOS 6 beta can get it for $8.99 from UDID Activation.
Apple's iOS 6 launches to all customers this fall. According to Apple, the operating system adds about 200 new features, including FaceTime calling over 3G, a new Maps application, and a digital wallet service known as Passbook.
CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the Macstories report. We will update this story when we have more information.