Apple’s Mac App Store is upgrading illegal and trial software for free

“Along with a free update to OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple promised owners of its iWork and iLife suites free upgrades to the latest versions, as well as anyone that bought a Mac after October 1st,” Aaron Souppouris reports for The Verge.

“However, thanks to a flaw in the company’s Mac App Store, even users with trial copies are being given free editions of Apple’s new software,” Souppouris reports. “More worryingly for Apple, users downloading illegal software are being given legitimate copies in exchange.”

Souppouris reports, “In addition to the iLife and iWork suites, which include Pages, Numbers, and Keynote alongside popular apps like iMovie, iPhoto, and GarageBand, the issue also extends to Aperture, which was recently updated to version 3.5.”

Read more in the full article here.

Mike Beasley writes for 9to5Mac, “Since the Mac App Store now detects boxed copies of iWork and allows them to be updated to the Mac App Store version, it seems the trial versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are perceived by the App Store as being a full purchased copy.”

“It’s unlikely that Apple can even fix the issue, since the trial versions of old iWork apps are identical to the retail copies (but require a serial number to activate),” Beasley writes. “Since the apps use the same identifier whether activated or not, the App Store has no way to determine if the trial has been activated.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. I would imagine the cost of pages was built into the cost of the devices. It was not built into the cost of yours. When you got your iPad, there was no expectation that these would be free.

      1. The cost of iWork was built into every iOS device. Whether or not the price is free, Apple got revenue. We call this “gross margin.” Some may call it gouging if price is “high”. If price is low or free, then its “loss leader” or something along those lines.

        1. By your reasoning the navigation in my Accura should have been free as it is built into the cost of every device. Have you never heard of add ons? What about your PC you own, should it not have only come with Winblows but also Orifice for free, it was built in to the cost?

          1. I’m saying that, depending on how one does the counting, the value, cost of manufacuring and pricing is already built-in because of the high margins. Apple can adjust prices up or down as it pleases. Its hard to say which came first — the price or the gross margin.

  1. For Apples own software, what is the big deal? Apple have effectively written off the cost of the software so additional copies is not going to be an issue.

    For third party apps, without an activation code it is hard to prevent theft.

  2. A deliberate flaw? For Apple to give away as free for everyone, there are a number of legal issues, hence why they say it’s only free on new devices.
    By allowing this to happen, it will get more Apple software in the hands of users, who will go on to ditch “the competition”. All sounds good to me!

  3. “…More worryingly for Apple…”

    Wow. Not sure how these writers do not get it – Apple does not really care about money for iWork now. They want people to use it and if that means a few thousand (or few hundred thousand) pirated or trial copies get upgraded for free, it will not damage their bottom line.

    Apple wants to change their software paradigm – instead of for meager profits, it is to get/keep users of their hardware. They aren’t MS, who in the desktop/laptop area are reliant on software sales & licenses for a substantial part of their bottom line. The writers seem not to understand the difference.

  4. Don’t get your panties all in a knot. FREE is FREE. They are giving it away. Deal with it. (Especially you, Microsoft.)

    Come to think of it, this article is probably sponsored by Microsoft to get Apple to try to quit giving out some of this for free, because it is killing them.

    1. Same here.
      I have auto update turned on now, opened the Mac store to look at the history.. There’s aperture as being updated. 🙂

      iWork/iLife is no big deal IMO.. But aperture?

      Wonder if it worked with final cut?

  5. I don’t see this as a big deal. Apple is going to give it away free and it would be a bigger mess is some legitimate copies don’t get the free updates. Apple erred on the side of caution which retains apple’s image. Unlike microscum which makes me phone in to and verify my copy of windows every time i do a clean install.

  6. Like Apple really care. They’ve always been very lax with regards to pirated software. iWork and iLife were both incredibly easy to get a copy of – if I recall correctly, boxed versions of iLife required no activation whatsoever.

    And there’s a very good reason for this: if you want to use iLife or iWork or Aperture or Logic, you gotta get a Mac. No other way. It’s the hardware they make their profits on, not the software – that’s just there to entice people to come and join the ecosystem.

    And another good reason: they want everyone running the same, up to date software. Apple absolutely hate fragmentation – something made even more obvious through their decision to give Mavericks away for free, even to SL users.

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