The new Wild West: apps and infringement


The new Wild West: apps and infringement

In the rapidly expanding app marketplace, entertainment rights owners are feeling the heat more than ever as they try to control the mobile channel. TB&I investigates some novel ways of combating the bad actors.

Apps can be both wildly popular and frustratingly addictive. Excited consumers flock in their masses to download the latest game, gimmick or genuinely useful tool. In September, technology research firm Gartner predicted that the total number of mobile apps downloaded will reach 102 billion by the end of 2013, up from 64 billion last year, before leaping to nearly 270 billion in 2017.

Apps provide exciting business opportunities, often without demanding bundles of cash or years of experience, but infringement in this world can be rife. “The app marketplace can seem like a lawless new frontier,” says Andrzej Zamoyski, co-creator of Hungry Oni, an app game in which collecting and consuming strange objects is the name of the game.

Infringement has many faces. Fraudsters target unwitting consumers to harvest their bank details. Pirates link to websites providing access to illegal downloads. Copycats mimic popular brands. While banks have traditionally been targeted most, especially as they increasingly see mobile channels as a preferred route to market, entertainment rights owners are under special pressure as they try to control the mobile channel.

Apps, infringement, uFaker, MarkMonitor