Applications of the likes of AppCake for iPhone, as is the case of many other on Android such as Lucky Patcher, often arouse questions amongst users that wonder whether it’s legal or not. But, yes, AppCake is legal.
In this case, the reason for asking this question can be found in the fact that this application has a very shady purpose: to download cracked applications for free which we would usually have to pay for or that usually are packed with adverts. However, we have to differentiate between the actual app and how we use it.
In fact, this kind of app, just like Cydia, uses as an excuse the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) about jailbreaking an iOS device: it’s legal to do so even if Apple reserves the right to cancel the warranty of those devices.
However, is it legal to download cracked applications without paying for them? It’s obviously not legal because we’re infringing intellectual property rights. We’re using a service for free that we’d really have to pay for and whose owners are entitled to establish whatever price they deem appropriate.
In other words, it’s all about downloading pirate software. And this is a problem mainly due to two reasons. Just like what happens with music and movies, downloading pirated contents means that its creator won’t receive a fair reward for his work (the debate about whether record labels or movie distributors earn too much is another issue that should be settled by companies and authors). At the end of the day, as workers, this tool harms them. The other reason is that if these authors stop creating, we’ll stop receiving their product that we like so much. So, isn’t it better to pay them? Remember: downloading software isn’t a right.