Oxford Dictionary App Causes a Stir on Twitter

December 03, 2012

By Ofer Tirosh

Imagine paying up to $50 for an iPhone app and then having that app post all over your Twitter about you being guilty of internet piracy. This is a true story for some folks who paid for and downloaded the Oxford Dictionary of English.

Earlier this year, the app developer released an “upgrade” to their software to deter any hijackers from downloading the Oxford app illegally. However, a glitch in their system also caused legitimate purchasers of the dictionary application to be flagged as well. But here’s the twist. When the system flags an alleged pirated version of the app, the app then goes out and Tweets on the user’s account with the message, “How about we all stop using pirated iOS apps? I promise to stop. I really will.” for all of their Twitter followers to see. And if that’s not enough, the app then causes a popup on the phone screen that says “ I am a software thief!” Talk about a blunder.

Enfour, the software developer for the Oxford dictionary app released an emergency patch for the bug, yet the infamous Twitter messages are still in circulation. It’s unclear whether the problem still persists for legitimate users of the app, or just those using pirated versions. More information about one blogger’s ordeal with the app can be found on the blog, http://infinitelives.net/2012/11/24/cant-spell-pirate-without-irate-on-drm-and-punishing-the-customer .

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