Now that the iOS 5.1.1 jailbreak is available for the iPhone 4S, new iPad, and older devices, the subject of jailbreak in general is getting a lot of attention again, and with it, the dark side of jailbreaking. It seems whenever someone wants to attack the very concept of jailbreak, one of the first salvos unleashed is app piracy. The sad, ugly truth is that those attacks are made possible because some people who jailbreak do so mainly or entirely to get "free" apps. And the sadder, uglier truth is that there's no such thing as "free". Everything has a cost. Even and especially theft.
We're going to use the words "theft" and "steal" here instead of piracy because that's what we're talking about. Steve Jobs once raised a pirate flag at Apple as a symbol of their counterculture and ideals, and the jailbreak community has embraced that spirit.
By no means has the jailbreak community embraced theft.
Both iMore and Mobile Nations have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to even the discussion of piracy. We place an incredibly high value on developers and the apps they make, and don't want to play any part, directly or indirectly, in disseminating information that hurts developers, the iOS platform, and the legitimate jailbreak community.
Likewise, prominent jailbreak developers have gone out of their way, numerous times, to distance themselves from app theft and ask those using their software not to steal apps.
There's a reason for that. App theft is not a victimless crime. It hurts the iOS platform, it hurts iOS developers, and because of that, it ultimately hurts iOS users.
Stealing apps isn't free. It comes with a very real cost.