The title pretty much says it all.

I find it puzzling that a reputable site would host stuff like this.

P.S. This post does not express my viewpoints on pirating and illegal distribution, I just find it odd.

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  • can you provide URLs to what you're talking about? – Jeff Atwood Aug 23 '11 at 9:24
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    The second one is borderline from the question could be read as a warez request, but how is the first one about pirating apps? It's asking how to download from the legitimate Amazon store, not asking for where/how to download paid apps for free from illegal distributors? – GAThrawn Aug 23 '11 at 11:08
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    See also this previous discussion on our policy about pirate apps/warez sites meta.android.stackexchange.com/questions/278/… – GAThrawn Aug 23 '11 at 11:14
  • @GAThrawn That is exactly what the question isn't about. It is about bypassing regional restrictions, which is actually worse, then just downloading the app from some warez site. – Šimon Tóth Aug 23 '11 at 11:27
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    How is bypassing regional restrictions worse than pirating apps? – kyrias Aug 23 '11 at 11:44
  • @Demizide Because it falls into a different category with harsher penalties (at least in EU). It is quite logical actually. You still have pirated the app, but you also bypassed regional restrictions to get it. – Šimon Tóth Aug 23 '11 at 11:46
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    Since I posted that, let me comment: I live in Canada. It probably breaks Amazon's TOS and they could ban an invalid account, but there are no legal ramifications that I'm aware of here. Circumventing DRM is still legal here as well, at least for now. Out of curiosity: Is rooting illegal in the EU? Does backing up apps count as piracy? – Matthew Read Aug 23 '11 at 14:43
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    @Matthew Don't know what apps/backups count as, but in the UK the law is just being changed now to make it legal to rip your own CDs/DVDs as a digital backup. It's been illegal (but ignored) up until now, as everyone's obviously been using MP3 players with ripped music on for years illegally. – GAThrawn Aug 23 '11 at 16:43
  • @Matthew You can backup apps that you legally own. You can pretty much do whatever you want with them as long as it doesn't fall into "illegal distribution". In some countries, reverse engineering is a crime as well. The problem is that with the regional limitation bypass you are gaining access to something that you shouldn't have access to in the first place. – Šimon Tóth Aug 23 '11 at 17:34

I don't think questions about getting around (often arbitrary) regional restrictions are the same as piracy and shouldn't be conflated. There are any number of legitimate reasons why someone might need to do such a thing.

While I hate to fall back on this old chestnut, we're not experts in law. Further, the law varies by jurisdiction and the web (and this site) is international. If it's a gray area we should offer our knowledge; it's up to the recipient to know, and pay the consequences, if they take the knowledge they gain here and use it to break the law. (If you're afraid that someone will use information you give for nefarious purposes, don't give it.)

All that said, any obvious piracy and warez trading gets smacked down pretty quickly around here. Of course, it helps when users flag things for moderator attention, because moderators can't be everywhere.

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  • I'm not saying, that I disagree, but just out of curiosity, what would be a legitimate reason? – Šimon Tóth Aug 23 '11 at 20:25
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    I live and work in the U.S. I'm living and working in Germany on a work exchange. My phone works fine, except there's this one update I need that I can't get because the Market insists I'm in Germany. Just as a for instance. – ale Aug 23 '11 at 20:45
  • Sorry, but your example doesn't make sense. It would, if it would be reversed. The market would insist that your SIM card is from USA and therefore you can't access the Germany-only content. But even then, you are not bypassing the restriction, since you can legally obtain a SIM card from a German provider even if you don't live there (at least I assume that you can). – Šimon Tóth Aug 23 '11 at 20:57
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    Then look at some of the other questions, then. You asked for a strawman; I gave you one. – ale Aug 23 '11 at 21:00

https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/12712/plants-vs-zombies-outside-us-closed was a new question, and has now been dealt with. I wouldn't call that hosting a guide to a pirated app. As for my question/answer pair about the Amazon store, let me quote my comment above:

I live in Canada. It probably breaks Amazon's TOS and they could ban an invalid account, but there are no legal ramifications that I'm aware of here. Circumventing DRM is still legal here as well, at least for now.

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  • This isn't about DRM. Microsoft is giving free licenses to students of most Universities, does that mean that anyone can legally fetch such license? Of course not. – Šimon Tóth Aug 23 '11 at 17:39
  • @Let_Me_Be I didn't say it was about DRM, that was just an example of how different/looser the related laws are here. – Matthew Read Aug 23 '11 at 17:42

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