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Apps and borders

June 8, 2010
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DRM is a noxious thing. There are apparently many apps developed for the iPhone/iPad that are not licensed globally. In other words, much as with music, one has to have an account in a specific country in order to get access to that store for purchases. It has always been this way with music, and now apps suffer from the same twisted logic.

The apps where I have noticed this are EasyGo, used by the local transit company here to put their schedules on and sell tickets via Apple (and other) devices, and radio.de, an iPhone version of the radio.de Website. I simply fail to understand the logic here. No American company is going to offer me an app nor make money from giving me access to German Internet radio streams, so why not just license the free (yes, free!) app globally.

Given how mobile our societies are, this kind of stuff affects a lot of people. Every single day, hordes of American tourists land in Europe, many packing iPhones; conversely, many Europeans fly elsewhere, and so on. It is a big messy jumble and we move around literally oblivious to borders other than when passing through passport control in airports or using the Apple iTunes store. Can’t do much about the former, but shouldn’t the latter play nicer?

Incidentally, does anyone know how wise it would be to feed content from multiple stores onto a single device? Something tells me the dueling accounts would do battle, and I would lose.

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