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The Mobile Economy Has a $17.5B Leak: App Piracy (Forbes)

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Not all pirates say “arrghh” and wear eye patches. Some are smart, sophisticated, and technologically advanced. So smart, in fact, that they’ve siphoned off $17.5 billion in revenue from legitimate mobile publishers over the last five years, says Tapcore.

Some apps have lost as much as $76 million. Subway Surfers, a popular game, may have lost even more: $91 million. Essentially, pirates steal a mobile game or app, insert ads from an ad network account that pays them — not the original owners — publish the app to a third-party app store, and sit back to enjoy their stolen treasure.