updated 11:15 am EDT, Tue October 12, 2010
Adobe fix not yet implemented in apps
A number of iPad publications are currently vulnerable to piracy, says the Huffington Post. With affected apps, the hacking process is described as relatively simple. Users need only root around an iPad with a software tool like iPhone Explorer to copy out a particular PLIST file, responsible for managing an app's download information. After flipping any "purchasable" items to "viewable," the PLIST is copied back, where it then allows people to download issues of a publication for free after choosing to delete non-existent local copies.
Some highlighted examples of hackable publications include two Italian dailies, il Corriere della Sera and la Gazzetta dello Sport, and two American magazines published by Condé Nast, The New Yorker and Wired. Managers at the Italian newspapers say they are investigating the issue; Adobe, which is partly responsible for the Condé Nast apps, initially said it would have a fixed version of Digital Content Viewer for publishers by October 8th, but the New Yorker remains hackable.
The actual extent of magazine and newspaper piracy on the iPad is unknown. Readers have complained, however, that many publications are too expensive to read on a regular basis, since digital issues can cost as much as $5 each, with no option for a cheaper subscription plan. Apple is believed to be working towards iTunes subscription support.