Free Source Code Available To Download

Hello Hello,

This is Jonathan, the founder at Apptopia.  We had something really interesting happen at Apptopia recently.  It’s a first and has compelled me to write this blog post.  I want to share two things with you:

  1. A story.
  2. Source code to an app called Hard Rock Player (completely free).

 

The Story
It seems the History of Credit Cards goes as far back as the 1960s.  However, I think most would agree that really its the last 15 years where credit cards have had the greatest impact on our lives. In fact, most people I know don’t bother to carry cash, and its now quite common to see kids as young as 12 & 13 years old with credit cards their parents gave them.  Wild.

In any event, I wont digress too much.  What I really want to talk about is how credit cards have affected businesses, specifically online companies.  Today, credit cards are nearly the ONLY way Internet businesses can accept money from their customers. And while I am sure there are a several providers who will comment on this post with other “non-credit card solutions”…the bottom-line is consumers like using credit cards, and have come to expect that all businesses will accept them.  So small businesses like Apptopia are very much helpless & at the will of behemoths like MasterCard, Visa, AMEX, Authorize.net, etc.

These massive companies have quickly realized that they make the majority of their money from irresponsible consumers who either pay late or carry a balance.  So it’s to these credit card companies advantage to not only let anyone and everyone have a credit card, but to actually have the “tie go to the credit card holder”.

In the past couple years this has become a huge problem for small businesses, specifically as it relates to Chargebacks.

Recently we had a buyer on Apptopia who nearly 1 month after their app acquisition, filed a charge back with VISA stating their card was used fraudulently (the most generic/common “checkbox”).  Keep in mind this user:

  • Has logged into Apptopia on 41 separate occasions.
  • Signed a Purchase & Sale agreement.
  • Made 2 payments (the first $150 deposit, and then after receiving our invoice made the 2nd payment voluntarily for the remainder of the balance).
  • Had a lengthy conversation with both my Transfer Team & Google’s Support team, all in regards to transferring the application into his developer account.

I provided all of this information very diligently, organized, and on time to the credit card company and disputed the chargeback.  They recently got back to me and explained that they have blindly awarded the case to the buyer as he found a very small, very specific loophole with using a foreign credit card.

*Please note we have since taken extra measures to protect against this in the future.  So for anyone who thinks this is a blueprint on how to get apps for free…think again =)

The Logic
I have 2 major issues here.  First, to do a chargeback when you are buying software and or intellectual property rights is repugnant.  Its something you can never give back.  No matter what.  It can never be deleted.  And you know this when you are making the acquisition.

Second, its straight up disrespectful to knowingly steal money from a small business helping your community.  Now just to be clear Apptopia is growing as fast as it ever has before, but we still do not have 10s of millions of dollars in the bank and we have ongoing expenses.  So, money being stolen from us like this does have an impact.

My logic is simple; now that Apptopia owns this app I want to share it with the community.  There is little value we could get from this app ourselves, but I figured that sharing this code, and all of its assets would be extremely valuable to the community.  And frankly that is what Apptopia is all about.  It’s why my co-founder Eli and I quit out jobs to build this platform to begin with.

I highly recommend that you download the code below, and share it with all of your friends.  Perhaps there is a valuable element in there you can use, learn from, or test with. Who knows?  But this one is on us.  Enjoy!

The Source Code
The App

Hard Rock Player

What It Does

Links to rock and roll videos and clips from around the world.  It allows you to watch the top rated, most viewed, and newest hard rock videos around.  Using the random video function can even surprise you.  With the “My Clips” function you can also easily create a personal playlist. Simple, but useful.

Secure Link To Download: https://apptopia.box.com/shared/static/nzs5yyyba937mnhk6qht.zip

(Note the download will begin right after you click)

The Lesson To Be Learned
We have worked with customers of ours before when they have a unique situation come up where they can not follow through on a deal, or have made a mistake.  We really care, and really respect people who are honest and transparent with us.

Having said that, if you try to chargeback an acquisition and you try and steal from us…very simply we will share your source code with the world.

Every time. =)

- Jonathan

This article has 25 comments

  1. Hey All –

    Thanks to a great comment from someone on HackerNews, i realized i did not clarify the “license” for the source code. My intent was: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_licenses

    Meaning very simply, i want you to do whatever you want with this code that you find value in. Our goal is really to share value and tell an interesting story.

    Please enjoy,
    Jonathan

  2. “Our goal is really to share value and tell an interesting story.” Somehow that doesn’t seem to be the goal. Not that I’m disagreeing with the tactic, the actual goal isn’t even the most obvious statement.

    I think it was The Sphinx from Mystery Men that said “Know the people you’re screwing with before you go screwing with people.”

  3. Please get the “share this”menu the heck out of the way of my reading!

    Stick it on the bottom, on the right top, but get the heck out of the way of the reading!

  4. Way to go Apptopia! Fight them back!

  5. Just some inspiration for a similar situation we had at our firm. I suggested releasing the code as a free open source service.

    Nice1!

  6. Wow, thats the way to show them. I can’t even imagine what the guy was thinking, Glad you guys took care of the seller. And the buyer, shame on him. You should publish his address, developer accounts, and phone numbers, so we can all say hello.

  7. It is great how you handled this, too bad there are so many thieves in the world today.

  8. Great guys!

    Nica way to handle with the situation! Keep up the good work!

  9. Can you please publish how to protect one’s self from the charge back loophole related to foreign credit cards so the rest of us can learn from this?

    Also, what credit card company / bank was it? I want to make sure I NEVER do business with them. Ever.

    Thanks!

  10. Thanks Jonathan! Great we can get one for free, but better even if it was for iOS (for me in any case). Anyway, nice way to handle such a situation!
    Regards!

  11. I think this is one of the worst practices I’ve seen any business to do.
    I have a portfolio of approx. 25 apps and was considering to sell it through your website.
    However, now I am no longer debating this option. Who is to say, that you don’t come up with some story and steal all my apps from me. Especially given that in order to publish app through your site I need to give you access to my account, including my user name and password.
    There is no guarantee! I don’t know any of you. For all I know, you maybe in business of stealing apps.
    So, for this reason, I think that posting someone’s source code was a very bad decision, not very professional at all. All such cases should be handled internally.

    • I realize that the code to a working app is the result of blood, sweat and tears, however the code is just code. Once it’s written, the real work starts and never ends, ie promoting it, supporting it and updating it. Just having access to a code, or stealing it, isn’t really going to get the thief any easy money. sure you can get an NDA, etc, but without sharing the code with someone, it’ll stay on your hard drive along with all those vacation pictures that will never see the light of day.

  12. @martin l – i think u misunderstood? the customer got the code [likely copied it] and then took back payment. this company’s ‘defense’ was to make the code that he [effectively] stole worthless to him as intellectual property. b/c the app was not ‘sold’ [due to the chargeback], apptopia was free to do what they want with it – BECAUSE they bought it from the source. if the source was NOT paid, then you do have a valid point. that would be lame.

  13. What a low lying scumbag. People like that should have a place where the sun never shines. That’s terrible. Hopefully karma finds that person.

    thanks for sharing!

  14. Hey guys,

    We just wanted to thank everyone for their comments and support. Like we said in our email, our success and drive is fueled by the community that you all comprise.

    @martin l. – I appreciate your feedback and at the very least agree that our approach was unconventional and perhaps eye-opening. I would advise that you chat with any one of our sellers or buyers to get their thoughts on whether or not we’d really be so foolish as to comprise their security and trust in the scenario you describe (or any other really terrible way). Likewise, I would also just echo @incubar’s comment (thanks for that, btw!)

    Once again guys – thanks!

  15. I just wanted to comment on Jonathan’s remark: “We have worked with customers of ours before when they have a unique situation come up where they can not follow through on a deal, or have made a mistake. We really care, and really respect people who are honest and transparent with us.”

    I recently ran into some issues while selling an app and Jonathan, Gerry and the rest of the Apptopia team have been nothing less than stellar with their customer support to make sure the situation was resolved in a professional and timely manner. This was my first experience with Apptopia and they went above and beyond to ensure that I ended up satisfied after what could have been a really negative situation. I genuinely believe that they want only the best for both parties and strive to make sure that happens! Keep it up guys!

  16. I don’t think this is a good idea, if somebody is working hard to sell a similar app on app store, now you offer this source code for free, you would hurt them. You should try to sell the source code to another buyer.

  17. @Howie – Sorry about the delay. Your question is extremely fair.

    In short, all credit cards company have this thing called AVS (Address Verification Service) – which makes sure that the Credit Card address entered matched the billing address at the issuing bank. This is not required. And the problem is that because foreign addresses, zip codes, etc are so different (for every country) – the payment gateway cant actually verify the address. So it makes it difficult to accept legitimate foreign credit cards.

    Some more information on AVS:
    http://www.bankcardcentral.com/resources/bankcard-central-faq/what-is-avs.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Address_Verification_System

    I am happy to go into more detail if you have specific questions – jon AT apptopia DOT com

    Jonathan

  18. How do you open this source file in eclipse? I moved the whole HardRockPlayer file to the work space and when i opened it in eclipse it seems there were things missing. I’m new to app development and i wanted to just touch around the app see where i am at but i guess i already failed since i can’t even open the file well fully open the file. any help? Am i moving the wrong file to my work space?

  19. I am a newbie.
    Is there a way to see Hard Rock Player in action so I can see how it works?

    Thanks.
    Paul

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