The only fix for people with bad copies, once good copies are being served again by the App Store, is to delete and reinstall the app.
And it’s even more serious for apps that store user-created data or game progress locally: if the only fix is to delete and reinstall the app, many users will lose their data.
The problem began on July 3. He stopped updating the list of affected apps after it reached 114. This is one of the downsides of a centralized system: a bug in the store can potentially affect every app on the platform, and developers are powerless to fix their own apps.
Update (2012-07-05): Lex Friedman:
Apple hadn’t responded to Macworld’s request for comment by the time we first published this story. Around 6:00 p.m. PT, Apple acknowledged the problem to Macworld, describing it as “a temporary issue that began yesterday with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded.” Apple added: “The issue has been rectified and we don’t expect it to occur again.”
I had a similar issue with one of our OSX apps. It took months to get Apple to fix the problem and pull most of the reviews. A few reviews were left and our average rating took a hit because of it. I am a pretty rabid Apple fan but I was less than thrilled with how they handled the problem, and how much effort it took to get them to deal with it. I CCed the emails to the editors here in case they thought the processes was worth commenting on. The email thread went between very concerned and helpful, to comically unattached, and back and forth again.
Update (2012-07-06): Marco Arment:
ather than remove the 1-star reviews — as far as I can tell, they’re all still there — it appears that Apple has triggered a reupdate on the affected apps, Instapaper included.
This means that the apps can be fixed without losing locally stored data.