According to a press release from the Department of Justice, United States Attorneys in the Northern District of Georgia have charged four people by information with conspiring to defraud copyright holders by selling pirated Android apps through online marketplaces that they set up for that purpose at www.snappzmarket.com and www.appbucket.net. As part of the take down of the case the Department of Justice seized the website domains associated with the alleged conspiracies.
If convicted the maximum prison sentence for conspiracy to commit copyright infringement is five years.
Unlike apps for Apple iOS devices which must be purchased through Apple’s App Store after a vetting process, Android apps can be purchased from a multitude of third party marketplaces. This creates the potential for risk because these marketplaces may sale apps with malware, are selling pirated software, or are selling counterfeit apps. For instance, many popular apps available by their developers only for iOS can be found in Android marketplaces under the same name, icon, and with screen shots from the actual app running on iOS devices. When downloaded the purchaser discovers that the application is something a poor counterfeit or something else completely.
These materials have been prepared for general informational and entertainment purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.