Two Florida residents have just pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracty to commit copyright infringement, in this case copyrighted Android apps. This conviction is being hailed by the US Department of Justice as a landmark victory in its fight to protect intellectual property in the US.
Aside from fragmentation, one of the oft mentioned reasons why some developers still shy away from the Android platform is the rampant software piracy. Granted, this isn’t confined to Android alone, but it is not as notoriously bad compared to others. The operations behind Android app piracy, however, as considerably smaller than, say, desktop software, making them easier targets for law enforcement.
One such example is the AppBucket web site, which was reported to have been in operation from 2010 to 2012. The site provided access to, according to the FBI’s sting operation, thousands of copies of popular Android apps. The DOJ says that the distribution of the apps would have amounted to more than $700,000. Considering how Android apps cost below $10 on average, that is definitely a substantial number.
AppBucket operators Anthony Narbone, aged 26, and Thomas Allen Dye, aged 21, are scheduled to appear again in court in June and July, respectively, for sentencing. Depending on how it goes, each of them can spend a maximum of five years in prison.