Ah, sweet, sweet justice. Instead of the slap on the wrist and a ban from the Google Play Store as usual, the developer of fake versions of several popular Android games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope will get a more lasting punishment. According to the BBC, The British government has sentenced a Latvian developer to a £50,000 fine for counterfeit apps posted on the Android Market in November of last year.
In addition to the fine (which is enough to send most mobile developers into bankruptcy on its own) the unnamed developer must pay an additional £28,000 to the victims of its sneaky deeds. All told, that’s about $125,000 USD in fines, all for the fairly ubiquitous practice of a bait-and-switch app that makes its “customers” sign up for a scam SMS line that charges fees directly to their phone service bills.
The fine is the first of its kind for the mobile industry, and hopefully it’ll enter the minds of malicious developers everywhere. After all, you’d have to be crazy to post a pirated video of The Avengers to the Movies section of the store thanks to the MPAA’s legendary prosecution arm, so why should apps be any different? Thanks, Britain.