The two leaders of a piracy group that offered an alternative market for counterfeit Android apps have pleaded guilty to copyright infringement charges, according to a prosecutors’ press release.
The two men are the first to be convicted for distributing pirated mobile apps, prosecutors said on Monday. Nicholas Narbone, 26, and Thomas Dye, 21, were part of the piracy group AppBucket, which allegedly distributed one million pirated apps from Aug. 2010 until Aug. 2012.
Prosecutors celebrated the guilty plea, saying Narbone and Dye “trampled on the intellectual property rights of others.”
“Copyright infringement discourages smart, innovative people from using their talents to create things that the rest of society can use and enjoy,” said Sally Yates, U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Georgia. “Theft is theft — whether the property taken is intellectual or tangible — and we will continue to prosecute those who steal copyrighted material.”
The FBI shut down AppBucket and SnappzMarket, another similar pirate market, in August 2012. Prosecutors charged Narbone, Dye, and two others with criminal copyright infringement on Jan. 24, 2014.
Both AppBucket and SnappzMarket were alternative Android markets, allowing users to download pirated versions of paid apps for free. The two marketplaces basically replaced the regular Google Play market, offering similar features like notifications updates, search and top apps lists. The one million pirated apps had a retail value of $700,000, according to prosecutors.
Narbone and Dye face five years in prison and will be sentenced on July 8, 2014, and June 12, 2014, respectively.
Source : Mashable