Android app piracy has been around for nearly as long as Android itself and has only grown over the years with third-party app stores. App piracy has gotten so big that even large companies are hosting developer’s work that has been pirated, even though the company has been alerted to the problem. But today we’re learning a huge blow has been dealt to Android app piracy with the guilty plea of the third-party app store, Applanet. According to the Department of Justice, Applanet gave out four million copies of apps that would have brought developers $17 million dollars (if legally sold).
Aaron “Zsak” Buckley, of Moss Point, Mississippi, was just 15 when he founded Applanet. A few years later, in 2012, Applanet was seized by the FBI along with two similar stores, Appbucket and SnappzMarket. The case was the first of its kind, involving coordination between authorities in the U.S., France and the Netherlands.
In a failed attempt to crowdfund Buckley’s legal defense fund, the “Friends of Aaron” argued that Applanet had simply gotten too big for Buckley to monitor, and people had illegally uploaded copies of Android apps despite his “best intentions.”
Buckley, who is now 22 years old, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, and one count of criminal copyright infringement. Gary Sharp, who is 29 years old, pleaded guilty to a criminal conspiracy in January. The other third-party app stores also gave out a fair amount of apps but Applanet was the major player in this case.
This is big news for app developers who have long cringed while seeing their hard work being pirated. This may not stop app piracy, but it should at least give some a reason to think twice.
What do you think of the guilty plea from Aaron Buckley? Let us know your thoughts and comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.Source: Fortune