A man from Ohio may be the first person to go to prison for pirating Android apps

A man from Ohio may be the first person to go to prison for pirating Android apps
Ah, piracy. The bane of all creative business' existance. Alright, fine, this is all up in the air and subject of many heated discussions. Still, copying content that you should be paying for is questionable, and distributing it is now a crime in most areas.

Android's openness has brought a lot of great things to the platform and its users, but there is one major downside for developers, and that is the fact that .apk files can be freely sideloaded (installed without the use of the Play Store app). This, of course, makes pirating paid apps effortless, and poses a problem for anyone trying to monetize their hard work. Up until now, there were no trials and no punishments to be heard of, when it comes to pirating for mobile devices. Well, apparently, the law took notice that smartphone usage is growing, and the problem is not as miniscule.

So, back in 2012, the FBI seized three unauthorized Play Store alternatives, full of pirated apps - Appbucket, Applanet, and SnappzMarket. This first-of-its-kind operation was followed by subsequent arrests and now, a 28-year old Ohio resident by the name of Scott Walton may become the first person ever to go to prison on account of Android app piracy.

On November 3rd, Mr. Walton pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and is currently awaiting sentence. He was arrested in July, alongside two co-conspirators, all identified as leading members of the SnappzMarket Group, which conspired to reproduce and distribute over one million copies of Android apps, tallying up to a $1.7 million value. This is quite the hefty sum and, while other pirating groups have been able to slide with lighter sentences, the fact that SnappzMarket's crime tops a million and a half may bring about harsher punishment for its founders.

Well there you go, children – piracy is bad. Download – no, buy – yes; just don't use your parents' credit cards to buy thousands of dollars of in-app stuff, mkay?

source: FBI via Digital Trends

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18 Comments

1. Malcolm.Merlyn

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

This was inevitable.

2. iluvsonynokia

Posts: 161; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

go bro we will come later

8. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

LOLOLOL

9. nomancool unregistered

comment of the day

3. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2265; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

mkay papi

4. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

Oh my the gods. He must be heavenly unlucky that day.

5. uchihakurtz

Posts: 428; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

There's a lot of people pirating Android apps here in my country but that's only because it's really hard buying stuff from Play Store. It still doesn't justify the act but if only Google would expand Play Gift Card, piracy will decrease significantly.

7. imnotascammer

Posts: 160; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

You have a point. In some areas, its quite difficult to buy contents out of Play Store.. but getting stuffs people work hard for is crime. Anyway.. Has there been any one prisoned for torrenting? Lol.

6. hmd74

Posts: 540; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

I'll meet you all at the jail :D

10. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

As always judging by the comments, some commenters didn't read the article.

12. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

Lazy pirates, look up tor browser and delete trackers.

15. TRUVILLE

Posts: 146; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Now downloading ........ Avengers age of ultron..70%

17. tenzin

Posts: 111; Member since: Dec 20, 2013

Freedom for him!!!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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