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Android app pirates plead guilty to copyright infringement

Engadget Engadget 3/05/2016 Mariella Moon
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One of the biggest Android app pirates has pled guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement and one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. Mississippi's Aaron Blake Buckley has admitted his role in distributing over four million unauthorized copies of Android apps with a total retail value of $17 million. Buckley was one of the people who ran Applanet, which made paid apps available to users for free without consent from their developers, from 2010 to 2012.

He ran it alongside Gary Edwin Sharp II, who also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement in January. The two are scheduled to be sentenced on August 1st. Besides running Applanet, Sharp also helped operate another pirated app website SnappzMarket. It's the smaller of the two, but it still distributed $1.7 million worth of applications to users. Both domains, along with another one called AppBucket, were seized back in 2012 -- the first time authorities seized websites associated with mobile applications.

Department of Justice

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