The Department of Justice recently announced that it has shut down three website domain names engaged in the unauthorized sale copyrighted Android cell phone apps. The operation was the first of its kind.
According to the DOJ, the seizures are the result of a comprehensive enforcement action taken to prevent the infringement of copyrighted mobile device apps. The three seized domain names – applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com – are now in the custody of the federal government.
In most cases, the servers storing the apps sold by the online marketplaces were being hosted in other countries. The DOJ acknowledged that it received assistance from Dutch and French law enforcement officials.
The seizures signal that the federal government is expanding it anti-piracy efforts into mobile applications and software. This is good news for software developers who lose out on royalties when apps are bought and sold through unauthorized channels.
“Criminal copyright laws apply to apps for cell phones and tablets, just as they do to other software, music and writings. These laws protect and encourage the hard work and ingenuity of software developers entering this growing and important part of our economy. We will continue to seize and shut down websites that market pirated apps, and to pursue those responsible for criminal charges if appropriate,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
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