Justice has been served in the United States Justice Department's first ever conviction against black market mobile app distributors. Nicholas Anthony Narbone, 26, and Thomas Allen Dye, 21, the two Florida men behind the nefarious AppBucket Web site — which is believed to have served up over a million copyrighted applications between August 2010 and August 2012 — each pled guilty on Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.
Both men face a five-year maximum prison sentence for their crimes, as the Justice Department isn't looking too kindly upon them for the estimated $700,000 worth of apps they are accused of illegally distributing. Dye is scheduled for sentencing in June, and Narbone will get his day in court in July. "These men trampled on the intellectual property rights of others when they and other members of the Appbucket group distributed more than one million copies of pirated apps," Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O'Neil said in a statement. "The Criminal Division has made fighting intellectual property crime a top priority, and these convictions demonstrate our determination to prosecute those who undermine the innovations of others in new technologies."
Although app piracy certainly isn't a new issue, it's still one that needs serious attention, so it's good to see the authorities taking an active role in protecting our beloved Android development community. Stealing an application from a developer is the equivalent of hijacking an artist's painting, or an author's writings. It's like stripping them of their livelihood and their dignity, all in one fell swoop. And when you take into account the fact that most apps will only set you back a couple of bucks, it makes the matter all the more distressing.
We can drop multiple hundreds of dollars on these fancy, high-end devices, but we can't go that extra mile to pay for apps? Well, you had better think twice before you get into the illegal app distribution game because, as we've learned from Mr. Narbone and Mr. Dye, crime obviously doesn't pay.
We'll stay tuned to this story and update you once these two goons are sentenced.