The creator of Applanet has been sentenced to three years probation according to the Northern District Court of Georgia who recently passed down the sentence this week. For those unfamiliar, Applanet was an alternative market for downloading Android apps in the early years of the Android ecosystem. The store, along with two others – SnappzMarket and Appbucket, were shut down back in 2012 due to them being websites where Android users could acquire pirated content, which fell under copyright infringement and criminal copyright infringement and thus began a long path of court trials.
For Applanet creator Aaron Buckley the three years probation will be accompanied by one year of confinement to the home. This is a mild sentence compared to the ones given to the operators of the other two pirate app markets as they have been sentenced to years in prison for the operation of a pirated content site and distribution of said content to millions of users. This might seem like a lucky break for Buckley but the sentence is also a result of Buckley's lawyer suggesting he receive a downgraded sentence even though Buckley pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement, to which District Court Judge Timothy C. Batten agreed.
Buckley's sentence was passed down on April 11 of 2018, and will include other requirements in accordance with the law to ensure that he is within the regulations set forth by the court. This includes 20 hours of community service and Buckley will need to work towards acquiring his GED. Buckley says he respects the government and the court's decision in regards to the sentencing and that he is grateful for the chance to contribute to society in a "more meaningful way." Though the suggestion was put forth by Buckley's lawyer to get some leniency on the sentencing, a big part of the consideration from Batten weighed on circumstances of Buckley's home life, which was reportedly tough, as well as Buckley's commitment to community work in the years since Applanet was shut down.