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Ohio man pleads guilty to selling pirated copies of Android mobile apps
This week, a 28-year-old Ohio man pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement before U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. of the Northern District of Georgia. Scott Walton admitted to participating in a scheme to distribute more than a million pirated copies of copyrighted Android mobile device applications, worth more than $1.7 million.
This comes after Kody Jon Peterson also pleaded guilty for his role in the distribution, according to a Department of Justice press release.
From May 2011 through August 2012, Walton, Peterson and others identified themselves as members of the SnappzMarket Group and reproduced and distributed copyrighted apps through their website.
“The apps had a total retail value of over $1.7 million and were distributed through the SnappzMarket alternative online market without permission from the victim copyright owners, who would otherwise sell copies of the apps on legitimate online markets for a fee.” – Department of Justice
The FBI has made a point to get as much publicity as possible with this case since it is the first time that the FBI obtained a seizure order against a website domain involving mobile device app marketplaces. During the summer of 2012, the FBI took down three unauthorized Android app stores: Appbucket, Applanet and SnappzMarket.