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August 23, 2012

US DOJ blocks three Android app websites over copyright infringement

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized three Android application websites

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has blocked the access to three Android application websites, which allowed users to download pirated copies of copyrighted apps.

According to the government agency, the three Android application websites that include applanet.net, appbucket.net, and snappzmarket.com have been seized, and the access has been blocked to the websites.

Visitors to these websites will now find a seisure banner notifying the domain name has been seized by federal authorities.

USDOJ Criminal Division assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer said cracking down on piracy of copyrighted works including popular apps is a top priority of the Criminal Division.

"Software apps have become an increasingly essential part of our nation’s economy and creative culture, and the Criminal Division is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the creators of these apps and other forms of intellectual property from those who seek to steal it," Breuer said.

The agency also revealed that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had performed sting operation by downloading severalcopies of copyright apps from the sites and found that servers based outside the US had hosted most of the websites’ content.

FBI special agent Charge Brian Lamkin said the theft of intellectual property, particularly within the cyber arena, is a growing problem and one that cannot be ignored by the US government’s law enforcement community.

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"These thefts cost companies millions of dollars and can even inhibit the development and implementation of new ideas and applications," Lamkin said.

The agency has also issued search warrants in six areas in the US which include Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Texas.

Northern District of Georgia attorney Sally Quillian Yates said other sites faced similar action.

"We will continue to seize and shut down websites that market pirated apps, and to pursue those responsible for criminal charges if appropriate," Yates said.

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