Piracy has become one of the biggest issues of modern society ever since the internet landed. While pirated Android apps weren’t such a controversy until now, it seems that developers and authorities are cracking down on pirated Android apps. While there hasn’t been much attention focusing on pirated Android apps, people could easily take advantage of the open nature of Android and the ability to sideload apps. You can download apps from different sources and sideload them on any Android device, and nobody will bat an eye as to how you came to be in the possession of the pirated Android apps.
While the open nature of Android makes for a great user base and that’s why Android is the leading mobile operating system on smartphones and tablets. Sideloading has contributed to the fact that many developers are at a loss with their paid apps that have been published in the Google Play Store. Sideloading means that you essentially download pirated Android apps from torrent sites or mirror links, and install them on you Android device. It’s clear, I think, why developers might be upset at this new trend, since it means that users are not paying for their work. Up until now, nobody has been punished for using pirated Android apps, but unauthorized Play Store alternatives have been shut down in the past. Appbucket, Applanet and SnappzMarket are examples of apps that unlawfully distribute APKs, bypassing the Google Play Store.
Scott Walton, a Cleveland, Ohio resident, may become the first person to be convicted of copyright infringement because of Android app piracy. Scott Walton, 28, was arrested in July alongside two accomplices in connection with the 2012 SnappsMarket shutdown. Scott Walton and co. were the ones behind the application that unlawfully distributed pirated Android apps. The accused pleaded guilty to one account of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement on November 3. Whilst working with the SnappzMarket application, Scott Walton and co. distributed over 1 million pirated Android apps with a value just under $2 million. Sentencing of the defendant and his accomplices will commence later this month. We have no information about what kind of sentences the SnappzMarket Group members are facing, but since we have a hefty sum involved, we won’t be surprised to see time in jail being mentioned.