U.S. seizes pirate phone app Web sites

Aug. 22, 2012 at 6:53 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Justice has announced the seizure of three Web sites it said were distributing pirated versions of copyrighted Android cellphone apps.

This is the first time Web site domains involving cellphone app marketplaces have been seized, the Justice Department said in a release Tuesday announcing the operation -- which it said was coordinated with international law enforcement, including Dutch and French law enforcement officials.

Visitors attempting to access any of the three domain names -- applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com -- are greeted with a seizure banner notifying them the domain name has been seized by federal authorities and notifying them that willful copyright infringement is a federal crime.

"Cracking down on piracy of copyrighted works -- including popular apps -- is a top priority of the [Justice Department's] Criminal Division," Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said. "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."

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