Two men have pleaded guilty to distributing counterfeit Android apps, marking the first ever conviction in a copyright infringement case involving pirated mobile apps.
Nicholas Anthony Narbone and Thomas Allen Dye both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. The two men were accused of distributing over a million copies of copyrighted apps with a total value of more than $700,000.
“These mark the first convictions secured by the Justice Department against those who illegally distribute counterfeit mobile apps … These men trampled on the intellectual property rights of others when they and other members of the Appbucket group distributed more than one million copies of pirated apps,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General David O’Neil.
Narbone and Dye were identified as the men behind Appbucket, an illegal online market that was shut down by the feds in 2012. Appbucket, along with Snappzmarket and Applanet, were closed down in a test case for seizing the website domains of online marketplaces.
Narbone was designated as the leader while Dye was convicted as a co-conspirator. The two men were charged on Jan. 24 along with another alleged Appbucket co-conspirator Thomas Pace and Kody Peterson of SnappzMarket.
Narbone is scheduled for sentencing on July 8 while Allen is scheduled for June 12. Both men face up to five years in prison.