July 31, 2014

Save a life, buy an app

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Rest in peace to the bad guys, or, if you’re too cheap to support a developer by paying for their application, the good guys. The United States Department of Justice has gone on a killing spree, crushing three of the best-known websites and markets for Android piracy. Snappz Market, Appbucket, and Applanet have all been shut down, thanks to a new Government initiative to put an end to Android application piracy once and for all. When visited, the websites no longer have the original illegal downloads they used to, but you get a nice, shiny ‘FBI Seizure’ warning, giving you a heads-up about the fines and some sort of lecture explaining how Android piracy (or just software piracy in general) and how it’s the same thing as illegally torrenting music or movies.

Since the founding of the Android platform, piracy has been an issue, as well as on the iPhone (Cydia). In this day and age, people are – for lack of a better word – too cheap to pay for the hard work that goes into developing a mobile application. [pullquote1 quotes="true" align="left" textColor="#0c7d6a"]“We will continue to seize and shut down websites that market pirated apps, and to pursue those responsible for criminal charges if appropriate.”[/pullquote1]Even the most talented, skilled developers can take several months to create an app, and this is something that the general public doesn’t seem to understand. For most developers, this is their only source of income – sure, some work part-time jobs, but developing is a full time job. Some development companies have lost nearly 80% of their profits due in part to websites such as Appbucket.

There are still several websites that offer illegal APK downloads; there’s only one problem, however – the apps on these websites usually aren’t the latest version, which is a problem if the version available has noticeable bugs, etc. So far, the government has only shut down three of these types of websites, but I believe that United States attorney Sally Quillian Yates puts it best:

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

There you have it folks. If we get word of any other websites getting shut down, we’ll let you know.