In collaboration with police authorities from France and The Netherlands, the Federal Bureau of Investigation decided to seize domain names of websites offering pirated mobile applications. It’s yet unknown whether their operators were arrested or not.
The U.S. Department of Justice made a statement two days ago, announcing that they’ve seized three domain names associated with offering pirated Android applications. With aid from the French and Dutch police, the FBI took down applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com. Their users had quite the surprise when they saw the “FBI seizure” banner.
It’s the first time such operations take place, but it could only be the beginning. Special Agent Brian Lamkin – the one who led the operation – said that this kind of piracy is a problem which can’t be set aside:
“These thefts cost companies millions of dollars and can even inhibit the development and implementation of new ideas and applications. The FBI, in working with its various corporate and government partners, is not only committed to combating such thefts but is well poised to coordinate with the many jurisdictions that are impacted by such activities.”
Assistant Attorney General 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.”
Under “Operation In Our Sites” – launched in 2010 – hundreds of domain names have been seized by U.S. Authorities, but these operations only focused on websites which offered counterfeit goods or facilitated copyright infringement.
It remains to be seen if this kind of domain seizures will become something usual or not. Stay tuned!