The Department of Justice has seized the assets of three websites for allegedly distributing illegal copies of copyrighted Android apps, the first time the agency has been involved in fighting app piracy.

Here is more from the DOJ’s press release: “The three seized domain names – applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com – are in the custody of the federal government.  Visitors to the sites will now find a seizure banner that notifies them that the domain name has been seized by federal authorities and educates them that willful copyright infringement is a federal crime.”

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates of the Northern District of Georgia, stated: “Criminal copyright laws apply to apps for cell phones and tablets, just as they do to other software, music and writings.  These laws protect and encourage the hard work and ingenuity of software developers entering this growing and important part of our economy.  We will continue to seize and shut down websites that market pirated apps, and to pursue those responsible for criminal charges if appropriate.” (Via The Wall Street Journal).