Only a short time ago, Google started demoting sites that received a lot of copyright infringement complaints from its search results. This after years of the entertainment industry asking for this. Even now they don't believe it's enough.
But in a very funny coincidence, less than two weeks after this three sites that offered access to "pirated" Android apps were taken down by the US government, in the same, shoot first ask questions later, manner that we've grown accustomed to.
It would seem that having the media industry's bodyguards, that would be the FBI or the Homeland Security's ICE office, on your side does have its benefits.
The sites applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com now all sport the reassuring and familiar "this domain has been sized" image, swooping eagle and all.
It's unclear exactly that these sites did. A couple of them seem to have offered mobile marketplace app for Android that allowed access to the pirated apps.
But that would mean the sites themselves didn't actually host any infringing apps, or at least didn't make them accessible through a browser. Taking them down accomplishes nothing.
Another site seems to have already disappeared by the time the US authorities got to it. The latest version cached by Google shows the famous or rather infamous "backpack girl
" that covers thousands upon thousands of empty or parked domains.
Basically, the site was dead once the FBI arrived there. But why let that ruin a perfectly good seizure. Imagine the FBI storming into an abandoned house, guns blazing and then proudly declaring it a great result in the fight against crime. Good job Team America.
All of this is ridiculous enough and would be funny if it weren't about government authorities acting as the private police for media corporations, seizing domains and shutting down businesses without any due process, legally trampling First Amendment rights Americans hold so dear.
But it's even more ridiculous because, apparently, pirated Android apps are now a "top priority" for the US authorities. Because, as all know, crime does not exist anymore and the FBI has to have something