Arrests Made in Japan Over File Sharing


Tsukasa (Staff Writer) — December 2nd, 2009 — 12:23
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On Monday, eleven people were arrested on suspicion of using the file-sharing program Share to upload movies, music, anime, games, and other content without permission from the copyright holders.

This is hot on the heels of the arrest of 39 year-old Tetsuya Masumura of Nagano, who is accused of distributing software to circumvent the "Dubbing 10" copy-protection scheme, which allows a digital broadcast stored on disk to be copied to other media up to ten times.

A rundown of ten of those who were arrested from the Anti Counterfeiting Association was released:

  • 40-year-old male company employee from Sapporo (Ranma ½ television series)
  • 23-year-old unemployed male from Toride (Dragon Quest IX: Hoshizora no Mamoribito)
  • 47-year-old male company employee from Nagano (8 musical tracks from Victor Entertainment, SME Records, Sony Music Records, Avex Entertainment)
  • 23-year-old male company contract employee from Sayama (music from Ai Otsuka and Kobukuro, Back to the Future Part III, Death Note, Death Note: The Last Name, others)
  • 37-year-old male local government employee from Tsu (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
  • 44-year-old male company employee from Joyo (Lorelei)
  • 37-year-old self-employed male from Yokohama (Wii Music, Wii Sports Resort)
  • 57-year-old unemployed male from Komatsushima (unspecified television anime)
  • 40-year-old unemployed male from Okayama (Dragon Ball Kai, Fresh Precure!, Fullmetal Alchemist)
  • 30-year-old male game center employee from Chikugo (unspecified anime)

An unspecified home in Akita Prefecture was also searched but no arrests were reported. The first three Share file-sharing arrests occurred in May 2008 in three different prefectures. In the 2008 incident, the suspects reportedly shared various Gundam anime.

Share is a successor to the Winny P2P software which uses the same network. The Winny creator, Isamu Kaneko, was convicted for contributory infringement in 2006. He appealed, and this October, the Osaka High Court overturned the conviction, finding that Kaneko did not encourage users to violate the law.

Under Japanese Copyright Law, unauthorized uploads are prohibited, but download for private use is expressly allowed. The Japanese government is presently pursuing a ban on unauthorized downloads as well, in the face of thousands of messages from citizens opposing the ban.