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3rd Man Sentenced for Anime Sharing with Share Program

posted on 2008-08-04 12:30 EDT
21-year-old college student receives 1.5 years in prison, suspended for 3 years

On July 31, the Kyoto District Court sentenced 21-year-old college student Takahiro Ōtomo from Hiroshima Prefecture to one year and six months in prison, suspended for three years, for unauthorized uploading of Gundam and other popular anime with the Share file-sharing program. Three men were arrested for unauthorized anime file-sharing in Japan on May 9, and Maki is the last of those three to be sentenced. Judge Jun-ichi Tochigi cited both the "simple and egotistical crime but also [Ōtomo's] remorse" in handing down the suspended sentence. The judge also mentioned Ōtomo's actions "wasted the efforts of the copyright holders who produced anime with massive production costs, so the property damage is also enormous." Ōtomo was a fourth-year student at Kinki University.

41-year-old company employee Moriyoshi Inoha from Tokyo and 34-year-old company employee Kasuhiro Maki from Kawasaki City each also received an 18-month sentence, suspended for three years, on July 14 and July 24, respectively. Maki, Inoha, and Ōtomo were arrested on the same day by the Kyoto Prefectural Police's High-Tech Crime Task Force. They were the first to be arrested for using Share to share files without permission. Prosecutors had requested 18-month sentences in all three cases.

Share's developers had promised high anonymity for its users, but ever since security researchers found flaws in Share in 2006, other successor applications have been developed. Japan's Copyright Law prohibits unauthorized uploaders but expressly allows people to download for private use. The Japanese government is pushing for a ban on unauthorized downloads as well, despite receiving thousands of messages from citizens opposing the ban.

Source: Sankei Shimbun

Image © Sotsu Agency, Sunrise


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