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Three Arrested in Japan for File-Sharing Shōnen Manga

posted on by Egan Loo
One 17-year-old allegedly uploaded Shonen Jump before release date

According to Japan's Association of Copyright for Computer Software, the Kyoto Prefectural Police's High-Tech Crime Task Force and other cooperating authorities arrested three male suspects in Tokyo, Morioka, and Osaka, and searched their homes on May 18 for unauthorized file-sharing of manga. The suspects allegedly scanned and uploaded images of Weekly Shonen Jump and Weekly Shonen Sunday manga magazines on the Winny peer-to-peer file-sharing network.

The suspect known as "Boy A" is a 17-year-old Tokyo student who allegedly uploaded Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine every week on the Thursday before the official Monday release date from February 15 to April 5.

The suspect known as "Male B" is a 26-year-old part-time worker in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture who allegedly uploaded Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday manga from February 14 to April 3. The infringed works are reported to be two installments of Shun Matsuena's Shijou Saikyō no Deshi Ken-Ichi, two installments of Makoto Raiku's Konjiki no Gash!! (Zatch Bell), and two installments of Nakaba Suzuki's Blizzard Axel.

The suspect known as "Male C" is a 29-year-old Osaka company employee who also allegedly uploaded Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday manga from January 31 to April 5. The infringed works are reported to be two installments of Kazurō Inoue's Ai Kora and one installment of Takashi Shiina's Zettai Karen Children.

Authorities confiscated all three suspects' personal computers, scanners, and manga during home searches on the day of the arrests. In an earlier case, two men and a woman were arrested in Japan on February 14, 2006 for selling scanned and uploaded images of various manga including Love Hina, Touch, Slam Dunk, Monster, Initial D, and Maison Ikkoku.

The Winny peer-to-peer file-sharing software was developed on Microsoft Windows in 2002 by a then anonymous computer engineering student. The software promised anonymity for its users, but Kyoto's High-Tech Crime Task Force found flaws in its integrated forum feature. After two users were arrested for sharing copyrighted material using Winny in 2003, the developer was identified as Isamu Kaneko of the University of Tokyo and also arrested. He was convicted and sentenced with a 1.5-million-yen (about US$12,000) fine. During Kaneko's arrest and trial, another anonymous developer created a successor application called Share that uses Winny's file-sharing network.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

This article has a follow-up: Prosecutor Requests 1-Year Term on Manga File-Sharing (2007-07-11 05:54)
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