Clannad Malware Creator Gets Two Years in Prison
posted on by Egan Loo
On Friday, the Kyoto District Court found Masato Nakatsuji guilty distributing Clannad anime images with a hidden malicious program on the Winny file-sharing network and sentenced him to two years in prison along with a three-year suspended sentence. Since there is no law in Japan against the creation of malware ("Trojan horses," viruses, and other malicious computer software), the 24-year-old former Osaka Electro-Communication University graduate student was actually charged with violating Clannad's copyrights and defaming another student. Nakatsuji admitted that he had also distributed his program with pictures of the other student to mislead the authorities.
Two years was the length of prison time for which the prosecutors had asked, while the defense has asked for a suspended sentence only. This was the first criminal prosecution of an alleged malware creator in Japan.
A 39-year-old man named Shōji Sakai was arrested on the same day in January as Nakatsuji was. Unlike Nakatsuji though, Sakai was not involved with the creation of the malware. Instead, Sakai was charged with uploading about 5,700 episodes from about 230 titles, including Idolmaster Xenoglossia, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and Kimikiss pure rouge, and sentenced to one year in prison (with a three-year suspended sentence) in April.
Update: Clarified the introductory sentence to emphasize Nakatsuji's actual charges.