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Japanese Man Arrested for Pirated Anime DVD Auctions

posted on 2008-08-05 17:00 EDT
1M yen allegedly made on Dragon Ball, Gundam ZZ, other DVD-Rs since 2006

Japan's Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS) announced that a 37-year-old male company employee from Kakogawa City in central Japan was arrested on Thursday for selling unauthorized DVD copies of 10 anime works, television programs, and other titles. The man allegedly sold DVD-R copies of the 50,000-yen (about US$470) Dragon Ball's Dragon Box the Movies DVD set for 4,000 yen (US$37), the 50,000-yen (US$470) Dragon Ball GT series set for 5,500 yen (US$51), and the 72,000-yen (US$675) Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ box set for 4,000 yen (US$37). Police from the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido and Sapporo City's northern police office arrested the man on charges of copyright infringement and sent him to the prosecutors in Sapporo City.

The authorities say that the man sold about 1 million yen (US$9,000) in DVD copies on the Wanted Auction website in the 20 months between August of 2006 and April of 2008. Each of the auction listings went from 3,000 to 15,000 yen (US$28-140). In April, Hokkaido police investigators found out about the suspect's auctions and contacted the copyright holders — Sunrise, Toei, and Toei Animation — via ACCS. The police confiscated one personal computer, DVD-Rs, envelopes, and shipping supplies from the suspect's home on the day of the arrest.

The suspect reportedly said that he offered pirated items on the Yahoo! Auction and Rakuten websites in the past, but his listings were cancelled and his IDs were deleted on those sites. Since he tried to re-register but was unable to do so on those sites, he went to the Wanted Auction site where even pirated items were often not removed. As of the end of July, 231,411 members had posted 259,886 items on the Wanted Auction site.

Source: Internet Watch


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