Man Arrested for Posting 6 Pokémon Images Before Games Shipped
posted on by Egan Loo
Police from Chikusei City in Ibaraki Prefecture have arrested a man named Makoto Sekiguchi on Tuesday for allegedly posting images of new Pokémon characters before the release of the latest Pokémon games. Sekiguchi is a 27-year-old part-time company employee from Yokohama.
The suspect is accused of copyright infringement for allegedly posting six images of Chaoboo and two other new Pokémon characters on the Internet via a mobile phone at around 8:00 p.m. on September 1. These characters were slated to debut in a new series of Pokémon: Black and Pokémon: White games, which shipped for the Nintendo DS consoles in Japan on September 18. (A tie-in anime, Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes!, premiered on Japanese television on September 23.) The authorities did not identify the source of the images, but images of three previously unseen characters, including Chaoboo, were leaked from the October issue of Shogakukan's Monthly CoroCoro Comic magazine before its September 15 shipping date.
According to the authorities, Sekiguchi said in a deposition that he "thought I would show everyone the characters that haven't been made public yet." The police are investigating how the images were obtained. The Chikusei Police discovered the images while on "cyber patrol" and consulted with the publisher Shogakukan and the Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS).
In a separate development, the ACCS reported that three men were apprehended in three separate arrests in Japan in the past two weeks for distributing anime, games, business software, and manga online. The three men allegedly used Share — a file-sharing program, like its predecessor Winny, that is known to have flaws that compromise the users' anonymity. One of the suspects, a 37-year-old unemployed man from Aisai City, allegedly edited the commercials out of 4 Heartcatch Precure! anime episodes and uploaded them immediately after they aired from June 28 to July 18.
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