Man Arrested in Japan for Uploading via Share Program

posted on by Egan Loo

On April 4, police in Japan arrested an unemployed 25-year-old man from Ashiyashi City, Hyōgo, on suspicion of using the Share file-sharing software to upload anime and manga online without the copyright holders' permission. According to the police, the man uploaded the 50th episode of Sunrise's Turn A Gundam television anime series on February 24. He also allegedly uploaded about 28,000 files from 300 different animated and comic titles. The police say that the suspect confessed to uploading the files to maintain download speeds and to "become famous."

The first three people to be arrested for allegedly using the Share file-sharing program were arrested in May of 2008 in three different prefectures. These three previous suspects reportedly shared anime from the Gundam franchise. 11 people were arrested in November of 2009 for also using Share after 26 locations were searched. Three more people were arrested last October for using Share to distribute anime, games, business software, and manga online, and 18 more were arrested in January.

An earlier peer-to-peer file-sharing software called Winny was developed in 2002 by a then anonymous computer engineering student. The software promised anonymity for its users, but the 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 the Share program which promised better protection of users' anonymity on Winny's file-sharing network.

Since security researchers also found flaws in Share in 2006, other successor applications are being developed. However, three people have been arrested for allegedly using one of those successors, Perfect Dark.

Japan's Copyright Law prohibits unauthorized uploaders but expressly allowed people to download for private use until last year.

Source: Association of Copyright for Computer Software via

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