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Man Arrested for Downloading Anime, Games, Manga in Japan

posted on by Egan Loo
39-year-old surrendered after allegedly violating Kadokawa, Nintendo, Hideaki Sorachi's rights

Police in Chikushino City in Fukuoka Prefecture filed an arrest against a 39-year-old unemployed male Kasuga City resident on Thursday for allegedly using file-sharing software to download anime, games, and manga. According to the police, the suspect used the file-sharing software Share and Perfect Dark (no relation to the Nintendo 64 game of the same name) to download four items copyrighted by Kadokawa Shoten, Nintendo, and manga creator Hideaki Sorachi between September and December. Sorachi is best known for his long-running Gintama manga.

The authorities said that the suspect has been using file-sharing software for 10 years, and that he turned himself in to the police in December after seeing arrest reports appear on the 2channel forum. The suspect allegedly explained that he downloaded for his own personal viewing, and police said that his personal computer had more than 10,000 downloaded files of copyrighted materials.

While scores of people have been arrested in Japan for uploading anime, games, and manga without authorization, arrests for downloading have been much rarer, if not unprecedented. Japan passed a law in 2009 to make unauthorized downloads illegal, and the law went into effect in 2010.

However, Japan did not have actual penalties for illegal downloads until last October. Those charged with illegal downloading now face up to two years of prison or fines of up to 2 million yen (about US$25,000). According to NHK, no cases were filed for illegal downloading in the first three months since these penalities went into effect.

Source: Asahi via Hachima Kikō

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