News Man Arrested for Site That Converted Niconico Videos to MP3s
posted on 2014-05-09 03:00 EDT by Egan Loo
On Thursday, the cyber-crime task force of the Hokkaido Police and Hokkaido's Teine Station arrested the 29-year-old male administrator of Nico☆Sound#, a site that once let users convert the audio of Niconico videos into downloadable MP3 files. The suspect is accused of violating Japan's Copyright Law by infringing on song rights administered by JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers) and Dwango User Entertainment.
With the site, users did not have to install a dedicated application to convert the audio of the Niconico website's video streams into MP3 files. Instead, users could simply enter the URL of a particular Niconico video, and the site would automatically do the conversion and create a downloadable file.
According to the police, the site converted about 1,500 files a day from Niconico, which is known for streaming many popular Vocaloid songs.
While the site did not charge users for its service, it ran an advertising service. The police investigation confirmed that the service earned about 130 million yen (about US$1.3 million) until now.
The website has been shut down since February, with an apology for the abrupt closing and a thank you note to its users.