(Headline: Man arrested for leaking new Harry Potter)
Yesterday, the National Police Agency announced that they arrested 11 people in 10 different provinces around Japan for copyright infringement. This is the very first time that authorities have cooperated together and performed a "large scale" (I use the term relatively) bust on many people at once.
Currently, only uploading copyrighted materials is illegal but as of next January (28 days left!) downloading copyrighted material will also become illegal thanks to a revision in the copyright laws.
The police say they will started cracking down hard as of next year...
The person that was shown on the news I saw yesterday about this and is written in the article is a 47 year old man from Nagano who would upload hit songs. In October alone this year, he uploaded to around 9600 people, supposedly causing "damages" of around 77,000,000 yen (around $770,000USD)
By the way, the P2P software that all of these people were using is called "Share", the sort of replacement for Winny. Share is a closed source program that it only available on Freenet. The author of the program keeps anonymous as he/she does not want to end up with the same fate as the Winny creator. (and with good reason!)
The main benefit of the program was that it was supposed to guarantee anonymity, which it obviously fails to do....
Here are some other cases where people have been arrested for using this software(from wikipedia):
Three Japanese people aged 21 to 41 were arrested in Kyoto, Japan on 9 May 2008 for illegally uploading anime files with Share. These were the first Share-related cases in Japan. Nevertheless, a research showed that there was no significant drop of on-line Share users after these arrests.
On 27 November 2008, another male Share user was arrested in Japan for illegally uploading Japanese TV drama with Share.
On 12 February 2009, the first two male Share users were caught for uploading Child pornography with Share.
On 30 September 2009, multiple Japanese media reported that two men were arrested for uploading Nintendo DS game software which include Square Enix's Dragon Quest IX. They are the first users arrested for uploading DS games.
Since 2001, there has only been 26 cases of people being arrested for copyright infringement for distributing over P2P networks. 6 of them have been in 2009.
As the Japanese culture makes people be very crazy about sticking to the rules no matter how silly, small, etc... they could be, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a much larger rise in people getting arrested (and no doubtfully getting fired from their jobs short after, being put on national news shown as a criminal..as if someone among the ranks of a terrorist, and probably causing many other major reasons for severe depression) just for providing a few songs or games over P2P networks, something that would probably be overlooked in the rest of the world.
(I only post this picture of Ed Norton from American History X as I thought it was weird that it came up on a google image search when I searched for "Share Arrests"(in Japanese). Nonetheless, this is probably the image that the general public has on file sharers thanks to the way the media portrays them)
For the last image of the day, I post this as I thought it was cute and particularly Japanese. Every time someone gets arrested for a computer crime like this the police lay out all of the seized computer equipment nice and neat on a table and that gets shown on the news as they talk about the incident.
Source: Yahoo Japan News