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Japanese Police Arrest 27 File-Sharers in Nationwide Show of Force


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Japanese Police Arrest 27 File-Sharers in Nationwide Show of Force

Last year Japan introduced one of the toughest laws in the world for
dealing with online piracy but with little visible action against
file-sharers it was questioned whether the legislation would have teeth.
That position has now dramatically switched, with police nationwide
carrying out searches on 124 locations and arresting 27 people for
online infringement. Those arrested face up to 10 years in jail.

japan.png

Following complaints that the music industry was in peril from the
actions of illegal file-sharers, in June 2012 the Japanese government
approved an amendment to its Copyright Law that would see mere
downloaders of illicit content face criminal penalties.

The new legislation, which kicked in October 1 2012, stated
that those knowingly downloading copyright infringing material could
face a two-year jail sentence or a fine of 2 million yen ($21,640).
Existing legislation against uploaders of copyright content already
provided for penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a 10 million yen
($108,202) fine.


The Japanese public hadn’t witnessed any large scale enforcement
action since the law’s introduction nearly five months ago but all that
changed a few days ago.


The National Police Agency’s Cybercrime Project and rightsholders
including the Recording Industry Association of Japan have just revealed
the results of an intensive three day anti-piracy crackdown.


The police say that they carried out raids on 124 locations in all 47
regions of Japan, to date arresting a total of 27 people for breaches
of copyright law. The items being shared and/or downloaded unlawfully
include movies, music, TV shows, games and business software.


The Recording Industry Association of Japan confirmed that at least
two of the arrests related to their products. The first concerned a
41-year-old who had allegedly uploaded music using the file-sharing
software ‘Share’ and the second involved a 42-year-old who allegedly
uploaded a video clip using the same tool.


The MPA-affiliated Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright
Association (JIMCA) say that a 40-year-old man was arrested February 19
for allegedly uploading copyrighted movies using the P2P software
‘Share’. An earlier raid netted the hardware pictured below.

japanshare.jpg

In addition to the above, several other rights organizations were
involved in reporting the remaining alleged infringers to the police.
They are the Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS),
General Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (MPAJ), Japan
Video Software Association (JVA), General Institute of Japanese Society
for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) and the
Business Software Alliance (BSA).


While this is the first large coordinated action since the new
legislation passed October 1, Japanese police have also conducted
smaller operations against alleged file-sharers. They
include

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