30 arrested for illegally sharing manga, music, movies, TV shows online

TOKYO —

The National Police Agency says that 30 people have been arrested for illegally distributing manga, music, movies, TV shows and anime, including the latest Harry Potter movie and AKB48 songs.

The NPA said Friday that the arrests were the result of its first fully nationwide exposure of file-sharing software users.

Authorities across the nation used a P2P software monitoring system to detect users of file-sharing applications, Fuji TV reported. The operation, which took place Nov 28-30, is the third such sweep that Japanese police have performed since January 2011.

The scan showed 76 properties at which P2P software was being used, Fuji reported.

Japan Today

  • 1

    sensei258

    Big Brother is watching you

  • -1

    Antonios_M

    Give them the death penalty immediately. Or something worse: make them watch the twilight series.

  • 4

    zichi

    Use a VPN!

  • 2

    nishikat

    First the police are not Yaks. I was actually called into the police station since I witnessed a crime and they are they were real gentlemen. The just didn't give me coffee, oh well!!

    OK, just about every gaijin is downloading some HBO or Showtime drama so need to pay attention to this. Personally I know a person who knows a person a few years back who had the latest Spiderman movie in his shared space for P2P. The provider detected it and sent an email about it to take it off. But no legal action. What I went to know is to what extent were these people arrested sharing? Did they have a huge about of stuff available? Latest stuff? Does it make a difference if you get something quickly by BitTorrent and take it off the shared space right after it is finished downloading? If you have a latest movie on your hard drive like TIN TIN that would probably attract more attention than a movie made twenty years ago like Goodfellas. There have to be at least a million people in this country using P2P illegally so either these 30 people did something that attracted a lot of attention (more than just downloading the latest HBO thing for himself) or were really unlucky. For the gaijin community this is a topic that needs serious discussion.

    OH, yeah, heard about the VPN. Need to check that...

  • 1

    Joepineapples

    Some P2P software isn't used for illegal downloads it's used for game patches and updates I'm guessing that they are looking for file names like Harry.Potter.5.avi etc

    @Zichi a VPN may help if you just want to watch UK or US TV or Netflix

    if your using a public torrents sites now you need you head examined a lot of people are using private torrents or news groups

  • 1

    JerryL

    Zichi,

    A VPN won't help you. The hacker who hacked Sony the first time thought he was safe using the hidemyass.com VPN service. It's quite easy to trace you back. While the VPN services say they delete logs, they are only talking about the logs that keep track of which URLs you visit, but they all keep the connection log that simply indicates the time you logged in and logged out. So if they have a log that a particular IP address was downloading a file at a certain time and date, they trace the IP back to the VPN provider and they simply need to get the connection log and see what real IP address was connected to the VPN server at that very time and they have you.

    http://www.hacker10.com/internet-anonymity/hma-vpn-user-arrested-after-ip-handed-over-to-the-fbi/

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    They should also name and shame the website these pirates are using, so the rest of us can stay away from it. :D

  • 0

    village idiot

    @JerryL - Won't the VPN encrypt the traffic so the spies won't know what you are downloading?

  • 4

    Peter Wilson

    If movies released faster in Japan they wouldn't have this problem. This is a symptom of an antiquated entertainment industry. On the odd occasion you do attempt to pay for a movie already in available for download in the USA - you can't because "it's not available in your region".

  • 1

    MaboDofuIsSpicy

    VPN is fine with me. Just do not do massive downloads. Did see the Karate Kid II though four hours after it was released in the states. The guy walking in front of the screen with the big barrel of pop corn was funny though.

  • -1

    CrazyJoe

    The Japanese laws were amended in 2010 regarding copyrighted materials. It is illegal to download illegal contents but there is no criminal penalty and you will not be arrested for downloading itself.. These guys were arrested for making the files available for the public to upload. Be careful when you use P2P, since when you're downloading, others are most likely uploading files from your PC. Torrents are not safe either. If you make illegal files available for upload to others you can be arrested. I stopped using P2P and torrents a few years back.

    http://www39.atwiki.jp/dl-ihou/pages/29.html

  • 1

    CrazyJoe

    Even JAP (Java Anon Proxy) is not 100% secure these days.

  • 2

    billyshears

    This seems to concern only distributors, not those who merely download. If you are downloading excessive amounts of P2P files, you may well get a warning letter from your ISP before the "keisatu" come knocking at your door.

  • 3

    CrazyJoe

    I did get a warning (e-mail) once from my internet provider for downloading Criminal Minds back in 2009. I was using Bit torrent and others were uploading bits of files while I was downloading. My So-net provider got a warning from the US distributor back then. That's why I stopped using P2P and torrents.

  • -1

    Al Stewart

    i just stream.

    And they are more so concerned about the distribution of said material.

  • 4

    cactusJack

    I heard of a Japanese guy who was a heavy downloader/uploader and the ISP told him to cut down because of the huge bandwidth he was using. I think the authorities are looking for the huge bandwidth users i.e. using a large bandwidth 24/7.

  • 1

    nishikat

    Currently in Japan if you are an average downloader just for yourself probably nothing serious will happen. Even if they start really nailing people probably everyone will catch on and stop downloading or use some secure thing before it happens to you or anyone you know. We all know about the RIAA in the USA. I don't know anyone in the USA who was sued but I'd would never try downloading in the USA for that very reason- it's always in the news.

    Like that for Japan. Eventually we might start hearing more and more news in both Japanese and English about how recording industries, police, etc, etc will start taking action here. Then hear even more news about people getting nailed but it is very unlikely it will happen to you or someone you know during this transition. At the same time everyone will start to know these stories and that will probably have an impact on what or how they download.

  • -8

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Holy cow!! So all them gains in Japan downloading Fox tv shows are gonna be next??

  • -8

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Oops!! I meant gaijins 外人さん⁇

  • -8

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Yes! Sometimes my iPhone is great but this spell checker can really suck! And in many languages! So is Big Brother on to me too??

  • 2

    Tomasz Stasinski

    Hahaha, they will never know my name, oh, wait...

  • 6

    JerryL

    For the VPN question. Yes, the thing a VPN does is encrypt data for privacy and also provides reliability meaning that any attempt to alter any data will be recognized. But it cannot hide the IP address of the server that you have the tunnel to which is the VPN provider's computer and the VPN provider knows who you are and will have to tell under a court order.

    In peer networks, you connect to a bunch of computers asking each to give you missing file pieces. In turn those computers are asking you if you have the missing pieces they want.You and these other computers are part of a swarm. Getting pieces from one another and sharing these pieces with everyone else in your swarm who doesn't already have the piece.

    So everyone in the swarm knows two things. That the other computers they are connected to are downloading the exact same file as them, so they know, for example, it's a Harry Potter movie and second, they know the IP address of these other computers that are downloading Harry Potter in their swarm. If one of the computers in the swarm is a police computer it is saving these IP addresses. Then the police find out which ISP (Internet Service Provider) or VPN provider owns each collected IP address and they find out who was using the IP address at that exact time and they know who the pirate is.

    So, they don't need to see anything you are downloading. They have proof of what it is you were downloading because your computer was asking their computer for missing Harry Potter pieces. So the encryption does nothing to protect your identity.

    Also you are allowing connections from other computers and when you let another computer connect to you, there are ways it can connect and determine the IP of the computer with the file which is your computer.

    Remember, a VPN is meant to keep your information secret and to protect your data from being tampered with. It was never designed to hide your identity and so is not very good at hiding you.

  • 1

    southsakai

    JerryL great stuff man! Really good info. Cheers

  • 0

    change

    many times my ISP called me to warn after receiving complaints from the US. Police has never knocked though

  • -1

    MaboDofuIsSpicy

    I use my VPN to watch stateside tv legally and British TV.

    I also use it to do banking and investments so I cannot be seen by third parties.

    Of course I realize that the VPN (Hidmyass.com) can be searched, but why would they want me?

    I do not download a lot. Gets frustrating. RIght now through Pirates Bay, I got a torrent for Little Britain season one, nine episodes and it has been going so crazy slow. 24 hours. Ouch

  • -2

    saru_au

    according to some association of "copyright BS blah blah blah" press release, all those arrested were Japanese, and most of those caught were using "share" which is mostly Japanese content. so I assume they only targeted Japanese content "uploaders" - for now.

  • -1

    BlueWitch

    I've been a loyal member of ThePirateBay for years. Uploaded and Downloaded more than 1500 files at least. Here I am, still waiting for that warning letter or the knock on the door. The Police are seriously wasting their time. Aren't they suppose to catch REAL criminals? lol

  • -3

    DentShop

    BlueWitch you my girl!

    I'm with ya!

  • 2

    Mirai Hayashi

    Victimless crimes always lead to the biggest arrests, while child abusers and domestic violence usually end in a suspended sentence or probation...nice to know that the j-justice system have their priorities straight.

  • 1

    Darren Brannan

    Seriously though, they are mainly gonna be policing winmx and winny and software Japanese traditionally favour, and other than those actually seeding big movies they are after ppl that are costing Japanese companies big dollars by uploading manga, anime, tv dramas and jpop. I use Witopia as a Vpn but I know it doesn't hide me. I don't care. I want my walking dead, SOA and boardwalk.

  • -6

    BlueWitch

    @Mirai Hayashi

    Victimless crimes always lead to the biggest arrests, while child abusers and domestic violence usually end in a suspended sentence or probation...nice to know that the j-justice system have their priorities straight.

    Same here, honey~ I wonder you know..this morning I posted something extremely similar to your comment but instead, it was mysteriously removed. I guess speaking the truth is no longer permitted. Such comments could damage the image of safe Japan and all that. LOL

    Still, excellent post, my friend. (^_^)

  • -1

    lostrune2

    That's why ya use private bittorrent sites and IRC!

  • -3

    Thomas Anderson

    Use a d/l site instead cough. Sharing is caring.

  • -3

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Regular bit torrents fine by me!! Like Thai is my girl!!

  • -2

    anglootaku

    Use peerblock, Japanese mostly use 'Whinny' which is flawed and crap, unlike bit torrent or other means..

  • -1

    LHommeQuiMent

    Almost all of of those arrested were Share (a P2P application) users. http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20111201-00000092-zdn_n-inet (Japanese content)

    Japanese police mostly concentrates on tracking file-sharing applications popular in Japan, like Winny, Share and Perfect Dark.

  • -3

    BlueWitch

    @LHommeQuiMent

    Thank you for the info. I'll stick with TPB anyway. It's an Euro site so there's not much the local kstones can do.

  • 4

    7777777

    I have no idea what P2P is and I dont download movies, but I think its a real shame that the police went after these people rather than real criminals who really hurt other people. I have a friend whose 7 year old daughter was flashed by a man and he foddled himself in front of her. The family lives in public housing and the man who did it lives in their block of houses and it was done in the public housing park where a lot of children play. The parents told the police & the police said a 7 year old must be making that up! They did nothing until several other children also reported the same thing about the same man. Finally a report was taken but the man still lives there. Now none of the kids can play in the park. My point is people sharing music and TV shows aren`t hurting anyone. In fact, they are probably making people happy so why bother them when there are a lot worse and truly harmful people out there.

  • 5

    koiwaicoffee

    Yap, 7777777, but the big companies have the money and power to make downloading a film worst than that.

    By the way, isn't there that big illegal organization in Japan? How was it called? No it's not PLD, starts with Y.. Shouldn't the police be trying to catch them instead?

  • 0

    johanssmKhunPan

    It will be a crime if the operators charges users for downloading. Then it is considered as stealing the works of other people for own gains. It will not be a crime if there was no money involved. It is like having an online friend that let one "borrow" all his/her DVD movies or songs collection. More worthwhile for the authorities to track down those who make fake copies of original works than it is to pursuit those offering free online downloads.

  • 2

    Elbuda Mexicano

    777, that is very scary, and a good point, the stupid police here in Japan should be chasing these scum hentais who are exposing their privatest to young children instead of good people who are just watching tv on the internet because so much of J tv is crap!

  • 2

    timtak

    @CrazyJoe Thank you for pointing out that there is no criminal penalty downloaders. But then, as a civil servant, I avoid non-penalised criminal too.

    Hulu has at last come on line in Japan (hulu.jp). Its stocks are very limited, but it does at last provide a legal way of downloading English language movies and soaps including Walking Dead for 1500 yen a month. I find that I used to get out a DVD just in case I wanted to watch something before going to bed. Now I think I can probably find something on Hulu if I am desperate so I save 1500 yen a month on DVD rental fees. These arrests may result in big boost for Hulu subscriptions, and perhaps an increase in Hulu stock, I hope.

  • 0

    choiwaruoyaji

    Direct downloading links (DDL) are another way to get content... these users don't seem to be being targeted...

  • 0

    John Becker

    Victimless crimes always lead to the biggest arrests

    No victims? Do you seriously believe the only people involved in the movie business are producers, directors and movie stars (i.e., millionaires)? What about the guy who brings the donuts for the craft service table? What about the lady who answers the phones at the production company? Or the kid who's working as a movie theater usher to make a little bit of pocket money?

    Keep downloading illegally, and you're risking the income of all of these people. The movie studios (and distributors and theater operators) have every right to charge whatever they want, and to decide when to release the movies in whatever market. And you have the right to go see those movies, or not. Rationalize all you want - if you view these movies illegally, you're taking money out of someone's pocket. There's no such thing as a "victimless" crime. Only people who choose not to recognize the victims.

    I don't give a flip about all the "thumbs-down" this post will surely receive. I don't care to receive approval from thieves.

  • 1

    TravisB

    I shed a big tear for the fat cats who still profitted hansomely, but did not profit nearly as much as they might have if not for piracy. If, of course, those pirates would not have purchased any of it anyway, but instead talked on the telephone or visited the pub.

    In fact, news like this just makes me less inclined to spend any money on copyrighted items.

  • 2

    Alphaape

    I guess I had finally better get rid of those old casettes from the 80's that I used to record off the radio in order to play the songs whenever I wanted to hear them. I thought that in commercial television, the money is generated from the selling of ad time, and also product placement in shows. So if I Tivo something from the free airwaves and watch it on my pc, and send it to someone who missed the original airing date, is that a crime?

  • 0

    John Becker

    Alphaape, there's also money made in syndication - when the production company licenses the rights to re-run the shows. The importance of copyright is that it preserves the value of creation - those who create have the right to profit by that work.

    As for the Tivo, the courts have ruled that there's nothing wrong with "time-shifting," which is what you describe. Sending it to a friend is illegal - you have the right to view what you record, but you have no right to distribute it.

    @TravisB: As I said, it's easy to rationalize all this as long as you think you're only hurting "fat cats" who already have more money than they need. You refuse to acknowledge the fact that the movie/TV industry is populated by relative handful of "fat cats" and thousands upon thousands who are just trying to keep up their mortgage payments and put food on the table. If the "fat cats" don't profit as handsomely, they hire fewer people, for shorter periods of time.

    those pirates would not have purchased any of it anyway

    That's great - they don't have to. But they wouldn't be "pirates" if they weren't stealing, right? The thing is, when stealing becomes the norm, it dilutes the value of the work. Who's going to pay for something that is freely available? The problem is that when there's no money to be made in making movies, eventually there will be no more movies. Or, what little is still made will make you nostalgic for the production values of "Plan 9 From Outer Space".

    Having said all that, it doesn't really matter who you're stealing from, or why. It's still stealing, and stealing is wrong. I don't get why anyone has a hard time understanding this.

  • 0

    saru_au

    John Becker, you better turn off your radio and TV when people come to visit, oh if your TV is too loud people next door might hear the movie for free, don't risk it cut out you eyes and cut off your ears asap :)

  • 0

    seggahme

    The scan showed 76 properties at which P2P software was being used but police don't know bout my i2p.

  • -3

    American Devil

    I wonder how many people decrying the evils of downloading are also the ones avoiding the NHK man who wants to charge for the TV channel that people don't watch...

  • 1

    Alphaape

    Alphaape, there's also money made in syndication - when the production company licenses the rights to re-run the shows. The importance of copyright is that it preserves the value of creation - those who create have the right to profit by that work.

    @John Becker: I can agree with that, but another person posted here that downloading is taking income away from the other people who help out in the production of shows, like the people working on the sets and all of those others behind the scenes. Syndication does not cover them, they get paid their salary as part of their work, and are not in any syndication rights. So no matter how many times a show is viewed, they are not gettting "A piece of the pie" so to speak. Also as you have mentioned with syndication, take a look back at how the studios cheated many anactor out of royalties due to them not giving them syndication rights. A classic example is the crew of the "SS Minnow" from Giligan's Island. Take a look at how they got cheated out of their rights by the same industry that now says its the little guys that are robbing them of a profit.

    you have the right to view what you record, but you have no right to distribute it.

    What's the difference if I invite someone over to my home to watch a show I have Tivoed and just sending it to them via a file to watch? What if we watched it in realtime just like gamers do with games. Am I vioating a law then?

  • 1

    John Becker

    Alphaape, it's recognized that actors from way back when didn't get residuals from the syndication of the shows in which they appeared. But your characterization of them being "cheated" is wrong. They were paid in accordance with their contracts. Back then, reruns weren't as common a thing as they are now. In the days before videotape, the only way to preserve shows was to film them off a TV monitor (this is called a kinescope). Apparently, actors' agents back then hadn't realized that there was more money to be made from reruns. That's no longer a problem.

    You also must realize that the actors and behind-the-scenes people in those shows don't own rights to the shows. They are contracted to do "work for hire." That means they come in, they do their work, they get paid, they're done. (Unless they have negotiated for further payments, such as a percentage of the box office or residuals from reruns.) As in many endeavors, the people who risk the most money (generally producers) are the ones who profit the most from a successful movie or TV show. That just makes sense. The production company generally owns the rights to the movies or shows they produce. That means they get to call the shots concerning distribution, use, and price.

    You have the right to invite the whole neighborhood over to watch a show on your TV. In general, you don't have the right to charge people to enter your premises and watch the show. And, as I said initially, you don't have the right to distribute anything you record. Video games may be another matter, I don't know. But TV, movies, music and photography are all generally covered by the copyright laws I'm talking about, which are pretty uniform throughout the developed world. (China excepted.)

    @American Devil: I don't currently live in Japan. But I am a member of my local Public TV and Radio stations. Nice try.

  • -1

    2020hindsights

    Keep downloading illegally, and you're risking the income of all of these people. The movie studios (and distributors and theater operators) have every right to charge whatever they want, and to decide when to release the movies in whatever market. And you have the right to go see those movies, or not. Rationalize all you want - if you view these movies illegally, you're taking money out of someone's pocket. There's no such thing as a "victimless" crime. Only people who choose not to recognize the victims.

    Yes indeed it isn't a victimless crime - in the end we all lose because the loss of profits to make movies, TV shows etc. mean that less content will be produced. And to use the arguement that police should be pursuing other crimes is irrelevant. Yes they should and are.

    However, the slowness to market for many TV shows in Japan mean that people will always download latest material. This is probably not a problem in Japan as a whole, because they have to wait for subtitles / dubbing anyway.

    I use Hulu and Apple TV and pay for content, but it is annoying that I can't keep up with latest TV shows. I would pay a premium for this if I could, but I can't. The gaijin market is so small in Japan, I can't see any of the big studios catering for such a small market.

    Another point is that catching 30 downloaders / uploaders is a drop in the bucket. I wonder what criteria they use. Massive amount of uploading? With peer to peer bitorrent, a downloader is also an uploader.

  • 0

    soldave

    Peerguardian and daily updates to blocklists are also your friends. Always interesting keeping an eye on what IP addresses are trying to contact your PC.

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