Two Japanese men arrested for alleged mobile piracy

November 2008

Internet / Technology

Two Hyogo Prefecture men have been arrested on suspicion of breaching copyright by enabling mobile phone users to obtain free downloads of songs, police said. Keishi Fujimoto, 28, unemployed, of Himeji, and Takashi Matsuoka, 53, a company worker of Kawanishi, were arrested on suspicion of violating Japan’s Copyright Law. It is the first arrest made under the law in connection with an Internet site offering downloads of entire songs. The Kyoto prefectural police will seek to clarify the details of how the site, one of the largest-scale illegal music download sites in the nation, operated. Operated and managed by Fujimoto, the site–named Dai 3 Sekai–has more than 1 million members, and is popular among middle and high school students. According to the police, Fujimoto made it possible for an unspecified number of people in May and June to download three songs for free via the site, including “Hope or Pain,” a popular song by pop singer Ayumi Hamasaki. In October 2006, Fujimoto also offered “Jonetsu Tairiku with Komatsu Ryota,” an instrumental piece composed by violinist Taro Hakase, for download, with Matsuoka acting as his accomplice. Fujimoto told the police that he opened the site to profit from advertising fees. The police believe he has obtained about 120 million yen in such fees from the site. The Web site was launched around 2006, with about 20,000 songs that the suspects had downloaded from other sites and uploaded to their own.

From the Daily Yomiuri

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