Japan hotel employee accused of piracy

Illegal uploading of 'Shutter Island' led to arrest

TOKYO — Kyoto police on Monday arrested a 37-year-old hotel employee for using the Winny file-sharing software to illegally distribute pics such as “Shutter Island” and toons.

Yuji Shigekawa, a resident of Hitachi City, Ibaragi Prefecture, had nearly 20,000 pic and toon titles saved on his home PC, police said. He told investigators that he has been uploading the titles to the Internet for the past five years using Winny, a popular made-in-Japan file-sharing software program.

On April 7 Shigekawa uploaded “Shutter Island” prior to its Japan release, triggering a complaint from distrib Paramount Pictures and his subsequent arrest.

The software was first released by developer Isamu Kaneko in May 2002 and became a popular method for sharing pics and other visual content on the Internet in violation of Japan’s copyright laws.

Kaneko was later arrested, tried and convicted of copyright violations, but in October 2009 a superior court in Osaka reversed the ruling. Kaneko argued that he should not be held responsible for misuses of the software, including the pirating and transmission of copyrighted materials.

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