Japanese court smacks down Internet pirates

Maneki, Rokuraku ordered to cease streaming, pay fines

Tokyo — Japan’s high court for intellectual property rights on Monday ordered two Internet pay services to cease streaming pirated TV programs domestically and abroad and pay hefty fines.

The suit was brought by pubcaster NHK and the commercial networks. Judge Toshiaki Iimura ordered Tokyo-based Maneki TV and Shizuoka-based Rokuraku Rental Jigyo to immediately stop the broadcasts and pay fines of $22,000 for the former and nearly $200,000 for the latter.

Maneki TV is operated by Nagano Shoten, whose main businesses are recycling, computer services and Internet systems and services. Using Sony brand “location free” transmission gear, it offers its Japanese expat users local TV programs via the Internet on a subscription basis.

Rokuraku uses Rokuraku II brand HDD recorders to record and transmit Japanese programs to overseas users via the Internet.

The defendants plan to appeal to Japan’s Supreme Court. NHK and the networks issued a statement saying, “We believe that a proper judgement has been handed down.”

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