Japan convicts 1st pirate subtitler

Kazushi pleads guilty to uploading 'Wanted'

TOKYO — Kyoto District Court on Tuesday sentenced an Internet pic pirate to two years in prison, suspended for three years, for violating Japan’s copyright law.

Kazushi Hirata, 33, pleaded guilty on Nov. 11 to illegally uploading a self-subtitled copy of “Wanted” using the Winny P2P file-sharing software, before the pic’s Sept. 20 bow. It’s the first time a subtitler of pirated pics has been convicted.

The Japan and Intl. Motion Picture Copyright Assn. (Jimca) brought a complaint to the police in July and Hirata was arrested on Sept. 18.

“The conviction sends an important message about the illegality of movie piracy,” said Jimca executive director Yasutaka Iiyama. “Respect for intellectual property rights is critical to Japan’s economy and cultural identity.”

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