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Japanese authorities arrest 27 in nationwide file-sharing crackdown

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Last year Japan's parliament put a measure into place that made downloading copyright material a criminal offense — and the country recently announced a crackdown that resulted in the arrest of 27 different individuals. Japan's National Police Agency announced that police departments across all 47 of Japan's prefectures conducted searches in 124 different locations between February 19th and 21st. According to the agency, the resulting 27 arrests were for copyright violation of movies, television shows, anime, and music using file-sharing software. The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, and Publishers — similar to the Recording Industry Association of America, it pursues lawsuits over copyright violations — announced in a separate release that piracy of games and business-related software were also involved.

According to Nikkei, two main pieces of file-sharing software were used by those arrested: an application called Share and another named Perfect Dark. The paper details two of those arrested as well: one 40-year-old individual with the online handle "God" is said to have uploaded around 1300 programs. Another, known as "The Anime Craftsman," is accused of having uploaded approximately 1600 anime episodes. The new copyright law went into effect on October 1st, 2012, and under its provisions those found guilty of uploading copyrighted material could face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of ¥10 million (approximately $107,000).