Japan’s National Police Agency have recently announced that a criminal crackdown took place across the country’s 47 prefectures between February 19th and 21st, resulting in the arrest of 27 people for illegally sharing copyrighted material. Last year, Japan’s parliament signed off on a controversial law that officially labeled the downloading or sharing of copyrighted material a criminal offense, including the option of jail time for offenders.
Last month’s crackdown is seen as one of the first widespread enforcements of the new law. The national police say searches were conducted at 124 different locations, and those arrested were found to have been participating in the piracy of movies, TV shows, anime, music, and video games. Japan’s Nikkei business daily reported that two main file sharing programs were used by the 27 arrested, one called “Share,” and the other “Perfect Dark.”
Among those arrested, one was said to be a 40 year old responsible for uploading roughly 1,300 programs, while another was found to have shared almost 1,600 episodes of anime. The country’s new copyright laws officially went into effect on October 1st, 2012, with those found guilty of uploading copyrighted material facing maximums of 10 years in prison and/or fines of 10 million yen (approx. $107,000).
[via The Verge]