A 19 year old Japanese college student was arrested in Kyoto on Tuesday for selling software on his personal website that can be used to modify Nintendo’s Wii video game console, allowing it to play pirated games. The Saitama Prefectural Police have charged the teen in violation of Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Act, which was just updated to include criminal penalties and jail time for the manufacturing or selling of devices enabling piracy. The software that the suspect was selling allowed users to play copied games stored on an external hard drive.
The student first uploaded the Nintendo Wii software to his blog on February 28, and investigators from the Cyber Crime Unit say it was downloaded around 6,500 times in the following three months. Even before posting the software, his website provided detailed instructions on how to physically modify the Wii console, also enabling it to play pirated games. The unnamed 19 year old admitted to police that he had made around 200,000 yen (approx. $2,500) over the last year and a half, not from selling the piracy tools, but from sales of online advertisements.
Police suspect the young man doesn’t have the technical know-how to create the software himself, so they are still trying to determine its origin. Japan’s very first arrest for video game piracy was just made back in May, when two men were arrested in Saitama Prefecture for selling devices that enable Nintendo’s DS handheld system to play unauthorized games.[Via The Escapist]