Japan Today
Creator of file-sharing software pleads not guilty to piracy

KYOTO — The creator of a program for anonymous file-sharing over the Internet pleaded not guilty on Wednesday at the Kyoto District Court to the charge that he developed the software knowing it would facilitate Internet piracy.

Isamu Kaneko, 34, who developed the Winny peer-to-peer file-sharing program, is the first person in Japan to stand trial for creating software that can be used for the unauthorized reproduction of movies and video games over the Internet.

In the US, they are trying to pass a law making it illegal to induce people to break copyright law. In Japan, they act like such a law already exists. I hope the Japanese take a look at the recent US 9th Circuit Court ruling in favor of Grokster. It is a really bad idea to be going after the creators of technology. P2P is a VERY important technology for the future of file sharing and its application goes way beyond merely pirating commercial content. P2P architecture will enable communities to create file sharing networks without having to invest in and build centralized file servers which can be extremely expensive. It also prevents the creator of large audio and video files from having to pay for all of the bandwidth to share their work.

As PCs become more powerful and hard disks cheaper, sharing of video produced by amateurs will be a very important use for broadband Internet. P2P makes the most sense for sharing these files and banning P2P will stunt the growth of this market. It will also stunt the development of the use of large multimedia files in citizen journalism.

See the FreeKaneko site for how you can help the Isamu Kaneko.

5 Comments

And here we thought the "Culture War" was "Populist vs Elitist."

Wrong. It's "Paid vs Free".

Joi, do you think the google cache is a violation of
copyright?

Ron, I think it depends... ;-)

P2P is as natural to the Net's structure as email, so it's destructive to the Net's evolution to go after P2P developers. I'm working with a new client about to be launched, called Grouper, that allows affinity groups to share files (photos, PPTs, videos), but has taken the cautious approach to MP3 files by allowing members to only stream them from each others' machines.

Don't stunt the Net's growth by throwing the babies out with the frickin' bathwater!

am i potentially becoming a blog stalker? hey there's a new concept! ...or a blog streaker even better!!!

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TrackBack URL for this entry: http://joi.ito.com/MT-4.35-en/mt-tb.cgi/2758

Mainichi Interactive reports on today's opening of the trial against Isamu Kaneko, the maker of the Winny filesharing software. Isamu Kaneko, 34, a Tokyo University graduate school lecturer, entered a not guilty plea to charges of aiding in the violati... Read More

Copyright in court: Japan is putting the putative creator of peer-to-peer application Winny on trial for making a device which facilitates copyright infringement. University of Tokyo research associate Isamu Kaneko was arrested in May, partlyfor his le... Read More

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