Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

this web site '' was created by official Isamu Kaneko supporters. We are consisted by software engineers who deeply concern our freedom to create and research software.

We are conducting a publicity, and fund raising. We need a lot of attention from the people of the world. You can help us by telling the issue to your family, friends, and co-workers. Also, translation volunteers (and English proof readers) are needed to let the people know this issue. marked a million hit only a day after an opening. Also, we raised 10 million yen ($100,000) in 2weeks

Isamu Kaneko is the guy who got arrested for developing P2P software. More details about that in my earlier post.

via yonderboy


I wonder if Kaneko realized that incarceration would be the result of his development work. If so, this could be interpreted as a really interesting case of civil disobedience. And it would be in Japan of all places.

The Japanese government may charge him with what they will, but they shouldn't leave the poor guy to rot in jail in the meantime. That is foolishly heavy-handed.

Winny is a Japanese peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing program which was made as a poor imitation of Freenet network and which claimed to keep user identities untraceable not for freedom of speech but for hiding crime. The developer of Winny had never said about freedom of speech.

The software takes its name from WinMX, where the M and the X are raised one letter in the Latin alphabet, to N and Y. As of September 2003, there were 250,000 users of the program according to the Tokyo-based Association of Copyright for Computer Software. According to P2Pnet, it is the most popular file-sharing program in Japan, with eDonkey and WinMX in second and third place respectively.

The software was developed by Isamu Kaneko, who is a research assistant in graduate course of computer engineering at the University of Tokyo in Japan. Kaneko originally anonymously announced his intent of developing the software on the popular 2ch Japanese bulletin board site, but this board named 'Download Software BBS' was filled with many copyright violation criminal users. As one of 2ch's cultures include referring to anonymous posters by their post number, Kaneko became to be known as "Mr. 47" ("47-Shi", or 47氏 in Japanese), or just "47".

On November 28, 2003, two Japanese users of Winny, Katsuhiko Kimoto, a 41 year-old self-employed businessman from Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, and an unemployed 19-year-old from Matsuyama, were arrested. They were accused of sharing copyrighted material via Winny and admitted to their crimes. The police tracked the users via Winny's transfer,since the cipher for anonymity was decoded.

The police searched home of Kaneko and his university, because he had also developed and experimented about Winny at university. On May 10, 2004, Kaneko was arrested for aiding and abetting copyright law violation for arrested two Japanese users of Winny of many copyright violation criminal users in 'Download Software BBS' by the High-tech Crime taskforce of the Kyoto Prefectural Police.

His developing of Winny at the criminal board is main reason for having be regarded as aiding and abetting copyright law violation. This police act doesn't mean general developer's crisis. The developers of other P2P of Japan aren't accused by any crime. They released their P2P software on general website, but Kaneko released Winny at the criminal board of copyright law violation.

Comment from "punisher" were biased.

There is no proof that Winny was made for hiding crime.

Links between Mr. Kaneko and Mr. 47 are very week. Anyone was able to post articles on 2ch as "Mr. 47". 2ch can provide consistent identity, but that is optional and most articles by "Mr. 47" were written by not using that feature. Nishimura Hiroyuki, the site owner of 2ch, announced immediately after the arrest of Mr. Kaneko, that tracable logs of posters on 2ch had not been recorded when articles by "Mr. 47" were posted, although 2ch now
records tracable logs of posters.

Winny had been released on the Geocities. Some articles on "Download Software BBS" had links to that site, but there is no proof that article was posted by Mr. Kaneko.

Moreover, "Download Software BBS" was originally intended for the discussion on the software, not for that on the copyright infringements. For example, the right place for discussion on the some nice batch ftp/http clients was there. There are dozens of batch ftp/http clients as free software in Japan, for dial-up users who want to get many pictures from porn sites.