June 21, 2013
Japanese Society for Rights of Authors,
Composers and Publishers
Copyright infringement using file-sharing software "μ Torrent"
Legal action taken against 5 men for illegally uploading music data files
By June 20, 2013, the Cybercrime Division of Osaka Prefectural Police Headquarters, the Oyodo Police Station, the Minato Police Station, the Takatsuki Police Station, the Suminoe Police Station and the Nishi Police Station had referred five men residing in Osaka Prefecture, who were making music data files available to the public over the Internet using the file-sharing software "μ Torrent," to the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office. JASRAC had brought legal actions in this connection on March 7 and 27, 2013.
The suspects were two university students (both 21 years old), one high school student (then 18 years old), and two part-time workers (23 and 33 years old). They are suspected of infringing copyright (public transmission rights) by making music data files of music works administered by JASRAC available to an indefinite number of Internet users without authorization. This is the first time JASRAC has taken legal action against the abuse of "bit torrent"-type file-sharing software.
The police are also strengthening their approach towards acts of copyright infringement using file-sharing software. Between Feb. 19 and 21, 2013, police departments across the country in all 47 prefectures commenced a nationwide crackdown, with searches conducted at 124 locations, resulting in 27 arrests.
Illegal public transmissions using file-sharing software can not only cause significant damage for copyright owners, but also can directly contribute to the degeneration of music culture. Since this case highlighted once again the existence of copyright infringement among the younger generation, JASRAC will redouble its efforts to raise copyright awareness through public relations activities with an aim to eradicate acts of copyright infringement with the cooperation of those involved.
JASRAC-International Relations Department: