May 8, 2014
Dwango User Entertainment, Inc. (DUE)
Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC)
Website "Nico☆Sound#" operator allowing videos in
Niconico Douga to be converted into MP3 files for downloading
arrested for alleged Copyright Law violations
The Cybercrime Division of Hokkaido Prefectural Police Headquarters and the Teine Police Station announced today that they arrested a 29-year-old man suspected of copyright infringement (rights of public transmission and making works available). The man operated a website called "Nico☆Sound#" (hereinafter referred to as "the website in question") which allows an indefinite number of Internet users to download music data files containing music works administered by JASRAC and DUE without authorization.
Through the website in question, videos posted on Niconico Douga, a video sharing website, were converted into MP3 files and distributed as downloads or streams. The website in question allowed users to convert and download the files easily by just typing in the URL of the Niconico Douga webpage showing the posted videos, without the use of any dedicated applications. Illegal music distribution was being conducted on a large scale, where approximately 1,500 files were being shared per day, with many "vocaloid" works that are popular among Niconico viewers being distributed.
According to the police investigation, it was confirmed that the operator of the website in question earned roughly 130 million JPY through a major advertisement service that placed ads on the site in question, while the site was available to users for free.
This marks the first time the operator of a parasitic website (*) has been arrested for alleged copyright infringement regarding illegal music distribution.
In recent years, "reach sites" and other parasitic websites, which have become a big issue due to the prevalent illegal distribution of copyright works, are often set up for the purpose of obtaining advertisement revenue. Posting advertisements on such illegal sites results in a large amount of advertisement revenue for those sites.
JASRAC and DUE expect this case to be regarded as a warning to illegal music distribution, and will help develop legitimate music distribution businesses.
(*) parasitic websites: websites which show contents obtained from third-party websites by linking to or downloading such contents, that are set up mainly for the purpose of earning advertising revenue.
JASRAC-International Relations Department: