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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 11:48 GMT
Japanese 'file-swappers' arrested
Two arrests in Japan may signal a crackdown on file-swapping
Two men in Japan have been arrested for allegedly disseminating copyrighted films and games over the internet using freely available software.

The two men, aged 41 and 19, were accused of violating copyright laws by using Winny software to trade material.

Neither man has been charged with a crime, said a Kyoto police spokesman.

The arrests, the second such case in Japan, are thought to signal a crackdown on file-swappers who may have infringed copyright laws.

The police spokesman said the investigation coincided with a criminal complaint filed by video game maker Nintendo, game developer Hudson Soft and the Japanese and International Motion Picture Copyright Association.


Meanwhile, in the US, a technology trade group is proposing that internet users who copy music through "peer-to-peer" networks should pay a flat fee to compensate musicians and record labels whose songs they download.

The US recording industry has been battling to stop file-swapping

The Distributed Computing Industry Association wants to forge peace between peer-to-peer networks and the record labels which have pursued them and their users in court.

DCIA chief executive Marty Lafferty said a $5 (3) fee could generate $200m (116m) per month for the recording industry, which has seen CD sales plunge in recent years due in part to the popularity of peer-to-peer services.

Under the proposal music fans could eventually be charged small amounts for downloading individual songs, or pay slightly more for "channels" featuring one style of music.

However, the Recording Industry Association Of America said peer-to-peer networks must prevent users from trading copyrighted works if they want to be taken seriously.

"Until the larger industry accepts the recommendations recently outlined by six respected US senators, there will continue to be questions about how seriously they want to become legitimate," RIAA spokeswoman Amy Weiss said.

Australia convicts online pirates
19 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
US web 'pirates' could face jail
14 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Music firms claim public backing
11 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Download battle reaches Europe
14 Aug 03  |  Entertainment

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