Japanese Internet firms join forces to kill net connections of illegal file sharers

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japan_anti_pirate_logo.gifWhile the British Government’s plans to tackle illegal file sharing remain at the Green Paper stage, Japanese telecoms companies have jointly implemented a scheme to cut off the Internet supply from known offenders.

According to the Daily Yomiuri Online (one of my daily reads, don’t you know), Internet users who repeatedly use popular file sharing sites such as Winny to download music and video will be sent warning emails which, if unheeded, will result in a loss of Internet connection.

Previous fears of violation of privacy rights and the freedom to use telecommunications services seem to have been overcome, with the nation’s four Internet provider organisations clubbing together to tackle the problem.

Read on for more details.

The paper discovered:

“The organisations plan to launch a consultative panel, possibly in April, together with copyright organizations including the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers and the Association of Copyright for Computer Software. They will then begin making guidelines for disconnecting users from the Internet who leak illegally copied material onto the Net.

The number of users of file-sharing software such as Winny in the country is estimated to be about 1.75 million, with most of the files exchanged using the software believed to be illegal copies.

A brief six-hour survey by a copyright organisation monitoring the Internet found about 3.55 million examples of illegally copied gaming software, worth about 9.5 billion yen at regular software prices, and 610,000 examples of illegally copied music files, worth 440 million yen, that could be freely downloaded into personal computers using such software, the sources said. In other words, this survey alone, uncovered damages amounting to 10 billion yen.”

The ban doesn’t sound permanent — the article states that offending users would be “temporarily” disconnected from the Internet for “a specified period of time”.

(Via The Daily Yomiuri)

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Andy Merrett