Sansai Books, the Japanese publisher known for mags Game Lab and Radio Life, is in hot water. Last December, Sansai released a publication called Totally Easy to Understand DVD Copying 2012, which included a detailed how-to and ripping software. That didn't go over well with Japan's cyber police. At all.
This week, authorities arrested four Sansai employees — including exec Yoshiaki Kaizuka — for violating Japan's Unfair Competition Prevention Law. The law was revised last month to add penalties for selling software or devices that enable the ripping of copyrighted material, such as movies, music, and video games. The law does not make a distinction between personal use and piracy, thus, making all forms of ripping and copying piracy by default.
Late last year, several industry groups repeatedly warned Sansai about selling the publication. However, Sansai continued to offer the magazine (and ripping software) via its website well into 2012.
"I knew this was illegal," Kaizuka is quoted as saying. "I sold it for company profits."
Totally Easy to Understand DVD Copying 2012 sold approximately 4000 copies, totaling ¥4 million ($50,600) in proceeds.
This isn't an isolated crackdown as Japanese police are moving swiftly against individuals selling ripping software and piracy devices. Yesterday, Japanese news reported that the manager of an Osaka game shop was arrested — the first arrest of its kind — for selling R4 devices.
For several years now, Japanese cyber cops have been battling digital piracy. Now that the country's Unfair Competition Prevention Law has been strengthened, it now has the necessary legal backing to arrest individuals. And that it will.
Photo: dsy88/Shutterstock/Sansai Books