Thursday, October 8, 2009

Japan court acquits file-share software creator; Sydney Morning Herald, 10/8/09

Sydney Morning Herald; Japan court acquits file-share software creator:

"A Japanese high court on Thursday acquitted the creator of a popular file-sharing software program of copyright violations, overturning an earlier conviction.

"It was a very fair judgement," Isamu Kaneko, the 39-year-old developer of the Winny "peer-to-peer" program, told reporters after the Osaka High Court in western Japan handed down the verdict.

"This will obviously have a good impact" on software development, he said.

Winny, which Kaneko had made available on his website, enables users to exchange files such as computer games and movies over the Internet for free, making Kaneko a cyberspace icon in Japan.

He had pleaded not guilty, arguing that holding programmers responsible for copyright infringement would hamper technological development.

In December 2006, the Kyoto District Court had convicted Kaneko, ruling that he made the software available on the Internet while knowing it would be widely used for illegal purposes.

The Kyoto court had refused a call from prosecutors for a one-year prison sentence but fined him 1.5 million yen (17,000 US dollars) in Japan's first ruling on file-sharing software.

Chief judge Masazo Ogura at the Osaka High Court said Thursday that Kaneko had been aware of the possibility that the software might be used for inappropriate purposes but had not recommended users to do so."

No comments: