The Association for the Copyright of Computer Software, an anti-piracy consortium based in Japan, announced that the owner of popular Japanese video-game website Gameonline was arrested today by police in the city of Fukuoka on charges of copyright violation.
According to the report, the unidentified site owner had over 20,000 screenshots available for download on his game news site, www.gameonline.jp. Of this collection, several hundred were allegedly found to have been taken from magazines and overseas game sites without the permission of the game publisher, a violation of Japanese copyright law.
Gameonline, one of the most popular game sites in Japan until its sudden closure last month, was a for-profit site that made its money exclusively via advertising. The site's owner had received permission from several Japanese publishers to post screenshots from their games, but other companies, including SNK Playmore, Capcom, Square Enix, and Namco, allegedly found media from their games posted on the site without their permission, leading to today's arrest.
Japanese copyright law, although similar to its U.S. equivalent, is often more strictly enforced and can lead to arrests, fines, and jail time for violators. The Gameonline news comes a day after the arrest of Isamu Kaneko, a 33-year-old programmer from Kyoto who was charged with copyright infringement for his involvement in the development of Winny, an anonymous peer-to-peer file sharing program.
News source: 1UP