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Toshiba Employee Arrested For Selling Software To Break Copy Limits

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the those-three-little-letters dept.

Software 90

JoshuaInNippon writes "A Toshiba employee in western Japan has been arrested on charges of copyright violations for selling software online that breaks copying limits on certain Japanese digital TV recording and playback devices. The software specifically overrides limits on a program called 'dubbing10,' which is used in devices sold by companies such as Sony, Sharp, and Panasonic. It is believed that the man generated thousands of dollars worth of earnings for himself by selling to at least 712 people, including one teenager who then resold the software to another 240 people. This is the first disclosed case in Japan of someone being arrested for selling such limit-removal software for digital TV recording. Since it sounds like he has already admitted to selling it (although he denies creating it), and due to the generally high conviction rate of those arrested by Japanese police, his future does not look so bright at the moment."

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Hmm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30238086)

I wonder how the police cracked this case.

Re:Hmm (4, Funny)

RDW (41497) | about 5 years ago | (#30238298)

'...including one teenager who then resold the software to another 240 people.'

Sounds the Toshiba guy should have used some sort of 'copy-protection' technology to safeguard his product.

Re:Hmm (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 5 years ago | (#30239144)

The kid probably cracked it.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

xOneca (1271886) | about 5 years ago | (#30239226)

WTF? Selling a crack? It should be free!

Re:Hmm,Christmas sale, free shipping shoes,handbag (0, Offtopic)

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lol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30238108)

First Post

Copy this! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30238160)

Bitches! [youtube.com]

Argument (5, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | about 5 years ago | (#30238202)

If there was mutual trust between customers and copyright holders this situation wouldn't exist. People are stealing because they know intuitively in their gut that they are being ripped off, see: The Public Domain [thepublicdomain.org] . And copyright holders are failing to meet the needs of their customers - nobody wants digital restrictions yet they insist to maximize that little thing called profit. It will come back to bite them in the ass, it already has.

Re:Argument (1, Flamebait)

hrimhari (1241292) | about 5 years ago | (#30238286)

People are stealing because they know intuitively in their gut that they are being ripped off

Damn, and I thought it was just human nature to prefer taking over buying, allied to an impressive tendency to lie to oneself.

Re:Argument (1)

headkase (533448) | about 5 years ago | (#30238342)

Thats what I said. Of course everyone can do better, I've started with me.

Re:Argument (4, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 5 years ago | (#30238536)

Most people will pay for something if they feel that the price point matches the perceived value, rather than steal it.

It's just that more often than not, the perceived value is nowhere near as high as the value set by the seller, and when such a cognitive dissonance exists, people will steal it and justify that however they choose. I will, for example, choose Avast over Norton for antivirus on Windows machines, because, ethically, I'd rather have something that's legitimately being given away than steal something that isn't. In a society where people have been conditionned to have a 30s attention span (thank you, commercials!), and to expect instant gratification, that break point where people decide that it's no longer worth paying for something is decreasing. Industry needs to recognize that, and either reexamine their business models (so that they're only selling things that can't be stolen, and no, I don't mean DRM, I mean sell services rather than products), or to adjust their pricing to reflect how people value their wares.

Re:Argument (2, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 5 years ago | (#30238906)

Same thing here. I'm not going to pay hundreds of dollars to watch Battlestar Galactica one time when I could just get it from the library. Neither would I want to wait for 12 months for the DVD release of "V" to catch up on the first four episodes.

I blame scour.net since it let me get mp3s for free in 1999. They should be shut down.

Re:Argument (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 5 years ago | (#30238980)

Yep, they are selling inferior products at an elevated price and then are surprised people try to find ways around it ? The most ridiculous thing is that breaking the copy protection only gives users back the rights taken away by these companies when moving to DRM'ed digital media in the first place.

Re:Argument (2, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30243580)

Yep, they are selling inferior products at an elevated price and then are surprised people try to find ways around it ?

From the customer's POV the likes of DRM create an inferior product. There is no situation where they add any value at all. But they do add cost, which is likely to be passed on to the customer. The idea that adding DRM could reduce prices just dosn't make much sense.

Re:Argument (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240594)

I will, for example, choose Avast over Norton for antivirus on Windows machines, because, ethically, I'd rather have something that's legitimately being given away than steal something that isn't.

Isn't the fact that Norton is generally held to be bloated crap, regardless of its price, also a factor in your decision?

Re:Argument (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242228)

Half the 'virus removal to speed up computers' that I've done is simply uninstalling norton to free up 2/3rds of the ram and processsor.

Re:Argument (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242420)

Honest people will pay for something if they feel that the price point matches the perceived value, rather than do without it.

There, fixed that for you.

The following rant is not aimed at realityimpaired, since he stated he uses open source alternatives for ethical reasons. His post simply provided the best springboard for it (sorry).

Movies, recorded TV shows, and software aren't food. You don't need them. If the vendor is charging more than you think it's worth, use a substitute, or do without it. There is no, I repeat no, justification for stealing something just because you want it. Period. Arguments about "perceived value" and "cognitive dissonance" are the self serving claptrap of a generation of precious babies. These people show what you get when parents stop beating their children and schools stop flunking the stupid and lazy, and it isn't pretty. There is such a thing as too much self esteem. Yes, the rules apply to you. No, pirating movies isn't "civil disobedience". Civil disobedience is the breaking of minor laws in service of a greater moral goal, like ending discrimination based on skin color or sexual orientation. "Gives me teh free tunez" and "I want a pony" are not examples of greater moral goals. If you feel strongly that copyright and patent law are out of control, stop buying copyrighted material, use open source software, play an instrument, use the vote, campaign, write letters to your congresspersons, write amicus briefs for the court. Emulate Eric Raymond or Richard Stallman. As for movies, music and software, pay the money, use something cheaper, or pass your time some other way.

Re:Argument (1)

erlando (88533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244138)

+1 truth

Re:Argument (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246960)

Movies, recorded TV shows, and software aren't food. You don't need them. If the vendor is charging more than you think it's worth, use a substitute, or do without it.

Thing is that the recorded entertainments industry tends to believe that they are entitled to a certain revenue. If they think that profits are "too low" they will claim "piracy" then lobby for more copyright and/or legally mandated DRM. If that causes problems for podcasters and independent musicians that is a positive side effect in their minds.

There is no, I repeat no, justification for stealing something just because you want it.

Copyright infringement has always been something different from "stealing", different laws apply... Comparing the two is a non sequitur.

Re:Argument (1)

hrimhari (1241292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30252896)

+1 Truth indeed. Thank you.

Re:Argument (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30243600)

I will, for example, choose Avast over Norton for antivirus on Windows machines

As opposed to Avast being less of a resource hog. Whereas in some cases NAV appears to be using something along the lines of "If I slow down the machine enough then viruses won't be able to grab enough resources to infect the machine..."

Re:Argument (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | about 5 years ago | (#30238684)

People are stealing because they know intuitively in their gut that they are being ripped off.

The two disk Blu-Ray release of a $180 million production like Wall-E costs $18 when purchased from Amazon.com. All extras in 1080p.

Wall-E in standard definition is an instant download for your Netflix subscriber.

Disney returns to lush 2D animation and the animated musical feature with The Princess and the Frog.

Black heroine. New Orleans jazz ca. 1925.

Tell me what other studio would have the confidence and resources to take such a risk.

Who is being ripped off?

Re:Argument (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30239856)

Perhaps some are seeing sense more than others and starting to actually value their customers.

Re:Argument (2, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30239860)

And Black heroine? 1925? That should be public domain.

Re:Argument (3, Insightful)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30239872)

Wall-E on Blu-Ray for $18? Awesome! Oh, wait, Amazon's warning me about something:

Please note: Your order contains at least one Region 1 (Canada and U.S.) encoded DVD. Region 1 DVDs might not play in DVD players sold in the country where this order is being shipped. Please also note that some Region 1 DVDs contain a Regional Coding Enhancement. Some of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on their “region-free” DVD players. Learn more about DVD region encoding and formats. To modify your order, edit the quantities below.

Hmm. It also seems the DRM on the disc won't let me make a backup in case of the kids wrecking it either. What was that you were saying about Disney's confidence in its customers?

Re:Argument (2, Informative)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240344)

Here ya go :-) http://www.exit1.org/dvdrip/ [exit1.org]
Fixes the "Region Lock" problem.

I have over 100 legally owned DVD's all backed up as ISO's on my personal hard drive just in case... I'm very bad for crushing crap, and my dog is bad for chewing on shiny things...

Re:Argument (1)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241038)

Alas, the OP and I were discussing Blu-Ray, which dvd::rip does not handle; I think Amazon just called it a "DVD" for the sake of convenience/laziness. Blu-Ray: extra resolution, but extra DRM too. :p

Re:Argument (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246112)

Region 1 DVDs might not play in DVD players sold in the country where this order is being shipped.

There are only three Blu-Ray regions. The B/2 disk is available for £18 in the U.K. WALL-E (Blu-ray) [moviemail-online.co.uk]

Hmm. It also seems the DRM on the disc won't let me make a backup in case of the kids wrecking it either. What was that you were saying about Disney's confidence in its customers?

Disney's trust in its customers begins and ends at the same point as everyone else in this business: where the geek gets his opportunity to upload the file.

Re:Argument (1)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30251124)

Disney would do well to remember that "everyone else in the business" includes its customers. They don't want to trust me? S'okay. I can live without them.

Re:Argument (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30243556)

The two disk Blu-Ray release of a $180 million production like Wall-E costs $18 when purchased from Amazon.com.

The movie industry is rather notorious for creative accounting, so it's can be hard to work out what something cost or at what point it will have been "paid for". It also makes more sense to only consider the actual costs associated with the DVD. Which has a fixed cost of producing the master then a cost per copy.

All extras in 1080p.

Maybe they were on film or HD in the first place. Note also that "extras" only contribute to the DVD fixed costs if they were produced exclusivly for the DVD.

Re:Argument (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245562)

I want to buy Transformers 2. Yea i liked it, and I am happy to pay for a DVD (dito 9, district 9 and star trek). I rented it the other day (rentals are 1EU a day here). It played out of order in all 3 computers *and* my DVD player. It was useless.

So i have 3 options:
1. Buy the disk and still not be able to watch.
2. Not buy the disk, let economic incentives do its thing, and not watch.
3. Not but the disk, let economic blar blar, And download it and watch.

I have chosen 3, and its a royal pain in the ass. Finding decent quality online is a waste of time (most is compressed to 700MB and look like some kind of lego land). So i will only bother with movies I really want to see, or have seen in the cinema. Even more to the point, i will check to see what DRM they use. If they don't use more than CSS then i will buy the DVDs still. But I won't hold my breath.

Re:Argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30238706)

If there was mutual trust between customers and copyright holders this situation wouldn't exist. People are stealing because they know intuitively in their gut that they are being ripped off, see: The Public Domain [thepublicdomain.org] . And copyright holders are failing to meet the needs of their customers - nobody wants digital restrictions yet they insist to maximize that little thing called profit. It will come back to bite them in the ass, it already has.

That's the dumbest shit I've ever heard. We know in our gut we're being ripped of? Have you ever run a company with thousands of employees? Do you know the requirements to run a company and the costs associated in keeping it afloat when you are producing a product or service. Heaven forbid that a company makes a profit right? Forget that public companies have an obligation to their shareholders. No we should sell music to jackasses like you for 10 cents. Guess what you would still refuse to buy it and you'd still download movies from your local usenet group because you're nothing but a thief.

Re:Argument (2, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30239844)

I do, its the public domain. I have had things stolen from me that could and should have been: secondary works.

Re:Argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240436)

Heaven forbid that a company makes a profit right?

Profit is the money that is taken from the consumer in excess of the product's cost to produce (which includes the compensation for the human's time invested). So yes. If a non-human entity (company,corporation) makes profit, the consumer is being ripped off.

Re:Argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242050)

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I hate to throw down ad hominems but there are so many things wrong with that statement it would take hours to cover each one...

Re:Argument (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 5 years ago | (#30238938)

People are stealing because they know intuitively in their gut that they are being ripped off

They -think- they are being ripped off, but they would do so even if the prices were truly reasonable. The p2p audience seems to consist of pack-rats and freeloaders, with a tiny subset of people who take a moral (and sometimes hypocritical) stand.

copyright holders are failing to meet the needs of their customers - nobody wants digital restrictions

No argument there, but making a case against it is hard. Progress is being made, with the rapid death of DRM on music distributed via iTunes and Amazon.

Re:Argument (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30239864)

The stand is hypocritical: people should be boycotting instead of stealing, but boycotting is ineffective... That's where people start to exhibit their passion.

Re:Argument (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241160)

The stand is hypocritical: people should be boycotting instead of stealing, but boycotting is ineffective...

Public domain is the natural order. You can't steal what already belongs to you.

Re:Argument (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241926)

Exactly so if we reach a fair and balanced consensus as citizens discussing issues of importance to ourselves, say what the exact term of copyright should be. In our court that is. So, you could then apply this vigilante argument to your actions and only download works older than the fair term. If you happen to be caught and prosecuted you produce a record of the totality of your reasoning including logic, values, history, and motivations - this civil discourse. When you are in a legal court, for now, your rights as a citizen would mean it would all have to be worked through before they could convict you under anything but politics. Thats activism.

Re:Argument (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246466)

Thats activism.

Yes it is. However, it is only one kind of civil disobedience which itself is only one form of activism.
Direct action, such as the Boston Tea Party, is another form.
Piracy is a type of nonviolent direct action which is an entirely legitimate form of activism.

Re:Argument (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241216)

Progress is being made, with the rapid death of DRM on music distributed via iTunes and Amazon.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that DRM was dropped because customers wanted it to be dropped. If ipods ever lose their market dominance, watch for DRM on music to make a comeback. The only reason DRM on music went away was because Apple held a monopoly on music DRM due to their ~90% marketshare for music players and used their control over DRM as powerful leverage in negotiations. The RIAA abhors a monopoly that's not under their control, and the only way to break Apple's monopoly was to drop DRM.

There is no such monopoly on DRM for video which is why you still see all the movies and videos on itunes and all other download services continue to be locked up tight, and its going to stay that way indefinitely.

Re:Argument (2, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30243552)

The p2p audience seems to consist of pack-rats and freeloaders, with a tiny subset of people who take a moral (and sometimes hypocritical) stand.

The very fact that there is content available through P2P proves you wrong: someone went to the trouble of ripping, disinfecting, and uploading the game/movie/music in question. P2P couldn't exist if only a "tiny subset" contributed their personal resources; they would very soon run out and the system would collapse.

Re:Argument (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244694)

This is an absurd argument. We all know that contributing upstream bandwidth that you're already paying for anyways is NOT the same as paying $10 for a DVD, otherwise we would be doing that. And that an encoding and seeding job can be done by one person or a small team but lead to thousands of people getting it, so yes it is a "tiny subset" that contributes meaningful work (time and effort to encode and edit), while most 'contribute' something that requires no effort on their part.

And while I think copyright laws are too strict and prosecuting for reverse-engineering is horrible, I have to rage a bit at the "evil corporations pay only a small % of sales to artists, so it's okay to copy" argument. What percentage of money from P2P downloads go to the artist? What is 1% of zero?

Re:Argument (2, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247454)

We all know that contributing upstream bandwidth that you're already paying for anyways is NOT the same as paying $10 for a DVD, otherwise we would be doing that.

Many times I see people keep on seeding, even if the file is in multiple small RAR files (yes, some morons still distribute gigabyte files formatted for floppies). Those RAR files are utterly useless once their content has been extracted, and take up valuable hard disk space, yet people still leave them there and the torrent program - which also consumes resources - running.

Also, given the choice, I'd rather pay $20 to a pirate than $10 to a media company, since the latter will use the money against me. It is unwise to fund your enemies.

And that an encoding and seeding job can be done by one person or a small team but lead to thousands of people getting it, so yes it is a "tiny subset" that contributes meaningful work (time and effort to encode and edit), while most 'contribute' something that requires no effort on their part.

Apparently there's enough people contributing their efforts that everything that gets released in a digital format - and many things that got released in analog ones - appear on P2P within days of their release, if not earlier, usually multiple times. The reason there's no more people ripping movies and disinfecting software is that even the current labour force is ridiculously oversized relative to the task.

Nearly everyone in P2P community contributes everything they can be reasonably expected to, and many people far in excess of that. It is your argument that is absurd, saying that people dublicating effort only 2-5 times rather than 1000 times over makes them freeloaders.

And while I think copyright laws are too strict and prosecuting for reverse-engineering is horrible, I have to rage a bit at the "evil corporations pay only a small % of sales to artists, so it's okay to copy" argument. What percentage of money from P2P downloads go to the artist? What is 1% of zero?

I haven't made any such argument. I'm against copyright simply because it is sick that our entire society and communication technology is getting twisted out of shape just to financially benefit people who make pop songs. And, as the secret ACTA negotiation process once again demonstrates, it seems impossible to have copyright that stays reasonable, I say we're better off without it.

Re:Argument (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240042)

Did you just seriously use that artist extortion and media reproduction industry FUD of calling it “stealing”??

Please go and heal the brainwashing!

It is a service. NOT a product. (Never was. Never will be.)
It is digital(ly transferred). It is NOT a real object.
It is a copy. Stealing is when the owner does not have it anymore!
There is no such thing as moving with digital data. There is only copying (and then perhaps deleting)!
GOT IT?
How can you, as someone who posts on a website for computer experts, not understand this??

If it were my country, you would go to jail for this!
But for now, please turn in your geek card right now!

Re:Argument (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241062)

If I got a copy of this software my gut instinct would be to break it. I'm just not comfortable with software on my own hard drive working against me, so I would disable it even if I never plan to violate its restrictions.

Re:Argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242890)

"People are stealing because they know intuitively in their gut that they are being ripped off"

Why don't you go and lay that bullshit on someone who really admires you like the 10 year old next door that showed you how to use Napster. Please give me a break. I forgot the music and movie industry are in the business of making money. That includes artists. If I sell you a song or movie for 99 cents you'd still steal it because you are one of a many thankless and useless people brought up to expect that anything available on the net should be free.

iTunes is there for 99 cents and people still download music? Feel ripped off by iTunes as well? Let me know how your movie downloads on USETNET are going tonight.

Re:Argument (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244404)

I do believe that boycotting is the answer to change our broken copyright system. To make it effective people need to understand the issue and have a common cause. Otherwise boycotting will also not work. There IS a problem. People are stealing all the time. I don't want to hide my head in the sand any longer. I want to get to the root of the issue so I can then use those truths to educate my friends and family. Help me accomplish this.

What crime has he committed? (4, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 5 years ago | (#30238250)

IANAL, and certainly not a Japanese one, but I have to wonder what they would actually charge him with.

Arguably, since he denies writing the program, he violated the real author's copyright (though I would think that only the actual author could pursue legal action in that case).

Other than that... The closest US analogy I can think of would involve some variety of "theft of service" (or facilitating the same), somewhat like selling software to uncap your cable modem. But that doesn't really seem to fit, since the software only limits the end user's use of what they already have, not their use of content provided by the OEM companies. I can't even see it as facilitating copyright violation, unless Japanese law explicitly has a fair-use idea of "You can do this ten times before it counts"... Otherwise, what makes ten views okay but eleven a violation?

As the parent poster mentions, however, I don't really suppose any of this matters. Off to the gallows with this scofflaw! Hmm, does "interfering with corporate profitability" count as a capital punishment yet?

Re:What crime has he committed? (3, Informative)

WCguru42 (1268530) | about 5 years ago | (#30238308)

My best bet would be facilitating in copyright infringement (though I have zero knowledge of japanese law of any form). The fact that he didn't make the software really doesn't seem relevant. There's nothing inherently illegal about creating that software as long as it doesn't get out. I could tinker around making all sorts of software (well, if I knew how to code) that when used would be illegal just to see if I was capable of making the code without any repercussions.

In a probably flawed analogy, simply because you didn't cook the coke doesn't mean you won't get arrested for selling it.

Re:What crime has he committed? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 5 years ago | (#30238344)

The closest US analogy I can think of would involve some variety of "theft of service"

What about DMCA - which is where most copy-protection-removal schemes fall.

It's a pity the guy was concerned with profit, and didn't just post the method for breaking the copy limit on some eastern European web server. Then he'd be (a) famous and admired, and (b) a free man.

This is Japan, not the USA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244480)

This is Japan, not the USA.

Rather a small point, but still very central to your argument.

Convicted of selling the stuff? (1)

RudeIota (1131331) | about 5 years ago | (#30238582)

TFA: "Masumura is accused in two specific instances, one where he sold a CD-R to a man for 850 yen (~$8USD) and another where he sold a download to a teenager for 650 yen (~$6USD)"

I know it is disastrous trying to extrapolate meaningful conclusions from the details of this Examiner article -- but the wording of the article leads me to believe he's being arrested for selling the software.

I'm pretty surprised... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#30238270)

Not that there would be a market for de-crippling software, or that the jackboots would come down hard on someone who attempted to satisfy that market; but at the numbers given in TFA.

It mentions one sale, on CDR, of software and directions, for the equivalent of ~8USD. A download sale(to somebody who then resold a large number of copies) for ~6USD. Stated number of sales, over the year, is "at least 714".

That sounds like pretty mediocre money for taking on any significant legal risk(especially since he has had a steady job with Toshiba for 15 years now, this isn't some 15 year old, or a guy dealing drugs because he has zero job skills). Has there historically been virtually zero risk, and this guy just drew the short straw and got to be the leading edge of some new crackdown? Is he just not that sharp?

Re:I'm pretty surprised... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30238366)

Read TFA... of course he isn't Sharp... he's Toshiba!

(would NOT have dared such a bad one as a logged-in user :p)

Re:I'm pretty surprised... (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | about 5 years ago | (#30238372)

A download sale(to somebody who then resold a large number of copies) for ~6USD.

More surprisingly, no mention of people pirating the download. That would be some sort of irony.

Though, I have to say, restrictions on private copies is a whole lot of bull. iTunes gives you five computers, and if you forget to de-authorize a computer before reformatting (can't because of a crash) then you quickly hit that limit on your own personal computers and get stuck with the once a year de-authorize all computers. And now with HDCP you get even more hoops when trying to store media onto a format that the creators don't approve of (your hard drive).

Re:I'm pretty surprised... (1)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240676)

It's worse than that. I live in Japan and have one of the Sharp DVD recorders using dubbing10. It is designed so that you can record a copy of a over the air digital broadcast and record it to DVD for later playback.

To do this, you have to use special DVD-R discs that support the CPRM standard. On top of that, you can only play it on the player where it was recorded. Unfortunately, this also applies to private recordings. I dubbed some home movies from a MiniDV tape to the recorder and then attempted to copy it off onto a DVD. I could only play my own content on this one recorder. It encrypted the content and applied their copy protection scheme to content I created.

How's that for lock in?

I want to know what this software is that he was selling because i want a copy of it.

Re:I'm pretty surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241186)

google "lernel32" (yes, lernel, not kernel).

Re:I'm pretty surprised... (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240346)

It could just be that it is more of an ideological thing. Not everything everybody does is just for their own good. He might be outraged by all these copyright protections.

And it's an easy thing to earn a bit of money with as well. Just putting it on the web for free download might not be such a grand move either (unless you want to be listed everywhere and stop all uploads from your computer.)

And yes, I don't think the risk is that great unless you try to be big, or if you're easily picked up by automated searches.

Japanese police (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30238274)

Japanese police have such high conviction rates because,

  1. they do not follow western style of interrogation.
http://www.debito.org/policeinterrogations.html
There is no Miranda laws, lawyers, etc.

  2. In Japan, if police charges you with something, the society believes that you must have done something. The Japanese culture is closer to "prove your innocence" than "prove your guilt".

  3. The Japanese police historically does not bring up charges for people that they don't have evidence for. This results #2.

Re:Japanese police (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30238528)

So, basically, like most of Europe... Canada doesn't have miranda law either... should I go on or did you get the point.

Re:Japanese police (3, Interesting)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 5 years ago | (#30238756)

No, in Canada or most of Europe there is no real shame for the prosecution in a not guilty verdict. In Japan it's a career ending event.

Now that they've restored juries, though with a pretty strange variant, things might have changed - but when there weren't juries it was predictable enough for the prosecution that they wouldn't bring to trial anything they weren't sure they would win.

Re:Japanese police (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240286)

And this is the way it should be. I am of the opinion that if we had to pay people found not guilty, the money we "would have" spent on keeping them in jail, the courts would not be so backed up.. As it is, getting dragged through the legal system is a punishment unto itself, and people who go through it and are found not guilty, get no compensation for their trouble.

Re:Japanese police (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240554)

Try applying for a job?

If you were ever accused of a crime but later found innocent you can never be a teacher or work in alot of companies and this is true even if you were prosecuted but later overturned.

Statistical wise you maybe more guilty so why take the risk in hiring you?

Re:Japanese police (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241514)

Try reading for comprehension.

In the US losing a case in court is not a career ender for a prosecutor, which is what I said which has nothing to do with the prospects of whomever was found innocent.

Re:Japanese police (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30238822)

You should go on if you intend to add any substance to you previous post.

All you pointed out is that "Miranda" rights are not called the same in other countries, e.g. Canada and most of Europe, wrongly implying that no similar concept exists there. Have a look at Miranda warning: Equivalent rights in other countries [wikipedia.org] if you feel like educating yourself.

Re:Japanese police (2, Informative)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 5 years ago | (#30238862)

Canada has the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which gives anyone who is arrested a set of rights very similar to the US Miranda rights.

Re:Japanese police (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240260)

We've got the standard police warning, sorta reads like a poem.

"You need not say anything. You have nothing to hope from any promise or favour and nothing to fear from any threat whether or not you say anything. Anything you do say may be used against you as evidence."

That, and there's a bit in the charter about being free to seek counsel, etc.

"I am arresting you for [offence]. It is my duty to inform you that you have the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay. Do you understand?" etc.

Re:Japanese police (1)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240394)

Most people who get arrested know what those statements mean, but probably don't actually understand them. Its kind of funny like that. No one refers to lawyers as counsel, unless its a lawyer working internally for a company, then it is "in-house counsel". Lawyers refer to other lawyers as Counsel if they are referring to the other side... But a common person calls them Lawyers in Canada, Attorney's in the states and Barristers/Solicitors in the UK. The statement needs to be redesigned... *scratches head...* here we go... "You are being arrested for XXX. You have the right to call a lawyer as soon as we get to the station, and I suggest you do so. If you do not have a lawyer we will arrange one for you. Do you understand?" There. That sums it up in idiot terms.

Re:Japanese police (1)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240954)

"You are being arrested for XXX."

Arrested for Porn?

Re:Japanese police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241842)

Or maybe that shitty movie with Vin Diesel? That was a crime.

Re:Japanese police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30239638)

Japanese police have such high conviction rates because,

  1. they do not follow western style of interrogation.
http://www.debito.org/policeinterrogations.html
There is no Miranda laws, lawyers, etc.

  2. In Japan, if police charges you with something, the society believes that you must have done something. The Japanese culture is closer to "prove your innocence" than "prove your guilt".

  3. The Japanese police historically does not bring up charges for people that they don't have evidence for. This results #2.

What you've described is not much different from the US justice system. Yes there is a charade for #1 but police don't typically follow interrogation protocol bad instead try to bully or blackmail someone into a false confession. US culture is extremely biased towards "guilty until proven innocent". That's the way the courts work and that's the belief held by most people. The only difference is #3. In the US they charge whomever is easiest to convict. Lack of evidence is usually irrelevant due to #2 so they just do character assasination instead.

Re:Japanese police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241098)

I would've taken you more seriously if you hadn't linked to debito.org.

Re:Japanese police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241512)

Also, the police and judges' jobs are to convict people. Judges that don't convict are seen to be working against the police - against the 'group/team', and are not promoted. Everyone works together to convict, because anyone that goes free is solid evidence the police did something wrong/got the wrong guy. Make the police lose face also = non team player.

Re:Japanese police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242006)

[citation needed] is a lot better than [citation from debito, Japan's national liar]

Try going to his site and pointing out how laws don't actually say what he says it does to his English-only white-trash audience.

I see no fault in gaijin feeling frustrated because they don't understand what's going on around them. Many white Americans(of the debito fan variety) will use the R-word as a throwing weapon in any situation, just because Japanese people are way up above them socially, a behaviour surely learnt from their Black counterparts they hate so much.

debito however is evil because he knows Japanese and what's happening but he keeps stirring the clueless Gaijin audience for more hate towards the Japanese people.

I am a Gaijin myself and Debito doesn't represent me in the least. He also doesn't represent the Japanese people.

Re:Japanese police (1)

LifesRoadie (1342921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242566)

except for the guy who was charged with spraying Sarin after Aum Shinrikyo's first practise run in southern Tokyo in 1995(?). He had his life ruined, then the cops just dropped him and went after the real perps. He sued them for an apology but got nothing.

I think Japan participates in ACTA (3, Informative)

turtleshadow (180842) | about 5 years ago | (#30238350)

If Japan participates in ACTA and other international treaties then this could be a circumvention of encryption controls type of crime which would incur greater penalty than larceny or simple theft.

To the Law outside is there a difference of kind to manufacture lock picks vs to sell them vs being actually caught picking locks vs being searched and having one found on your person?

Toshiba: guilt by association? (4, Insightful)

InakaBoyJoe (687694) | about 5 years ago | (#30238782)

Notice how the article reports that the suspect is a "Toshiba employee" even though his activities have nothing to do with Toshiba (as far as we know). That's how things work in Japan (and Asia in general) -- the company, relatives, etc. share some responsibility for an individual's actions simply by association.

Dubbing10 source? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30239466)

I had somewhat assumed that Toshiba had created the "dubbing10" program that was being cracked. However I'm unable to find any sources that either confirm or deny that assumption.

Can anyone else find anything on it? Google doesn't come up with much other than various places in which it is used, but not where it was created.

Re:Toshiba: guilt by association? (2, Interesting)

eealex (835401) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240270)

I totally agree with what you are saying. When students are caught taking drug, the president of the university has to come and apologize in front of the press; when a guy committed in mass killing, his parents has to deal with this also.

Re:Toshiba: guilt by association? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240388)

> That's how things work in Japan (and Asia in general) -- the company, relatives, etc. share some responsibility for an individual's actions simply by association.

True. But in this case, it only makes me want to buy something made by Toshiba. I don't really plan to buy any electronics right now, but if I do, I'll give Toshiba a little more credit.

par for course (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about 5 years ago | (#30238918)

Reminds me the first episode of Leverage this season. People who rob us blind, like the senator from alaska and bank executives and middle management, get of nearly scott free, while this guy, who made "thousands of dollars" is going to probably be nailed to the wall. It is like spending billions fighting street drug dealers, while letting the high level drug users off the hook [washingtonpost.com] .

Re:par for course (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242136)

This is slashdot so we have plenty of hackers. Now we just need a hitter, grifter, thief and mastermind so we can start dealing out justice.

Well (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30239954)

It's not all bad. At least according to wiki, Japan has one of the lowest incarceration rates of the civilized world. The conviction rate may be high, but the sentencing is extremely lenient and the total number of convictions is low.

Commit a murder in Japan? Out in 10-15 years. Rape? 2-5 years. Etc. That's ridiculously lower than typical sentences in the U.S. for the same crime. Also, "acquaintance rape" is almost never prosecuted because a prosecutor won't bring a case forward unless they are certain of a conviction. (versus in the U.S., where people are imprisoned for decades based solely on the uncorroborated word of the victim) In the U.S., prosecutors fail to get a conviction about 30-40% of the time in trials, and a vastly higher percentage of the population is prosecuted.

Whether you're a criminal or not, it sounds like you have a higher chance of keeping your freedom in Japan. On the other hand, their society is far less tolerant of any sort of behavior that isn't the norm.

Re:Well (2, Informative)

Yuuki Dasu (1416345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241086)

It's not all bad. At least according to wiki, Japan has one of the lowest incarceration rates of the civilized world. The conviction rate may be high, but the sentencing is extremely lenient and the total number of convictions is low. [...] In the U.S., prosecutors fail to get a conviction about 30-40% of the time in trials, and a vastly higher percentage of the population is prosecuted.

Ever wonder why Japan has such a high conviction rate?

In Japan, confessions don't get overturned. There's really no provision for confessions under duress, and confessions trump material evidence. This leads prosecutors to do whatever they can to get confessions.

In Japan, you can be held by the police for up to 23 days. During those 23 days, life will be hell. You will be subjected to endless hours of interrogations, little sleep, crowded conditions, and no exercise (unless you count 15 minutes a day in a crowded room where everyone is smoking - which international law doesn't). You can get a lawyer after the first 72 hours, but you are only allowed to communicate with them in Japanese and in the presence of a police officer.

Japan is a great country, but hope to god no one suspects you of anything there.

Some links: Twelve days of detention: http://www.debito.org/policeinterrogations.html [debito.org]
Two years from a forced confession: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8290767.stm [bbc.co.uk]
Seventeen years from a forced confession: http://www.tokyomango.com/tokyo_mango/2009/06/man-intimidated-into-admitting-to-murder-is-set-free-after-17-years-in-prison.html [tokyomango.com]
What to do if you're arrested in Japan: http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#arrested [debito.org]

Stay safe, everyone.

Re:Well (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241824)

I read that. I'm just saying that it's overall still not as bad as Louisiana or Texas by a long, long, long margin. Those states might pay lip service to your rights - but the mob will still convict you on the slimmest of evidence, and sent you to prison for about 10-20x times the sentence, under harsher conditions. Or they'll just murder you.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245182)

Did you read the economist article? Which part of it sounded like something that is even marginally better than Louisiana or Texas.

http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8680941

Let me copy and paste for you in case you don't have an acct:
"The statistics would seem to bear him out. Japan is unique among democratic countries in that confessions are obtained from 95% of all people arrested, and that its courts convict 99.9% of all the suspects brought before them. Prosecutors are ashamed of being involved in an acquittal and fear that losing a case will destroy their careers. Judges get promotion for the speed with which they process their case-loads. And juries do not exist, though there is talk of introducing a watered-down system called saiban-in for open-and-shut cases. Apparently, members of the public are not to be trusted with cases that might involve special knowledge. Those will still be heard and ruled on—as are all cases in Japan today—by judges alone.

  Despite Article 38 of the Japanese constitution, which guarantees an accused person's right to remain silent, the police and the prosecutors put maximum emphasis on obtaining a confession rather than building a case based on evidence. The official view is that confession is an essential first step in rehabilitating offenders. Japanese judges tend to hand down lighter sentences when confessions are accompanied by demonstrations of remorse. Even more important, prosecutors have the right to ask for lenient sentences when the accused has been especially co-operative.

It is how the police obtain these confessions that troubles human-rights activists. A suspect can be held for 48 hours without legal counsel or contact with the outside world. After that, he or she is turned over to the public prosecutor for another 24 hours of grilling. A judge can then grant a further ten days of detention, which can be renewed for another ten days.

Japan's constitution also states that confessions obtained under compulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged periods of detention, cannot be admitted as evidence. Yet threats and even torture are reckoned to be used widely in detention centres—especially as interrogators are not required to record their interviews. Accidental death during custody happens suspiciously often. Facing up to a possible 23 days of continuous browbeating, or worse, could persuade many wrongfully arrested people to accept their fate and sign a confession as the quickest way to put the whole sorry mess behind them."

You tell me how this is 10-20x better than Louisiana or Texas. I am not sure if being interrogated without access to a lawyer for 48 hours straight before being interrogated for an additional 21 days by the prosecutor is better. You must be mental. How about the first three paragraphs are the kicker:

"A TAXI driver in Toyama prefecture is arrested for rape and attempted rape, confesses to both crimes, is convicted after a brief trial and serves his three years in prison. Meanwhile, another man, arrested on rape charges, also confesses to the two crimes the first man was convicted for. He, too, goes to jail and serves his time. Is this a story by Jorge Luis Borges, a case of trumped-up charges from the annals of Stalinist Russia, a trick question in a Cambridge tripos? None of the above. It is a recent instance, and not an uncommon one, of the Japanese judicial system at work.

On January 26th Jinen Nagase, Japan's justice minister, apologised for the wrongful arrest of the taxi driver and declared that an investigation would take place. After all, the suspect had an alibi, evidence that he could not have committed the crime and had denied vociferously having done so. But after the third day in detention without access to the outside world, he was persuaded to sign a confession.

With too many instances of wrongful arrest and conviction, few expect anything to come from the justice ministry's investigation. But the spotlight has begun to shine on the practices of police interrogation as well as on the court's presumption of guilt. More and more innocent victims of Japan's judicial zeal are going public with grim accounts of their experiences at the hands of the police and the court system."

Who mods you up? You didn't read anything, if you did, than you are either nuts, or a Japanese prosecutor. Sorry man, but how is this better than anything? This crap belongs in Soviet Russia, soon you will lecture how being in a Gulag is superior to being in a prison in Texas.

Nippon police (1)

Krakadoom (1407635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30243894)

"due to the generally high conviction rate of those arrested by Japanese police"

I wonder if high conviction rates are a result of superior investigation techniques, whereby arrests are only made when the case evidence is already relatively overwhelming - or if it means that once you enter the interrogation room, you only come out once you plead guilty.

Copyright holders should be the ones to make money (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244596)

I'm totally against prosecuting people who share information at no profit, but people like this have no leg to stand on. If anyone should make money, it should be the holders of those copyrights.

Why, pray tell - (1)

Geminii (954348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246950)

- is improving a product able to even be classed as a crime in and of itself in any reasonable society?

Altering a product which results in an illegal item (assembling bombs etc), OK. That's a separate area of law entirely. But producing an end product or system which can merely do more of something which is already allowed? Where there is no law against making an eleventh copy other than that the manufacturer would pretty-please like people not to? THAT'S how they're going to try and stay profitable?

Is manufacturing crowbars, axes, or knives going to become illegal because they can possibly be used for illegal acts? How about hammers, screwdrivers or rolls of duct tape? They let people repair stuff themselves instead of paying for a new one or an expensive repair service - BAN THEM!

What I'm interested in is where the physical lock industry is going to end up heading. How long has the design of better SOHO-scale locks languished because manual and automatic lockpicks have varying degrees of illegality? Why are the vast majority of modern house and car door locks able to be opened with devices which have been around for decades, if not centuries? It's known that security through obscurity is not a good philosophy, so why is so much physical access based on it?

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