back to article Japanese publisher, staff arrested over backup software offer

Those software-laden DVDs that adorn the covers of newsstand computer magazines can get you into serious trouble in Japan, where four staff at a book publisher have been arrested because of naught software included in the popular 'onserts'. Those arrested include an executive (Yoshiaki Kaizuka) of Sensai Books, which had …


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  1. Anomalous Cowturd

    Ahem. IANAL, but...

    Surely they are "giving away" the Cover disk?

    Conversely, as you say in the article, most Linux distros include libdvdcss or libdvdcss2. You can download those for free from the repos anyway.

    Is that our horse I see, disappearing over the horizon? Better shut the stable door quick!

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Ahem. IANAL, but...

      "Conversely, as you say in the article, most Linux distros include libdvdcss or libdvdcss2. You can download those for free from the repos anyway."

      That is going to be an interesting one...

      AKAIK you're not supposed to even lend a music CD to a friend in Japan. That is an existing law, not this new one. Kinda explains Sony's unbelievable attitude to the rest of the world (rootkits on CDs, no Linux on PS3, etc etc). And given that the Japanese government is easily influenced by big business it is not surprising to see the laws being extended so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ahem. IANAL, but...

        AFAIK in Japan it is not illegal to lend a music or film DVD/CD to a friend in Japan. However, if this is illegal then most Japanese people are oblivious to it as several have told me it's fine to do so.

    2. mhenriday

      Not to worry !

      Soon GNU/Linux will be outlawed as infringing the divine right of MPAA, RIAA, and a motley crew of local vassals from extracting the artificial monopoly profits that those copy-prevention mechanisms are meant to ensure. No doubt, we find ourselves before the gates of that innovation paradise promised us by the promoters of something called «intellectual property» (otherwise known as shamelessly stealing - and then patenting - others' work ( and when all such infringements have been rigorously stamped out we will be allowed in, upon showing the tickets that we have duly purchased at monopoly prices....


      PS : I had first thought to cite Thomas Jefferson to the effect that «the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God», but then thought better of it, as I didn't wish to fall into the bad graces of that eminent Reg philosopher, Andrew Orlowski....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not to worry !

        "Soon GNU/Linux will be outlawed as infringing the divine right of MPAA, RIAA, and a motley crew of local vassals from extracting the artificial monopoly profits... etc etc."

        Do you not remember Ballmer declaring it to be "unamerican" and akin to "cancer"? Bindun.

    3. vic 4

      Re: most Linux distros include libdvdcss

      Eh, no they don't. Only popular one I'm aware of is Mint. Most the big hitters, e.g. Fedora, Suse, Debian, Ubuntu or Redhat don't. At least without manually selecting additional repositories to install software from.

      1. AdamWill

        Re: most Linux distros include libdvdcss

        It's not in an official repository for any of the above. Major distros definitely don't include it because of the legal issues; the same legal issues would make it just as bad to have it in an official repository which was disabled by default.

        It's usually available through an arm's-length third party repository - these exist basically specifically for the purpose of distributing packages with legal problems. They aren't run by or controlled by the distribution project itself, and are usually based - in so far as they can be said to be based anywhere physical - somewhere with laxer IP provisions. They rarely have US mirrors as US hosts don't want the liability.

        The basic thrust of the story seems to be that this is something new and crazy and possibly specifically Japanese. It certainly isn't. You could get into a lot of trouble distributing dvdcss on a cover disc in the U.S. or Europe also, under the DMCA and EUCD implementation laws. Such laws clearly ban the redistribution of 'copyright protection circumvention' tools. This is hardly news, either - the consistent attempt to enlarge bans on 'circumvention' is one of the biggest beefs people have with DMCA, EUCD and SOPA.

  2. Shannon Jacobs

    It's not freedom, it's greedom

    Innovation and creativity lose again. No, I'm not in favor of rampant piracy and I absolutely think that creators deserve recognition and PROFITS for their creative work. The problem is that innovation and creativity have essentially nothing to do with profit maximization as the publishers see things. Their main concerns are with creating monopolies, minimizing the actual payments to the actual creators, and preventing any form of derivation reduces their profits. If they could only get an agreement with the other publishers, they would probably stop producing ANY new or innovative content.

    What we really need are innovative new financial models. Don't look at the existing publishers to create them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not freedom, it's greedom

      I've been waiting for these innovative models for over 10 years...

      Maybe there's none?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not freedom, it's greedom

      That's all very idealistic, but the reality someone has to put in the money and connections to promote a creative piece of work, otherwise it'll be a drop in a vast universe of other content, for no-one to find. How do you expect creativity to thrive without money and popularity? It's the same in business as well, not just creative enterprises. Publishers are like venture capitalists of the arts. The alternative is going free with ads and get an even smaller pittance from something like Google.

  3. heyrick Silver badge

    Japanese people got arrested in Japan and the currency quoted is "$AU12"?

    What's that in a currency many readers might stand a chance of knowing without looking it up on Google? (UK) Pounds [£8], Euros [€10,25], (US) Dollars [$12.45], or maybe even Yen [980円] ? !

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge


      We're not in Kansas any more.

    2. Esskay

      Most stories on the register have currency converted into the local currency of the journalist (although Japanese Yen should have been listed first, followed by the conversion). Richard is Australian, hence AUD. Also, The Reg has quite an audience in Australia, so for "many readers" AUD works just fine.

      In general, many people have a vague idea of different currencies, if anyone has ever wanted to buy from overseas or go overseas (most People I would think) then a quick look at a currency website, or watching the news occasionally will help (I'm Australian, and have had no trouble keeping up with the usual "currency X => GBP" that goes with many stories here).

      As a general rule at the moment, $1AUD buys:

      - roughly $1USD

      -roughly 60-70 british pence

      -roughly 75-80 Japanese yen

      -a small cottage in europe (except Germany)

      -a politician in Greece

      1. vic 4

        Re: a politician in Greece

        Love it. Can we make this the register standard monetary unit please.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a politician in Greece

          Sorry, won't work -- the rate of inflation is too high.

    3. TheRealRoland

      I, for one...

      Like to welcome our dear readers who do put in the effort of converting currencies to something they're more familiar with.

      But, I know, it's a scary world out there, and it's always comforting to be spoon-fed information in a way that will protect you from exerting any effort whatsoever.

      Word of caution:

      Don't let yourself be thrown off track when articles speak about linguine, speed of sheep in vacuum, olympic-sized swimming pools, etc. Be assured, all those can be converted into units you may be more comfortable with.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: without looking it up on Google

      Oh come on, just how difficult is it to type

      convert 12 aud to gbp

      (or usd, jpy etc.) in the browser search box?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Under such a law

    We are all criminals.

    Therefore, the law is an ass.

    1. vagabondo

      Re: Under such a law

      The current BBC Radio 4 talks by Helena Kennedy: "Capital Justice" have been about the joint development of Common Law and Capitalism away from Adam Smith et al's ideas of self-regulating efficiency to the recent (Thatcher/Reagan) promotion of monetarism and greed.

  5. Steven Roper

    Ah, I see

    the MAFIAA have bought themselves some Japanese politicians, then.

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Further than New Zealand, I see.

    "The law glories in the nearly-Orwellian..."

    I nearly read this as "nearly-Orlowskian". Bizarre.

  7. Anonymous Coward 15


    anyone who wanted decryption or piracy tools started using foreign servers or Tor.

  8. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

    That law ...

    ... needs a hyphen somewhere. I leave it up to posters to decide whether it should be the "Unfair-Competition Prevention Law" , or the "Unfair Competition-Prevention Law".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That law ...

      ...though now relaxed, there has been a tradition of not using punctuation in English legal documents... how this applies to the title of a law translated from another county is anyone's guess.

  9. Christoph Silver badge

    There's too much of this going on

    These terrible criminals are everywhere - lots of apparently innocent programs have built-in routines to break the industry standard ROT13 encryption. I trust the Japanese authorities will arrest all the perpetrators!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Finland...

    ...even having a copy of libdvdcss has been illegal since 2006. Fine or up to one year in prison may follow. Helping a friend to find dvd software for linux with libdvdcss hidden inside? Go to jail. Both of you. Travel to Finland with libdvdcss as binary, source or print? Go to jail. Have libdvdcss in your possession? Go to jail.

    One court case I know of resulted in guilty, no fine, but pay legal fees of some 14 000 euros. This given to two persons for showing a Haskell version of CSS decrypting on a forum.

    Primary purpose of libdvdcss is circumventing technical protection, which is a criminal offence.

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