TMCNet:  Man held over selling software that allows unlimited copies of TV shows

[November 25, 2009]

Man held over selling software that allows unlimited copies of TV shows

MATSUYAMA, Nov 25, 2009 (Kyodo News International - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A 39-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of selling software that deactivates a DVD recorder function and enables unlimited copies of digital broadcast TV programs to be made in violation of the copyright protection law, police said.


The arrest of Tetsuya Masumura, who works at a Toshiba Corp. factory in Saku, Nagano Prefecture, is the first case of illegal software sales to deactivate the "Dubbing 10" function to enable purchasers to copy TV programs onto DVDs as much as they want, according to the police.

Masumura was arrested for allegedly selling the software to an 18-year-old college student in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, and a 28-year-old man in Yuki, Ibaraki Prefecture, through the Internet in October last year for 650 yen and 850 yen, respectively, the police said.

He has admitted to the allegation, saying, "I intended to earn some pocket money," according to the police. They said they are investigating how he obtained the software.

He is also suspected of selling the software to 712 people last year, earning about 493,000 yen, according to the investigation.

Toshiba released a comment through its public affairs department, saying, "It is very regrettable that our employee was arrested for such an allegation. We will strictly handle the matter in accordance with further developments of the investigation." Masumura was in charge of developing rechargeable batteries for industrial use, according to Toshiba.

The college student in Matsuyama, meanwhile, is believed to have duplicated the software and resold it to at least 240 people to earn some 145,000 yen, according to the investigation. The police will soon send papers on him to prosecutors, they said.

The installation of Dubbing 10, which removes a TV program recorded on the hard disks of DVD recorders after the 10th reproduction, started in July last year to protect the copyrights of digital TV programs.

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