• Kyodo


The creator of the popular Internet file-sharing software program Winny was indicted Monday on a charge of assisting copyright violations, the first such indictment in Japan.

Isamu Kaneko, 33, an assistant researcher at a graduate school at the University of Tokyo, created the free file-sharing program.

Prosecutors said he was indicted for facilitating two computer users to illegally download copyrighted materials, including movies and video games, via the Internet in September so that other users could then download them for free.

The prosecutors believe Kaneko was aware when he developed the program that it would be used to make pirated copies of various types of materials available on the Net.

Legal experts, however, have said his May 10 arrest had no legal basis and was arbitrary.

Ten lawyers in Osaka and Kyoto have formed a support group for Kaneko.