• Jiji, Kyodo


Miyagi Prefectural Police on Wednesday arrested three people for allegedly posting so-called fast movies, or illegally edited short version of copyrighted films, on YouTube.

The prefectural police department suspects that the three, including Kenya Takase, a 25-year-old man from Sapporo, violated the copyright law.

Two others arrested are Nana Shimoda, 25, who lives with Takase in Sapporo, and Takayuki Suga, 42, from Tokyo.

This is the first arrest in Japan for the online posting of fast movies, according to the police. Fast movies, edited without permission of copyright holders, are each about 10 minutes long and give brief explanations about the stories.

The three are suspected of creating shortened versions of five movies whose copyrights are held by film distribution companies and others and posting the fast movies on YouTube without their permission between June 7, 2020, and July 21 the same year, according to police.

During questioning by the police, Takase denied part of the allegations, saying that he did the act but that he does not remember some of the movies, according to investigative sources.

The police suspect that the trio posted more than 100 fast movies online.

Officers of the Miyagi Police Department detected the fast movies in question during a cyber patrol in July last year, and identified the suspects in cooperation with Tokyo-based Content Overseas Distribution Association and other entities.

According to the association, similar illegal fast movies had been posted on YouTube from 55 accounts by June 14 this year, getting a total of about 477 million views. Resulting damage is estimated at some ¥96 billion.

Posting of fast movies has increased rapidly since around spring last year, as more people stayed home during the coronavirus pandemic, the association said.

Police said the three are believed to have received ad revenues that are paid in accordance with the number of views. The videos in questions have already been deleted, police said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.