• Jiji


A Japanese court has ordered a Tokyo man to pay damages over selling a pirated version of architecture design software produced by U.S. software maker Autodesk Inc., it was learned Thursday.

In a decision dated Nov. 9, Osaka District Court’s Judge Yuko Tani ordered the man in his 60s to pay ¥60 million as demanded by Autodesk for the copyright infringement.

The man’s lawyer said that there are no plans to appeal the ruling at the moment.

According to the verdict, the man sold some 2,700 copies of the pirated software between April 2014 and October 2020 on Yahoo Japan Corp.’s online auction website. With each copy selling for around ¥10,000, or less than a few percent of the software’s regular price, the man racked up a total of ¥31.7 million in sales.

Autodesk offers its software in a variety of price ranges depending on the periods of service, but the man offered a fraudulent program that disables the time limits along with the pirated software.

“(The act) is highly illegal and has had a large impact on the market,” Tani said, ordering the man to pay the damages even before the ruling is finalized.

The man was found guilty in February of violating the copyright law and the unfair competition prevention law. He was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment, suspended for three years, and fined ¥500,000.

Autodesk calculated that the damage from the piracy, on the basis of the number of bids made on the Yahoo auction site, totals some ¥1,160 million. The company filed its suit in April, demanding only ¥60 million, considering the financial capacity of the defendant.

“There are issues with the auction operator as well, for carelessly allowing a pirated product,” the lawyer for Autodesk said, noting that the auction site still hosts cheap products believed to be pirated copies of the software.

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.