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In December 2006, Mr. Isamu Kaneko, a former University of Tokyo researcher, was fined ¥1.5 million for enabling two computer users to illegally make movies and other files available to download. The Kyoto District Court said he was guilty because he had continued to offer the peer-to-peer file-sharing software Winny, which he had developed, via his Web site since May 2002, even though he was aware it was being used for the illegal copying of copyrighted material.

On Oct. 8, however, the Osaka High Court acquitted Mr. Kaneko, pointing out that although he was aware of the possibility of copyright violations when he posted Winny on his Web site, he also warned computer users not to illegally share files.

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