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File sharing in Japan

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Tue 2008/03/18 06:43 JST
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There has been much talk over the past few days about a recent announcement that Japanese ISPs are going to forcibly cut off users who share files over the internet. But the English press have worded the news to sound different to what was reported in Japan.

Yomiuri English news talks about how P2P users of Winny etc will be cut off from their ISPs and that "The move aims to deal with the rise in illegal copying of music, gaming software and images."

However, the Japan Internet Providers Association released a press release which states that they are after heavy users of Winny and similar P2P software due to the load that those users are placing on the network and not because of any illegal copying. The extra load caused by heavy P2P users causes instability for other internet users.
Nikkei BP also report on the crack down of heavy Winny users but mention nothing about copyrighted material.

There was however some discussions about some sort of crackdown due to copyright material but that was a last September.
While heavy P2P customers may be bad for an ISPs network, cracking down on all forms of P2P including torrents would also be bad for the ISPs - they would loose customers would just cancel their subscription and go elsewhere. This is one of the reasons why I believe that P2P will still live on for quite a while in Japan - just as long as one does not over do it by downloading a zillion GBs of dolphin care material via Winny.

For those who don't know, Winny is Japans most used P2P software - one can find just about *anything* on it. While old material disappears after time with torrents, Winny always seems to have what one maybe looking for.
Member 0ne has a tutorial on how to set up Winny at his blog for those who are interested in internet security.

Winny is also the cause of many embarrassing cases of intellectual property loss - there is a virus that goes around the Winny network that zips up files on ones local drive, takes a snapshot of the desktop and then sends it to the Winny network. Many companies have lost customer information and even a police sargent lost over 10,000 items of data belonging to the metropolitan police - he was using Winny at work... (source).

Today I thought it would be interesting to talk about what sort of restrictions ISPs have in your region. I hear that some of you have a cap on the amount you can download? None of the ISPs over here cap internet usage - its usually a flat fee and one can use as much as they want.

Thanks to the 61 people who sent the yomiuri, tech crunch and gizmodo links.

Nearly forgot to mention about the photo - didn't have a picture of somebody being arrested due to heavy Winny usage so thought I would show an unrelated pic of the office with the new Ikea lights above the figures and near the window ^^;

Tokyo · CEO Mirai Inc
http://www.dannychoo.com/profile

Director for Culture Japan. Creator of Mirai Suenaga. Member of the Japanese governments METI CIIC.
経済産業省クリエイティブ産業国際展開懇談会委員。
テレビ番組カルチャージャパンのディレクターと司会。
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