Man admits creating Web virus, spreading via copyright footage

Man admits creating Web virus, spreading via copyright footage
Man admits creating Web virus, spreading via copyright footage 

The Yomiuri Shimbun
March 19, 2008

KYOTO -- A 24-year-old man on trial in the Kyoto District Court charged 
with violating the Copyright Law admitted Tuesday he created a computer 
virus and used copyrighted animation footage to spread it on the 

Masato Nakatsuji, a graduate school student of Osaka 
Electro-Communication University, made the admission during the first 
hearing of his trial, where he is answering charges of infringing 
copyright and defaming an acquaintance by attaching his photo to the 

It is the first time in the nation that a creator of a computer virus 
has been tried for criminal responsibility.

Creating computer viruses is not regarded as a crime under the existing 
law, but police were able to arrest Nakatsuji because in spreading the 
virus he used copyrighted animation footage without permission.

The prosecution described in detail the process by which Nakatsuji 
allegedly created the computer virus, attached it to copyright animated 
footage, and then promoted it on Internet bulletin boards to accelerate 
its distribution.

The defense counsel argued the virus was not seriously malignant, and 
that it would be unjust to severely punish Nakatsuji for spreading the 
virus as there is no law against it.

The defense objected to certain evidence submitted by the prosecution, 
arguing it applied only to the acts of creating and spreading the virus. 
The prosecution successfully countered that such evidence was necessary 
to establish the full facts of the case.

As the trial continues, observers are focusing on whether it will prompt 
legislation to be developed more quickly in relation to computer virus 
crime, a field in which the nation has lagged.

A draft revision of the Penal Code, which includes a provision to 
criminalize the creation of computer viruses, was submitted to the Diet 
in October 2005.

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