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TOKYO — Police arrested Kazushi Hirata on Thursday for uploading a copy of Hollywood thriller “Wanted” with homemade Japanese subtitles onto Winny, a popular local P2P file-sharing site, before the movie’s domestic release.
Arrests for online piracy are rare in Japan, but the creator of Winny, Isamu Kaneko, a computer engineering research assistant at the prestigious University of Tokyo, was charged with copyright violation and fined about $14,000 in 2006.
“Wanted” will be released in the territory by Toho-Towa on Saturday. Star James McAvoy was recently in Japan to promote the Universal Pictures film by director Timur Bekmambetov.
The arrest was the first in Japan of a suspect who had illegally distributed an unreleased movie via the Internet. Hirata could face up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 10 million yen ($95,000).
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