Camcorder cases rise in Japan

Copyright violators face up to 10 years in jail under 2007 laws

TOKYO -- A man arrested Monday for uploading a copy of Takashi Miike’s “Crows Zero II” that was camcorded in a movie theater is the first case of its kind in Japan, according to the Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association.

The 37 year-old suspect is accused of using file-sharing software to distribute the film in May while it was still in theatrical release. The film, released by Toho in April, was traced to a theater in Aichi Prefecture through watermarks embedded in the print.

In a separate incident on Monday in Saitama, north of Tokyo, another man was arrested for file-sharing movies including "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which is also still showing in theaters.

Last September a man was arrested for uploading a copy of “Wanted” that had been camcorded abroad, to which he added Japanese subtitles.

Under new copyright laws passed in August 2007, those caught camcording in theaters can face up to 10 years imprisonment.