Copyright infringement? Use of file sharing software is very risky!
Local consumer affairs centers and the like across Japan have received numerous inquiries and complaints about copyright infringement stemmed from use of file sharing software (e.g. "I've received an inquiry form from a provider stating that I uploaded copyrighted work with file sharing software illegally," "A copyright holder sent me a letter that the person would file a claim for damages.") In most of the cases, consumers used file sharing software without recognizing that they uploaded copyrighted work.
With file sharing software, a large number of unspecified people can exchange files on the Internet. On the other hand, improper use can be illegal.
Here NCAC would like to inform consumers of the mechanism of file sharing software and problems highlighted by sampling inquiries and complaints so that consumers can avoid careless and illegal use of file sharing software.
Cases where a provider delivers an inquiry form concerning sender information disclosure
- [Case 1]
- I was just viewing a video. I don't remember uploading anything.
- [Case 2]
- My family member has used it without knowing the conduct is illegal.
Cases where a copyright holder sues for copyright infringement
- [Case 3]
- An adult video producer has sent me a letter that I infringed copyright.
Example: How and why consumers receive an inquiry form concerning sender information disclosure or a letter from a producer
- Find a piece of work you like on the Internet
- Install file sharing software to read manga
- Download the work with file sharing software
- Receive an inquiry form from a provider or a letter from a law firm stating that the consumer uploaded copyrighted work
What is file sharing software
With file sharing software, a large number of unspecified people can exchange files on the Internet. If you install file sharing software on your Internet-connected computer, you can exchange files with other users. Files are exchanged among clients called peers through the P2P (peer to peer) system. When each client discloses a specified area on his/her computer, a network for file sharing software is generated and files can be exchanged there. The area on his/her computer becomes a part of a network which is shared by other users.
With some types of file sharing software, contents being downloaded or fully downloaded are shared with other users as they are. In these cases, users often upload files although they just intend to download files.
Advice to consumers
- Learn the mechanism and risks of file sharing software. Avoid using it as much as possible.
- Never download and upload copyrighted work illegally.
- If you have received an inquiry form concerning sender information disclosure or a letter from a provider when you don' know why, ask file sharers about the matter.
- In case of concern, consult your local consumer affairs center.