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Copyright rap for Winny P2P software author

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Japanese police have arrested the developer of the popular Winny P2P application for breaking the country's copyright laws.

Isamu Kaneko, 33, an assistant researcher at Tokyo University, and brains behind the supposedly anonymous file sharing system, is accused of developing software that aids and abets copyright infringement and piracy. Kaneko is one of the first software developers worldwide to face such allegations.

Winny, which offers to shield users behind a "cloak of anonymity", has proved incredibly popular in Japan since the shareware utility was announced in April 2002. The application has become a focus of concern for authorities in Japan this year after investigation records from a Kyoto Prefecture Police officer's computer and military files from Japan's Self-Defence Force were made available across the Winny P2P network.

Police said Kaneko was arrested because Winny allowed a 41-year-old man from Takasaki and 19-year-old from Matsuyama to illegally download pirated games and movies from the Internet, Japanese paper Mainichi Daily News reports. Police shut down a website offering the Winny application for download last December. ®

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