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Winny P2P Software Creator Arrested 412

News for nerds writes "The author of Winny, the Japanese P2P software with encrypted networking capability, similar to Freenet, has been today officially arrested for abetment of copyright violation, after the raid in the last December. He started its development in May 2002 and occasionally appeared on the web forum 2ch with his anonymous codename "47", but today turned out to be an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Tokyo in his 30s. Winny was so efficient and popular that it generated problems even at the Japanese police and the GSDF. As the Japanese police is the most advanced among the world in pulling P2P into criminal cases, outcry of users in Japan is expected."
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Winny P2P Software Creator Arrested

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  • by brokenspark ( 777568 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:49AM (#9104681)
    Should be arrested for naming it whinny.

    You know you were thinking the same thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:51AM (#9104685)
    ABC news []
  • Well. (Score:3, Informative)

    by modifried ( 605582 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:51AM (#9104686) Homepage
    This isn't the first time. []
  • English Articles (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:52AM (#9104692)
    The article linked to the in headline is in Japanese. Here are some articles in English: /not karma whoring
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:01AM (#9104719)
      Here is a machine translation [] of the original article []. (Yes, it does read a lot like an instruction manual for a consumer eletronics device.)

      Winny developer to arrest the Kyoto headquarters of police, 30 generation Tokyo University assistant domestic beginnings

      Assuming that file sharing software "Winny" of the personal computer which exchanges the data of the popularity movie and hit tune etc. () by the fact that it develops, the illegal copy of the movie and music was made easy the Kyoto headquarters of police high-tech crime measure room and five provision stations, in doubt of the Copyright Act violation one help, requested option accompanying from Tokyo large assistant of 30 generations of the Tokyo residence even in 10th morning, set the policy of arresting. As for , being free on Internet, the program software which is open. As for questioning the software developer to "the one help" of the Copyright Act violation the domestic beginning. Stand case in the criminal incident of the joint ownership software developer almost there is no example even in the foreign country.

      When the infringement of copyright which worldwide used the file sharing software has swaggered although you feel concern the administration of justice judgement even internationally for the illegal characteristic of the file sharing software has divided, it may call discussion centering on propriety.

      That the file sharing software where with investigation of prefecture police/policing, as for Tokyo University assistant, anonymous characteristic is higher than past, is difficult to be exposed by the police opening will be sent plan. The major bulletin board of Internet with "2 don't you think? as development program is announced the ", 2002 May, it released the software of to itself home page. Using , as for Tokyo University assistant with no permission, the doubt which makes exchanging the data which infringes the copyright of the movie and the game etc. easy has in the literary work authority e.g., the salesman of Gunma prefecture (41) the inside = and others of the trial releases the data of the popularity movie to the many and unspecified persons person illegal with crime of = Copyright Act violation.

      In addition, as for prefecture police/policing the policy of starting the forcing investigation of several places such as Tokyo University graduate school information science and engineering type postgraduate course even on the 10th.

      Tokyo University assistant is special information processing engineering. It is called "47 people" with the net bulletin board, "the file sharing software which gradually can actualize anonymous characteristic appears and does not change the concept regarding present copyright the expectation which is stopped obtaining. It probably is about to try boosting the flow by your?", and so on with, development intention of had been explained.

      * Infringement of copyright, the judgement which cracks internationally

      The kitchen knife also and, can also be able cut the vegetable damage the person. Those where you accuse of a crime to the person are just the execution doer who kills and wounds. The handgun the person other than killing and wounding, in Japan the possession and production is prohibited with purpose. The Kyoto headquarters of police this time, the developer of the communication software, as for with "one help" of the Copyright Act violation it finishes stepping on in stand case, in the same software net society, it is equal to the development "of the handgun", that you probably can say that it judged.

      As for , as for the data which is exchanged the necessity for the user to register to the provider without, it is entirely encoded. As for the prefecture police/policing high-tech investigation room, Tokyo large assistant who was developed the major bulletin board of Internet to "2 don't you think? from the speech

    • Hooray for Google news , hey?
    • Apparently copyright infringement is a criminal charge in Japan.

      Apparently the RIAA and MPAA bought out that government even faster than the US? Amazing.

    • Re:English Articles (Score:4, Interesting)

      by BJH ( 11355 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @09:16AM (#9106394)
      There's one article you won't see in English; the mail that hiroyuki (2ch's maintainer) sent out to the 2ch mailing list.

      According to what he says, at the time that Kaneko (Mr. 47, the developer of Winny) was supposed to have made his comments about Winny being developed for the purpose of anonymous breach of copyright, 2ch didn't keep IP logs (it does now).

      Which means the Kyoto High-Tech Crimes Division is going to have a tough time proving that it was him who made those comments...
  • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:54AM (#9104695)
    Is there a site with a good overview of the Japanese legal system, and how it is similar to / different from the US one, both in procedures and laws? I see occasional pieces about Japanese legal issues, but am always amazed at how little I know.


    • by trezor ( 555230 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:20AM (#9104779) Homepage

      IANAL but I think that a very common form of punishment in Japan is to force people to sign up for japanese gameshows.

      Anyone who has seen just glimpse of those should get my point...

    • I recall hearing a while back that Japanese courts had a 99.8% conviction rate. After all, if you weren't guilty you wouldn't have been arrested, right?

      Anyway, Wikipedia [] has a small article, which backs that up somewhat (and no, I didn't write that part :).
    • by subStance ( 618153 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:51AM (#9104840) Homepage
      I have a friend here who uses lawyers in Japan on a weekly basis for reviewing contracts etc, and his comment was that this will take years to even get to court, since Japan is one of the few countries in the world that actually has a lawyer shortage. If you needed any more reasons to move here ....
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @05:39AM (#9104981)
      Reading the words of the Japanese law, or the procedures, will leave you very misinformed. Although it is often the case even in the U.S. that the police will twist the perception of the law, or just blatantly ignore it, this is a much more frequent case in Japan.

      The sad thing is that the Japanese people don't seem to mind it, as long as the media seems to report it as "the right thing to do", and it is a well known fact that the major media outlets do a lot of ass kissing.

      There are exceptions of course, people that understand the severity of the issue, people that lobby against the blatant miuse of legal forces, and the occasional newspaper article that isn't worried about pissing off the gov't. Unfortunately, it's a pretty rare exception.

      The only difference is this time, even the media's first announcements of the incident included some opinion on how this could be a very sticky situation. They specifically mention how the producer of fruit knives aren't arrested just because some dork decides to stab someone with it. The police have compared this to the production of a gun, which they say has only one use: harming people. Personally, I would say it is used for hunting, self defense, and thus has legitimate uses. All that said, the news papers have mentioned that even Winny has positive uses, and although it can and most often is used for the illegal distribution of copyrighted material, it is merely a tool.

      The assistant professor that created this piece has written in 2ch that he made it in order to challenge the way current copyrights work, and the business models behind them. I think his heart was in the right spot, but method was wrong. However, I STILL think he produced a very good package, and whether or not he is willing to believe his own story or not, there ARE positive uses.

      I am actually currently trying to get ahold of his attorney (more specifically, I'm trying to figure out who is attorney is) because I want to stand in court and testify for him. I am a member of a group that has ideas that are contrary to current laws. Our group is civil, we don't break any laws, and we are politically active in voicing our opinion. However, we are also very underfunded, and a majority of the members are scared to speak out in public or offer internet bandwidth for the transmission of materials, especially videos of our public events, because the Japanese police are notorious at using all the tricks in the books to supress free speech. The method we've taken? Winny.

      I would like to stress again that our political movements are NOT ILLEGAL, we do not participate in any illegal activities, and are strictly voicing our opinion. However, there is reason to be scared. I am one that has little to lose over going public, and have actually done so multiple times during various events. And I would like to stand in court and testify because the arrest of the Winny author is in direct contrast to our best interests, and we are an obvious case of legitimate use of the software.

      Many of you may laugh at how "backwards" Japan and it's legal system is. Watch out though, the situation is worsening every day in the U.S., and you may be seeing similar headlines "coming soon".
  • In other news ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rubicon7 ( 51782 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:55AM (#9104699)
    ... Black & Decker has been charged as an accomplice to many murders committed with their tools.

    <sigh> I guess I won't bother trying to write any decent software then, if the possibility exists that I'm to be arrested for it. What would the point be?

    • by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:48AM (#9104833) Homepage Journal
      Probably they're pissed because of this ...

      Japanese police blame document leak on virus
      Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 at 16:56 by Andy Holliday

      Japanese police announced earlier this week that data stored on a private laptop relating to a crime has been unwittingly circulated on the internet.

      The information was stored in 19 documents and even 'wanted' lists that had been compiled by a Police Officer and stored on his laptop.

      According the police, 11 names of actual persons were contained in the documents.

      The police suspect that a virus caused the leak and then the documents were circulated over the internet, probably over the Japanese Winny P2P network.

      The officer in question claims that he received permission to use his own PC for the work but is currently being questioned over the security breach.

      Detailed descriptions of the crimes were said to be included in the documents that were distributed.

      It Vibe []
      • Re:In other news ... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @06:23AM (#9105138)
        You may be more correct than you think.

        This Police mentioned in your story is the same Kyoto Police that WENT TO TOKYO to arrest Winny's author, a Tokyo resident.

        Think different states in the US. It is like hearing Chicago Police going to New York to arrest a New York resident. Something must have motivated them so much...

  • by Anubis333 ( 103791 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:57AM (#9104700) Homepage
    I don't understand, does this mean that if I develop a really great and cheap duffelbag that I can be arrested if it's used by a bank robber?

    Why not sue the computer manufacturers for abatement as well? There are any great uses for P2P, it is a great way to distribute music and video you have created, and I have distributed many animated shorts I have worked on via bit torrent etc...

    How long will it be before someone sues the makers of a web browser, FTP, or IRC app for 'copyright abatement'?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... does this mean that if I develop a really great and cheap duffelbag that I can be arrested if it's used by a bank robber?

      In Japan, yes you could, if you had special features particularly targetting bank robbers (say, a dye-pack resistant lining to prevent exploding dye packs from getting on the robbers' clothes) and had reasonable knowledge that your duffelbags were being used for illegal purposes.

      When you read the English translation [] of the original Japanese article, a particular bit will jump ou

    • According to


      1 a : to put an end to b : NULLIFY
      2 a : to reduce in degree or intensity : MODERATE b : to reduce in value or amount : make less especially by way of relief
      3 : DEDUCT, OMIT
      4 a : to beat down or cut away so as to leave a figure in relief b obsolete : BLUNT
      5 : DEPRIVE


      1 : to actively second and encourage (as an activity or plan) : FORWARD
      2 : to assist or support in the achievement of a purpose

      The two words are almost opposites.

      (I know I shouldn't be knit-peeking)
  • Winny (Score:5, Informative)

    by Inigo Soto ( 776501 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:57AM (#9104701) Homepage
    From pario (675744) in a previous article:

    Since Winny is pretty much unknown outside Japan, here is some background information for slashdot readers: Winny is a P2P file sharing program created by a Japanese programmer, who still remains anonymous to this day. It came out two years ago as an attempt to share copyright-protected materials "safely" when somebody was arrested for using another P2P program (WinMX). Since the application was extremely well designed and almost anything is available on its network, from movies to software, it has become immensely popular in Japan, so much so that there are a dozen book available on how to use it and network traffic in the country was down 20% after the news of the arrest broke. As for the reasons why the police was able to identify those two people who were arrested, they used an extra bulletin board feature, which does not guarantee anonymity unlike its file transfer feature, to distribute a list of warez videos. Therefore, I don't think this news has anything to do with the validity of Freenet's technology, or with that of Winny's for that matter.
  • by ducklord ( 770855 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:57AM (#9104702)
    Well, maybe I didn`t quite get it right, but in what way exactly is what he`s done illegal? Or is it just because he made it difficult for them to crack the network he`d created that they wanted even more to "crack him", as an example? Believe you me, maybe that will be the start of a new row of attacks from RIAA and MPAA towards program creators.
    • by achurch ( 201270 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @05:40AM (#9104988) Homepage

      Or is it just because he made it difficult for them to crack the network he`d created that they wanted even more to "crack him", as an example?

      That's the major theory currently doing the rounds in the media, but it's also been reported that when he released Winny, he gave as his reason for developing it "to demonstrate why current copyright laws are wrong and help to change them". While I think he has a valid point about copyright [uh oh, are they going to come after me now?], openly showing disrespect for the law isn't calculated to put you in law enforcement's good graces.

      It also seems [] [Japanese] he's telling police that he "created Winny to foster copyright violations and destroy content companies who are bent only on legal action and don't try to find new business models to protect their copyrights". Take that as you will . . .

  • See Also (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:57AM (#9104704)
  • Well, maybe if the story directly preceeding this one didn't refer to 2ch, the guy might be free today!


  • Controversial (Score:5, Insightful)

    by watanuki ( 771056 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:58AM (#9104712)
    His arrest is controversial since there was no mention that he participated in sharing files, only for writing (and updating -- an argument used by the police that his act was deliberate) the software that enabled file-sharing.
  • Army Papers? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Trailwalker ( 648636 )
    The Mainichi Shimbun daily has said some 200 categories of confidential information, such as internal army documents and wages for postal workers, have been circulated among Winny file sharers.
    I suspect that the police are not all that worried about music and video files. The circulation of military and government info would get him in trouble almost anywhere.
    • Re:Army Papers? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ducklord ( 770855 )
      Well, the argument is the same: he didn`t distribute them, he created the means of distributing them - and that isn`t, exactly, illegal. It`s, like other people allready said, like suing a knife maker because a blade of his was used in a murder.
    • Just for the record, the files that got spread seem to be the result of a virus sent over the Winny network that puts everything on the victim's computer up for sharing, so I doubt the author would get directly in trouble for that.

  • Who invented FTP? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by trezor ( 555230 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:59AM (#9104714) Homepage

    He should be arrested as well. I mean c'mon! Who haven't had a private FTP-account long before the P2P-concept were even thought of? Or Gopher? I am sure some copyrighted literature has been made availble by gopher!

    If creating technology that allows material to be pirated is a crime, I suggest all manufaturers of CD-R(W)s, DVD+-R(W) with associated burnes, harddisks, floppys, floppydrives, tapes, tapeplayers, dats, lossy as well as non-lossy data-compression technologies, not to mention microphones and every single net-capable electronic device be arrested pronto.

    After all they're facilitating copyright infringement. Even digitally one might add for most of them!

    /think's more and more these days that law-enforcements agencies are wankers.

    • Re:Who invented FTP? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MooCows ( 718367 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:16AM (#9104768)
      Actually here in the Netherlands, if you buy a recordable medium (CD-R for example) you pay extra for it.
      It's called (rough translation) the "home copying foundation".
      It requires every recordable medium to have a special kind of 'tax' which is divided among copyright holders.

      This might sound bad.
      However, this also makes it legal to copy anything as long as you don't give/sell the copies to others. (so for now, no DMCA here. hurrah)
    • I would agree with other posters that P2P software does not have a large quantity of on-infringing uses. FTP does. FTP is used all the time for legitimate distrbution by companies and indidivudals. Even BitTorrent (somewhat P2P-ish) is used quite a bit for the legitimate distribution of files. But when is the last time you've gone to some corporate website and seen a link to "download our newest software trial from P2P now!"? For me, it was Shareaza, but that's sort of a self-fullfilling prophecy.
      • by trezor ( 555230 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @05:39AM (#9104983) Homepage

        Denying what's actually the truth really gets you nowhere, and yes most P2P-nets are currently used almost exclusivly for warez.

        With the exception being BitTorrent. And I can tell you why that is. BitTorrent can be integrated into your webbrowser so that it's almost like downloading and ordinary file via FTP/HTTP. This makes it hell more likely you get what you ask for and gets what you've been told. And it even makes sense. Want something from Blizzard? Go to

        Going on a random P2P-net, requirering you to specificly start a P2P-app and then searching for stuff, filtering the trash, makes it less usefull for legeitemate purposes.

        For legitemate P2P-uses to catch on, they'll need browser-integration. That'll actually make things so easy your average "stupid" Joe won't even notice he's using P2P. That's why commercial vendors who have chosen to use P2P have chosen BitTorrent.

        At least that's my guess and my opinion.

  • And we see (Score:4, Interesting)

    by achurch ( 201270 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:59AM (#9104715) Homepage
    that the Japanese government is as much under the thumbs of Japanese content companies as the US government is a tool of the RIAA/MPAA.

    No, I'm not bitter about this coming up after having decided to move to Japan. sigh...

    (Well, to be fair, Japan's copyright law does have a clause allowing personal copies, which is recognized as valid by pretty much everybody, and which even the local press is mentioning in their articles on this, like this one []. But they also have a DMCA-like clause that pretty much negates its effect for encrypted stuff.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:01AM (#9104720)
    This guy is screwed! Japan has a conviction rate of over 90%. Why? I dunno, check this: ( 907001.abs)
    • Perhaps the Japanese legal system is more thorough when determining when, or how a crime has been committed , rather than the "Kill em all and let god (or a jury) sort 'em out" approach seen in other countries.
    • by Sangui5 ( 12317 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @10:43AM (#9107326)
      The high conviction rate comes primarily from the way job performance and opportunities for advancement happen in the Japanese law enforcement/legal system.

      At the level of the individual officer, your job performance is how many "good" arrests you make (those that lead to convictions), and how many "bad" arrests you make (those that do not lead to a conviction). Making a bad arrest is essentially a career-killer. So, they are very careful to only arrest those against whom they have a watertight case. Somewhat more negatively, anyone with enough political influence that they *might* be able to get off won't be arrested at all. Organized crime figures are essentially immune to investigation from lower-level law enforcement--they can't get a conviction, so they don't even bother. Most negatively is what happens when a truly innocent party is arrested. There is intense pressure to build a case regardless of actual guilt or innocence. What percentage of innocent suspects are railroaded by the police is unknown, although probably not too high.

      At the next level is the prosecution. Again, convictions are good, and failed attempts at prosecution==dead career. Additionally, as the parent post notes, there is a limited budget to bring about a prosecution. So, the prosecution ends up cherry-picking cases. Compounding the success rate is that (as elsewhere in the world) the police generally won't arrest anyone with the prosecuting attorney's OK. Again, this has the negative effect that "hard" cases aren't even considered, and there is the occasional attempt to railroad an innocent suspect.

      At the last level is the judiciary. At this point, potential cases have been through two very stringent filters. The trial is almost unnecessary at this point, but judges do occassionally acquit. As the parent post notes, judges who acquit end up with worse careers. The analysis says this isn't based on acquitting the innocent, but to acquitting on "reasons of statutory or constitutional interpretation, often in politically charged cases." However, it seems that nearly any case with an acquittal is "polically charged" since the prosecution will use politics to their advantage in a weaker case.

      Overall, the Japanese criminal legal system has some serious problems. Most of the problems come from the inability or lack of desire to attempt any "hard" or "weak" cases, but some comes from aggressively pushing a case which shouldn't have been brought in the first place. On the other hand, it mosly works. Overall crime and incarceration rates are low, and success is the hardes metric against which to argue. Still doesn't mean that the Winny author has a snowballs chance of getting off.
  • Coincidence? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SushiFugu ( 593444 )
    Slashdot posts story about 2ch. Next story is about 2ch user "47" being arrested. Coincidence? I THINK NOT! :)
  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:04AM (#9104730)
    Maybe not US anymore, but some place where writting multi-purpose software that protects privacy is not a crime. Japan's loss, that country's win. I just hope he doesn't have to spend long time in jail first.
  • Was there intent? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:06AM (#9104738)
    Was this software built soley and intentionally for sharing copyrighted works? If not, this is a frightening story. I've written software that would now be called "P2P". Then, nine years ago, it was called a distributed system (as opposed to client/server). The problem is, it could easily be used for sharing copyrighted works, although back then that use didn't occur to anyone.

    So, does intent matter any more and how does it apply to this case - or can we expect anyone involved in (for example) the design of TCP/IP to be hauled into jail? It's the logical next step.

  • The story [] of this arrest was posted in Slashdot Japan []. And there are a lot of comments.

    Notice: The article and comments are only in Japanese.

  • A shame (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zarxrax ( 652423 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:12AM (#9104753)
    I feel really sorry for this guy. I wonder if there is anything he can do to fight it? I havn't heard particularly favorable things of the japanese legal system. Winny was an excellant P2P program though. Anything you wanted, you could download, FAST. It was a great concept and would be interesting to see other P2P software take the same approach. Sharing was pretty much mandatory... but you couldn't see who you are sharing with, or what files they are downloading from you. But the ease of downloading is what truely amazes me the most. On a network like eDonkey, you can typically wait for hours before your download even starts, then have the download trickle across at 5kb/second. With winny it was INSANE. Downloads often started immediatly, and you normally get download speeds in the 20-50kb/sec range. It's entirely possible to download complete DVD ISOs in a day. And thats the reason it had to be shut down :|
  • Winny vs Freenet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:12AM (#9104755) Homepage
    ...first of all, Winny is a Windows-only, closed-source program. While the author has taken some of the concepts from Freenet, none of the actual code. The BBS that caused them to be captured has no equal in Freenet, any BBS-like places you may find there is purely "userspace" running on top of Freenet.

    Winny was designed to be very difficult to use outside Japan, not only was it exclusively in Japanese but it also refused to work on international systems with Japanese support (hint: You had to have japanese code pages by default, doable but not easy).

    The network itself is still operational, but naturally there won't be any more development. Like Freenet, you could find pretty much anything there, but that didn't seem to bother the Japanese quite as much as the Western world, at least it was very popular.

  • by Snowy_loves_you ( 606223 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:29AM (#9104799) Homepage Journal

    >He started its development in May 2002 and occasionally appeared on the web forum 2ch with his anonymous codename "47", ...


    His codename is "47-shi". The pronounce is "yon-jyu-nana-shi"

    It means "Mr. 47" in Japanese.

  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:47AM (#9104832) Homepage Journal
    That's all he needs to say and he'll make himself rich by selling it. Well, at least rich enough to pay a good lawyer.

  • by bcg ( 322392 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @05:03AM (#9104864)
    I am a post graduate student who is researching aspects of P2P software []. Its a really fertile area for research that is now starting to get seriously damaged by the civil and criminal suits that are getting about these days. I know of one serious research group that has pulled their software, that wasn't even file sharing related, due to fears of being held accounatble for its use. I also have not released anything due to fears of retribution (and my stuff has bugger all to do with filesharing also).

    I would like to extend my Masters research into a PhD but is it going to have a future for long enough? I hope that this will settle down and go the way of the fears of video tapes, PGP, cd burning, etc... But in the mean time research that will benefit ad hoc networking will suffer.

    It will be a sad day if everything P2P is banned - I wonder if those companies with miss chat, dns, nntp, etc
  • by ohdawg ( 773768 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @05:07AM (#9104879) Homepage
    he got the shaft.. from the Mainichi Daily News Japan []: Winny has already stirred up considerable controversy within Japan this year. In March, a virus swept through the program, picking up investigation records from a Kyoto Prefectural Police officer's computer and whisking them around cyberspace. Other police documents and Self-Defense Force materials have also been spread across the Internet through Winny. Cops probably had a hard on for this guy ever since their investigations records ended up on Whinny..
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @05:51AM (#9105019)
      so what the hell were these cops doing with this shady anonymous file-sharing tool on their hardware anyway - after all, there are no legal uses for this type of application, no?

      The Japanese cops have no-one but themselves to blame there. If someone in the prefecture is using this software to download copyrighted works, then it is time to clean up their own house first.. Same goes for the military. Security is your fucking job, fools!

      Even if the coppers were using an installation of Whinny to keep an eye on what's moving about on it, it does beg one question:
      If an organisation keeps important and sensitive documents on a windows box running shady p2p warez-sharing apps, do you think that they should be trusted with such documents?

      I reckon this is just sour grapes because the chief of police picked up a virus while downloading pr0n...
  • Does anyone know the technical details behind it, like the network topology or the basics of the protocol or what method it uses to (supposedly) keep its users anonymous?

    I can't seem to find any details at all in English-language sources.
  • by Stallmanite ( 752733 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @05:28AM (#9104940) Homepage
    I think my RIAA boycot just became a boycot of all copyrighted material*. I will never pay for a license to use again. No movie theaters, video game rentals, the works... until someone fixes this nonsense.

    Arresting scientists crosses the line. I wouldn't feel right supplying the cartells that make this possible.

    * = That doesn't permit redistribution.
  • The Winny author (Score:5, Interesting)

    by News for nerds ( 448130 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @05:31AM (#9104946) Homepage
    is KANEKO Isamu, 33, was relatively well-known in Japan as a talented 3D-programming programmer, too (though it's not known until today that he is the "47"). His personal homepage [] has many 3D-programming stuff, including flight simulator, realtime 3-D body model generator, PBO-FS(Prototype-Based Object File System), missile simulator, and realtime motion-generation by physics calculation. His academic concern was fast 3D physics calculation, network design, and OS design.
  • Thought police (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tkh ( 126785 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @05:47AM (#9105007) Homepage Journal
    What's disgusting about this Winny thing is that Kyoto Police Department thinks the development of Winny itself is not criminal, but 47's attitude against the copyright law is. 47 had basically said on 2ch that the copyright law must be largely restructured to reflect the digital era and that's a part of the reasons why he wrote Winny.

    Japanese constitution certainly ensures freedom of speech and thoughts, but it sounds like KPD is a thought police.
  • by zoso ( 105166 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @06:03AM (#9105053) Homepage
    It's funny in polish language "winny" means guilty :D

  • Uh oh. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Fortyseven ( 240736 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @08:41AM (#9106075) Homepage Journal
    This disturbs me for one very obvious reason.
  • Operative words - (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmurfButcher Bob ( 313810 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @08:51AM (#9106178) Journal
    > 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,

    So... arrest IE, Mozilla, Netscape, Opera, WSFTP creators...

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