Joren writes "In Japan, in a case that has been five years running, the Osaka High Court on Thursday overturned a lower court ruling that had convicted and fined the developer of controversial file-sharing software Winny of assisting violations of the Copyright Law. Originally charged in 2004, Isamu Kaneko, 39, a former research assistant at the University of Tokyo, was declared not guilty, and will not be required to pay a 1.5 million yen fine levied by a December 2006 Kyoto District Court ruling. 'Merely being aware of the possibility that the software could be abused does not constitute a crime of aiding violations of the law, and the court cannot accept that the defendant supplied the software solely to be used for copyright violations,' presiding judge Masazo Ogura said. Furthermore, in siding with the defense, the appeal ruling stated that 'Anonymity is not something to be looked on as illegal, and it is not something that applies specifically to copyright violations. The technical value of the software is neutral.'"