Two men in Japan face fines and jail time over copyright law violations

We recently published an article that reported the U.S. FBI busted a Chicago resident who allegedly uploaded four episodes of "24" to the Internet.  Working under the online alias of ECOtotal, Romero uploaded the four episodes to, which made them available more than a week before the TV premiere.  Jorge Romero surrendered at the U.S. District Courthouse in Chicago -- and he will likely be sent to Los Angeles.

He faces up to three years in federal prison for the charges.

The U.S. authorities aren't the only agencies cracking down on the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.  Japanese authorities have charged two men of distributing a manga from an unreleased magazine through the Winny peer-to-peer file sharing program.  Authorities also found a 17-year-old with ties to the case, who will likely be charged as an adult.

According to public prosecutors, Mitsukazu Tamashiro illegally distributed three comics from Shukan Shonen Sunday on three separate occasions ranging from January to April.  Kenji Kodama then distributed six other comics from the same magazine from February to April.

Both Kodama and Tamashiro have admitted to sharing the comics through Winny.

It looks like the people who upload unreleased material are the ones that face more than just fines.  My question is:  What, if anything, should happen to people like Romero, Tamashiro and Kodama?  Heavy fines?  Federal jail time?  Nothing?

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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