Japanese police arrest a man for printing DragonBall Legends cover on lighter
Image credit: Japan Today

According to Japanese media sources, police arrested a man in Osaka today as a suspect for selling video game peripherals without authorization. The police believe that he has violated Intellectual Property Rights for video games.

DragonBall Legends
Dragon Ball Legends cover

Reports say that the suspect is named Tamura Hiroshi, and he is 32 years old. In December 2019, he privately printed the character image of the “DRAGON BALL LEGENDS“, a mobile game, on a lighter for sale, hence infringing the rights of the copyright owner Toei Animation’s Intellectual Property.

Printed Dragonball Legends cover
Printed Dragon ball Legends cover

Copyright Law in Japan

Here’s why he was arrested

Article 119-2(ii) in chapter VIII of the Copyright law of Japan speaks about the case in point. A person who uses an ‘automated duplicator’ to create copies of intellectual property for commercial purposes is liable for imprisonment for a term of up to five years, a fine of up to five million yen(approximately USD 47,000), or both. 

The Japanese Gaming industry is vast and needs a deep web of Intellectual Property Rights to protect their creative content. This includes multimedia content as well as computer code. Japan is known to be strict regarding the infringement of IPR.

Unauthorized use of relevant elements in games and animation works for commercial purposes constitutes an illegal tort. Animation and game surroundings have also become one of the important components of copyright owners’ profits.

This ensures the protection and welfare of the Japanese Gaming industry which is flourishing with novelty. 

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