Back in 2006, we were disappointed by a Japanese court decision that found the developer of the popular (in Japan) file sharing software Winny, guilty
of copyright infringement. The issue, like in so many other cases around the world, was whether or not, by just creating the software, he had "induced" infringement. But by blaming the developer of software for how others use it, the courts put a significant chill on innovation. It suddenly creates massive liability for any developer. The case was appealed, and the good news (via Slashdot
) is that Japan's High Court has overturned the lower court's decision
"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."
Nice to see common sense win every once in a while.