by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 9th 2010 10:12am
In certain countries (including the US), the punishment for copyright infringement can be much higher if you distribute a "pre-release" offering. This is really designed to go after people "leaking" music or movies or whatever before their official release dates. However, over in Japan, it appears that such a law has been used to arrest a guy who leaked a few images of "unrevealed" Pokemon characters a few days before they were officially revealed. Copyright infringement is the reason for the arrest. I'm having a difficult time figuring out what kind of "harm" this guy did. It's not as if revealing the characters early makes it so that people are less likely to buy the new Pokemon game in which these characters were appearing. Imagine if this guy were a reporter for a publication that covered such games, and he got a leak or a tipoff and published a story about those same characters? Would it still be "copyright infringement"?
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