News broke on Wednesday that Japanese police had arrested four Japanese bar owners from both Kyoto and Kobe on counts of copyright violation; most notably for allowing patrons at their establishments to play video games without appropriate permissions from holders Nintendo and Capcom. The most notable games in the cases were both Monster Hunter: World and Splatoon 2, marking the first time in Japanese history that arrests have been made for such offenses.
During the raids on the bars across the two cities, police confiscated roughly 30 game consoles and a total 1,100 games across all of the bars. Its believed that one of the bars which were raided was making more than $13,500 a month from operations, where the main purpose of the bar was for gaming. It’s reported that the arrests were followed through on after warnings were issued by the Association of Copyright for Computer Software to bars across Japan earlier this year. This was following criminal complaints from companies such as Nintendo, many of which were directed toward such bars.
The news likely comes as a shock to smaller establishments across the country, especially those with gaming devices installed to entertain customers during their stay. It currently remains to be seen as to whether or not further arrests will be made, or if the ACCS was simply using these three individuals to set an example. While it’s uncertain what will happen to those currently under arrest for the copyright violations, we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date.
Source: The Japan Times