Japan to Block P2P

5:20 PM -- The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that four Japanese service provider organizations have agreed to pull the plug on users that are caught flagrantly using file-sharing programs.

The move targets users of the Winny peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing application and other programs that facilitate the illegal transfer of copyrighted music and games.

According to the Yomiuri, the organizations will meet later this year with copyright organizations including the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, and Publishers and the Association of Copyright for Computer Software to create guidelines for disconnecting users that are caught exchanging copyrighted material.

For now, it looks like ISPs will warn subscribers before outright disconnecting them. The Yomiuri reports:

Under the new agreement, copyright organizations would notify providers of Internet protocol addresses used by those who repeatedly make copies illegally, using special detection software. The providers would then send warning e-mails to the users based on the IP addresses of the computers used to connect to the Internet. If contacted users did not then stop their illegal copying, the providers would temporarily disconnect them from the Internet for a specified period of time or cancel their service-provision contracts.

According to the Japanese paper, "about 1,000" ISPs belong to the associations involved. So it seems like there's nowhere to hide for Japanese pirates.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this gets adopted, and if other countries follow suit.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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