Following pressure from copyright holders Japan introduced new legislation in 2012 that would see the downloading of unauthorized content turned into a serious criminal offense. Those involved, even on a small scale, now face up to two years in jail.
The first big crackdown followed in February 2013, when police carried out searches on 124 locations and arrested 27 people suspected of sharing music, movies, TV shows, games and software without permission.
Now, almost exactly a year later, authorities have been flexing their muscles again, this time in pursuit of those sharing videos online.
According to Anime News Network, between February 25-27 police raided 123 locations across the country searching for 24 anime pirates using sharing software including Cabos, Share, Perfect Dark and the infamous Winny.
As of last Friday, police had arrested 19 suspects including a 51-year-old company man said to have uploaded several anime videos without permission.
Although P2P file-sharing use is reportedly on a downward trend, figures released last year by the Recording Industry Association of Japan suggested that the country’s tough legislation had done nothing to boost music sales.