Japan taps copyright law to stop virus-spreading student

Japan was in the IT security news this week as the authorities there prosecuted a student accused of creating and spreading the Harad virus - one of the country's major bits of malware - using copyright legislation.

Copyright law? Yes, that's right, as Japan has no cybercrime legislation is place.

Masato Nakatsuji, 24, a graduate student at Osaka Electro-Communication University, was charged with maliciously spreading a virus by embedding it in an image from a Japanese animation film he illegally copied and distributed.

It was the illegal copying aspect of his (h)activities that he got done for, and given a three year suspended sentence.

Nakatsuji reportedly didn't contest the charge, although his lawyers argued for a fine instead of jail time, saying it was unfair to penalise the student more heavily because of the virus.

Only in Japan...