Operators of anime pirated website “B9GOOD'' found guilty in China; illegally obtained advertising revenue amounted to 37 million yen – INTERNET Watch

The Content Overseas Distribution Promotion Agency (CODA) announced on March 4th that the operators of B9GOOD, one of the largest pirated anime sites for Japanese people, were found guilty of copyright infringement. The main suspect, A, was criminally investigated by the Public Security Bureau of Jiangsu Province, China, and was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for three years and six months, and fined 1.8 million yuan (approximately 38 million yen).

Man A rented servers in China, Canada, Japan, etc. for about 15 years from 2008 to February 2023, and made a profit while changing site names and domains such as “BLUE920”, “B9DM”, and “B9GOOD”. It continued to be operated for that purpose. It was discovered that 45,880 works had been published without permission, and the advertising revenue that Man A had unfairly obtained was recognized as 1,777,000 yuan (approximately 37 million yen).

The Taizhou Pharmaceutical High and New Technology Industrial Development Zone People's Court in China's Jiangsu Province reduced the sentence to a suspended sentence because Man A was a first-time offender and voluntarily admitted to the crime. Woman B and Woman D, who were paid to upload the images, also received suspended sentences for similar crimes. Furthermore, uploader C, who was being interrogated at the same time, was subject to exemption measures stipulated by China's criminal law.

The largest site targeted at Japanese people, reported by the US as a “highly malicious site''

B9GOOD top page (March 10, 2023, some image processing, from CODA news)

B9GOOD was the largest Japanese pirate site for Japanese people, and most of the content posted was produced in Japan. Information on the site is also displayed in Japanese, and approximately 95% of the site's accesses are from Japan.

In 2018, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), an American organization that works to protect the copyrights of video content, criticized B9GOOD, drawing attention internationally as one of the most malicious sites.

This is the first time a criminal penalty has been imposed on a foreign operator as a result of an approach from Japan.

CODA has been implementing various countermeasures against “B9GOOD” since 2016. An administrative complaint was filed against the site, which was being operated as “B9DM'' at the time, and the government temporarily ordered the site to be shut down.

However, the man applied geo-blocking (regional viewing restrictions) to the site, making it impossible to view within China, disguising that the site had been shut down, and continuing to engage in infringing activities overseas, including Japan. continued.

In 2021, CODA will begin an investigation into “B9GOOD” through the “International Enforcement Project” (CBEP), which will be carried out with the support of the (Japanese) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and will identify the site operator and confirm that it is legally supported. Successfully obtained suspect information. CODA coordinated the victims' rights in Japan, and the CODA Beijing Secretariat filed a criminal complaint with the Public Security Bureau, leading to this investigation. The site was then shut down in March 2023.

This is the first time that criminal penalties have been imposed on the operators and uploaders of overseas pirated sites as a result of the approach from Japan (CODA).

CODA expects that the recent crackdown and judgment against such malicious sites will have a significant impact on deterring the operation of similar pirate sites. The company says it will work hard to eradicate unauthorized use.


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