Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft
------- Forwarded message follows ------- Date sent: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 01:39:39 -0700 Send reply to: Law & Policy of Computer Communications <CYBERIA-L@LISTSERV.AOL.COM> From: Kristen Tsolis <ktsolis@MINDSPRING.COM> Subject: Osaka court ruling: linking may be illegal. To: CYBERIA-L@LISTSERV.AOL.COM
The cphack folks are not alone in deliberating the legality of linking to sites.
On March 30th, the Osaka District Court ruled that linking to a site that is violating the law is in itself illegal.
The case revolves around Mr. Kiuchi, a Yokohama software engineer that created FLMASK. FLMASK is a tool that can remove what is commonly referred to as a 'photomask' or 'mosaic'. The Japanese government requires that the more prurient parts of pornographic pictures be filtered with these masks, and Kiuchi not only posted his software to the Internet but also linked to pornographic sites where his software could be used.
The FLMASK users group claims that FLMASK is not a tool for removing photomasks but rather an image manipulation tool used for masking and retouching JPEG images. When FLMASK is used on an image once and then the same area is masked again, the end product will look quite similar to the original image. It seems that FLMASK uses encryption to do this.
Kiuchi was found guilty of aiding and abetting the distribution of pornographic images. In his decision, Judge Masayuki Kawai stated that Kiuchi had made it easier for the average Internet user to access indecent material. The judge determined that Kiuchi had jeopardized public morals and sexual morality but stated that his ruling should not be interpreted as unfairly infringing freedom of speech (rough translation here).
Article in English: http://www.nikkeibp.asiabiztech.com/wcs/leaf?CID=onair/asabt/news/9900 1
the Osaka District Court decision (In Japanese) http://w3.scan.or.jp/sonoda/data/fl_link01.html
More information on how the FLMASK tool works and mirror sites: http://www.martec.net/isg/flmask/index2.htm
The FLMASK Foundation http://www.pileup.com/mask/
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*- Kristen Tsolis email@example.com Fingerprint: F0E6 30D7 ED82 1BE4 8C31 8219 4636 9186 66E4 8623 ------- End of forwarded message -------