[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[FYI] (Fwd) Osaka court ruling: linking may be illegal.

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Mon, 10 Apr 2000 01:39:39 -0700
Send reply to:  	Law & Policy of Computer Communications
From:           	Kristen Tsolis <ktsolis@MINDSPRING.COM>
Subject:        	Osaka court ruling: linking may be illegal.

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

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:

the Osaka District Court decision (In Japanese)

More information on how the FLMASK tool works and mirror sites:

The FLMASK Foundation


Kristen Tsolis
Fingerprint: F0E6 30D7 ED82 1BE4 8C31  8219 4636 9186 66E4 8623
------- End of forwarded message -------