Earlier this year Japan passed laws making both illegal downloading and uploading punishable with custodial sentences. Computer users obtaining music or film via illegal means could face up to two years in jail or whopping fines of up to two million yen, £16,000. Even steeper is the punishment to those uploading illegal content, as they could face five times the punishment with up to ten years in the slammer.

By way of protest, a number of high profile websites in the country have been attacked and defaced by hackers including the governments finance ministry and those of the supreme court, as well as political parties and the Japanese Society of Authors which was shut down.