By Chiu Chun-fu and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Two female Japanese adult film stars yesterday thanked Criminal Investigation Bureau （CIB） investigators for arresting two men who were allegedly streaming and selling copyrighted Japanese adult content.
The men — surnamed Liu （劉） and Yang （楊） — were allegedly streaming the content through their Web site “AVQ Online Adult Theater” and charging users a monthly fee of NT$599 （US$19） for access.
The Web site had more than 10,000 users before it was shut down, investigators said, adding that users could pay the fees at convenience stores.
About 30,000 pirated DVDs, a PC, Web servers, hard drives and other equipment were confiscated in a raid of the men’s store, investigators said, adding that the Japanese copyright holder, S1 No. 1 Style, was notified of the arrests.
The Japanese company yesterday sent representatives to Taiwan to present police with a DVD of Japanese adult film stars Yoshitaka Nene and Tsukasa Aoi thanking them for the arrests.
The men allegedly used Internet protocol rerouting and other techniques to maintain anonymity and avoid arrest, investigators said, adding that the quick success of their site demonstrated sophisticated e-commerce know-how.
The men also sold physical media and other items to their most active users, with annual sales totaling more than NT$10 million, investigators said.
Charges have been filed on behalf of the Taiwanese office of Japan’s Intellectual Property Promotion Association against the two men for copyright infringement, public broadcasting of copyrighted material without permission and other offenses, they said.
Total damages were estimated at more than NT$1.1 billion, they added.
Authorities have frozen NT$70 million of the men’s assets, investigators said.
It was the first time they had frozen assets in a copyright infringement case, to ensure that no further infringement would occur, they said.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office would continue the investigation, they added.
As text on the Web site was in traditional Chinese and users could pay for access at convenience stores without a credit card, minors might have had access to the content, investigators said.
Two other men — surnamed Lai （賴） and Lien （連） — have also been detained, as they were allegedly responsible for the Web site’s management, they said.
Computer equipment and copyrighted Japanese adult video materials that were seized in a police raid are displayed at the Criminal Investigation Bureau in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Chiu Chun-fu, Taipei Times