Four Arrested In Japan For Running Illicit Video Game Bars [Update]

Screenshot: Amusement Bar Colorful (Facebook)

The proprietors of four video game bars have been arrested for allegedly violating Japanese copyright law. According to Yomiuri Shimbun, these arrests are being called the first of their kind in Japan.

Update June 13 - 7:30am: An earlier version of this story said there had only been one arrest. There have been four, and this story has been updated.

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According to Mainichi, three of the suspects ran video game bars in Kyoto (Amusement Bar Colorful and Game Bar Clantz). The fourth one ran two in Kobe (Game Bar Fanati and Game Bar Equlit).

Above is a photo from Bar Colorful’s Facebook page.

Earlier this spring, there were suspicions that the bars were lending out games to customers without getting authorization from copyright holders like Nintendo and Capcom.

Japan’s Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS) sent these bars warnings, which were apparently ignored.

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Earlier this year, three video game bars were shut down in Osaka that allowed customers to play games for free while charging them for drinks.


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About the author

Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.