CDs and DVDs were auctioned on the Internet.

Police in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, last month arrested a 36-year-old man for selling on Internet auction sites what is believed to be pirated CDs and DVDs of popular Japanese artists.

The arrest was made based on information provided by Japanese authors’ society JASRAC and labels body the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan; they announced the arrest yesterday (Feb. 4).

The unnamed individual, who ran a local school, was taken into custody on charges of violating copyrights by distributing unauthorized copies of the CDs and DVDs.

The pirated products were sold on a continuous basis through Internet auctions, at 25%-33% of their market value, according to JASRAC and the RIAJ. The man reportedly began selling the product in January 2004 and had racked up total sales estimated to be ¥800,000 ($7,660).

JASRAC and the RIAJ are asking owners of Internet auction sites to remove such products and issue warnings to the sellers, and to conduct PR activities to promote copyright awareness.