A joint investigation team of Ibaraki and Kagoshima Prefectural Police arrested a 44-year-old man from Kagoshima-city, who self-proclaimed as an online retailer, on suspicion of copyright infringement and trademark infringement on July 6. According to the police, the suspect sold 13 badges using the character images and the title logo of the popular anime series Love Live!, which were made without the permission from the copyright holder, on a famous online shopping site on April 3. Sunrise, the copyright holder of the franchise, already found his crime in March and had reported it to the police.
He has admitted the charge and said that he earned 500,000 yen (about 4,000 US dollars) in a month at the busiest time. The police found about 700 pirated badges at his house, and suspects from the records of his bank account that he earned over 2 million yen (16,300 US dollars) between the end of the last year and this April. Though the legitimate items are made of metal and have been sold at the price of 600 yen for one, he offered the fake ones made of plastic at 1,280 yen for the set of four.
This is the first arrest case for pirated Love Live! merchandise in Japan.
* the thumbnail image is from the legitimate tin badge manufactured by Broccoli.
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