Japanese Legal Battle over Mining Finally Closes

Japanese Site Developer Has Been Fighting Fine For Using A Crypto Mining Widget.

After he was fined for including a monero (XMR) mining widget on his website, a Japanese music site developer - who has been battling the police in the country's courts  - has won his case against law enforcement agencies at the Supreme Court.

The dispute dates back to late 2017, when the Moroi Seiya (34) of Yokohama used a crypto miner-developed application on his websites, which mined monero. The app, since deleted by Coinhiver, gave 30% of the coins generated to developers and 70% to the site owner.

In 2017 and 2018, the Japanese authorities carried out a campaign against certain kinds of crypto mining software and web plugins that utilize third-party CPU power, branding several mining applications—particularly Coinhive-produced tools—as "viruses." Web publishers all over the country were fined.

The police fined Muroi USD 900 after he was arrested in 2018, but he launched a lengthy legal battle against them, claiming that he "certainly didn't think" he was doing anything illegal by using the app.

After failing with his claim in a branch of the Tokyo High Court, he went to war on appeal, resulting in a last act last year when he was allowed to take the case to the Supreme Court after losing lower-court tries.

However, the Supreme Court has now determined that crypto mining software is not malware, as the police had claimed.

Moroi, explained that he had made no attempt to conceal the fact that he was using Coinhive code on the site, so he had not engaged in any “deception.” He also stated that running the script had resulted in a paltry sum of USD 9 worth of tokens — which made the size of the fine hard to justify.

The legal battle of the Moroi was partly crowdfunded and assisted by the Japan Hackers Association. He praised the group, as well as his lawyers, in a blog post, stating that "even though I was [found] not guilty, I have many things to reflect on."

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