In a bizarre story from Japan, a very sad man has been found guilty of distributing a file-destroying trojan horse on a popular P2P network there.

Masato Nakatsuji, a 24-year-old student, was the first person in Japan to be arrested for creating malware when he was nabbed in January.

However, he was charged not with the damage his creation caused when thousands of users of the Winny P2P application inadvertently downloaded it, but with copyright infringement and got off with just a suspended sentence.

Cartoon warnings

His Piro virus, which the trojan delivered under a more innocuous guise, targeted and overwrote various file types, including MP3 and Java, before displaying a range of cartoons with messages warning against file sharing.

These included oddities such as, "Ah, I see you are using P2P again...if you don't stop in 0.5 seconds, I'm going to kill you" and, “If you don't stop using Winny, I'll expose you to the police.”

Nakatsujii claimed he was only trying to protect the interests of copyright holders, saying, "If movies and animated films are illegally downloaded, TV networks will stop showing these programmes in the future."

For a man who claimed his hobby was to “watch recorded TV programmes,” it’s easy to see how the end of afternoon cartoon time before milk and cookies might be a blow to his lifestyle.