A few months ago, we reported on the vicious harassment campaign against the women’s support organization Colabo and its founder Nito Yumeno. The main instigator is YouTuber and ex-game developer Himasora Akane, who continues to accuse Colabo of misusing public funds.
Fortunately, there’s now more public awareness of and support for Colabo’s plight. Colabo finally achieved a minor victory when the court threw out a rather nonsensical lawsuit filed by Himasora last year that all began with a YouTube copyright claim .
A Rather Ridiculous Lawsuit
The defendant in the lawsuit actually wasn’t Colabo, but the anti-discrimination group called Norikoe Net (のりこえねっと). They’re also no stranger to court.
In 2018, co-chair Shin Sugok sued DHC Television for defamation over a 2017 “News Girls” program segment. The segment covered Okinawa’s anti-air base movement. It unfairly labeled activists “terrorists” and “extremists” and painted Shin as the “mastermind inciting a radical opposition movement.” The ensuing harassment spurred Shin to sue, and she finally won her case this May .
So how did Norikoe Net get caught up in Himasora’s rampage against Colabo? According to the 4-page court decision, Himasora used portrait photographs of Nito in two YouTube videos he uploaded on December 13th, 2022. Norikoe Net hired a photographer to take the photos in 2020 and ostensibly owned the copyright. On the 19th, Norikoe Net filed a copyright claim through YouTube, which took down the videos.
Himasora took the reactionary route and filed a lawsuit against Norikoe on the 23rd, a mere five days after the video takedown, claiming spiritual distress. Bizarrely, he tried to claim the video takedown was illegal because no copyright was ever infringed upon in the first place.
Himasora argued that Nito must own the copyright since she provided the photos to Asahi Shinbun for an article. However, Nito confirmed she obtained permission from Norikoe Net to use the photos, voiding Himasora’s allegations .
Purposely Wasting Time and Resources?
Aside from the initial complaint, Himasora’s team submitted no evidence or rebuttals. They didn’t even bother showing up to the courthouse. Norikoe Net and Nito went through the trouble of hiring lawyers and submitting proof of copyright ownership, even bringing in the photographer.
Finally, on August 24th, the court confirmed Norikoe Net as the copyright owner and dismissed Himasora’s inflammatory lawsuit.
The case frustrated everyone involved, especially Norikoe Net’s defense team. Right from the start, it seems Himsora didn’t take the lawsuit seriously and even purposefully obfuscated progress. Mr. Kanbara, one of Norikoe Net’s lawyers, said Himasora failed to send a revised official complaint to the court until two months after the initial claim.
Himasora also claimed online that he mailed an official complaint to Norikoe’s office, but they never received it. Instead, out of the twenty or so board members, he sent it to Ueno Chizuko. Yes, that Ueno Chizuko.
More lawsuits coming
If Himasora’s goal was to waste everyone’s time and resources, then he certainly achieved that. “The trial itself has turned into a game,” stated Kanbara. “The reason why we’re able to do this [fight back] is through crowd-funding. But no matter how much he loses in the trial, Himasora himself won’t be harmed.”
“What is certain is that he used Norikoe Net to strike out at Colabo,” Shin stated. Because of the situation, Shin stated that they’ll sue Himasora for other copyright infringements.
“Himasora says if he has to appear for questioning, he wants a partition screen because he feels he’s in danger,” Nito said. “Yet we are the ones who’ve suffered from his harassment through rumors, death and rape threats, and strange men showing up at our homes. We intend to fight him head-on” .
Colabo helps young girls on the streets with nowhere else to turn, providing them basic necessities and resources to rebuild their lives. Learn more about them (English) and how you can support their mission.
What to read next
 暇空茜さんの訴えが棄却される → 提訴時はめちゃくちゃ盛り上がっていたのに……. Yahoo! News Japan.
 「『ニュース女子』は虚偽」、辛淑玉さんの勝訴確定. Yahoo! News Japan.
 のりこえねっとがYoutuber暇空茜氏に勝訴した事件の判決. Musashikosugi Godo Law Office.
 『緊急報告 暇空裁判 判決』 2023年8月24日 14:30〜. YouTube.