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Anti-Downloading Law Goes Live in Japan: 2 Years in Prison

By - Source: Torrent Freak | B 58 comments

Those caught illegally uploading copyright infringing music and videos face a much lengthier sentence.

Japan-based Internet users who have downloaded copyright infringing files over the past two years did so without penalty. Now, however, a new law has come into effect for the downloading of illegal files which would put guilty users in jail for up to two years. An alternative to the aforementioned punishment would be a fine of up to two million yen ($25,700).

The law follows a lobbying campaign by the country's music industry, the Recording Industry Association of Japan. They suggested illegal media downloads clearly outnumber legal downloads by about a factor of 10.

Critics, however, said the effort should be concentrated towards stopping users from making infringing material available. Users who are caught illegally uploading infringing music and videos face a maximum 10 year prison sentence and a 10 million yen fine.

Sales figures place Japan as the second-largest music market in the world, after the U.S. A 2010 study found that Internet users downloaded around 4.36 billion illegally pirated music and video files. Comparatively, 440 million legal purchases were made during the same year.

"This revision will reduce the spread of copyright infringement activities on the internet," said RIAJ chairman Naoki Kitagawa, who also operates as a chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment Japan.

"Treating personal activities with criminal punishments must be done very cautiously, and the property damage caused by individual illegal downloads by private individuals is highly insignificant," the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, a group representing legal professionals, stated.

 

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    ohim , October 2, 2012 3:23 PM
    That awkward moment when you live in a world where stealing a song puts you in jail more time than when you kill a man by accident with your car or when you steal few billion dollars from some banks.
  • 20 Hide
    freggo , October 2, 2012 1:08 PM
    Where does that put a Japanese user of YouTube?
    I mean there is plenty of questionable material there. Is watching an unauthorized music video 'downloading' ?
    Is uploading to YouTube getting you 10 years ?
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    Zingam , October 2, 2012 1:06 PM
    Japanese don't buy enough porn.... ehm? Too much piracy!
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , October 2, 2012 1:07 PM
    Recording Industry Association of Japan 1 - 0 pirates.
  • 20 Hide
    freggo , October 2, 2012 1:08 PM
    Where does that put a Japanese user of YouTube?
    I mean there is plenty of questionable material there. Is watching an unauthorized music video 'downloading' ?
    Is uploading to YouTube getting you 10 years ?
  • 9 Hide
    spentshells , October 2, 2012 1:19 PM
    Invasion of privacy, Japanese believe in privacy. This won't last long.
  • 20 Hide
    captainblacko , October 2, 2012 1:21 PM
    may1It's simply a law to stop stupid people (basically the majority of Japanese users) downloading illegal contents.


    Have you any facts or figures to back up that comment?
  • 0 Hide
    curiosul , October 2, 2012 1:23 PM
    may1It's pretty much ineffective, cyberlockers won't get you caught, and you can easily hide your IP using free public proxy servers on torrents. It's simply a law to stop stupid people (basically the majority of Japanese users) downloading illegal contents.


    It's not really ineffective. if it makes 10% of people to start buying things they would illegally download otherwise, the RIAJ got their lobby money back with interest. The way I see it, it's not about being right, it's about economics: biggest return (more people buying records) on the smallest investment (lobby a few politicians).
  • 1 Hide
    Camikazi , October 2, 2012 1:25 PM
    captainblackoHave you any facts or figures to back up that comment?

    The majority isn't dumb but they aren't smart enough to use proxy or VPN to download safely so these types of things are made for that reason. These laws won't stop the smart users who know how to hide (which are a minority).
  • 1 Hide
    captainblacko , October 2, 2012 1:30 PM
    the majority of internet users wouldn't know how to use a proxy or VPN. I was just trying to suggest that he shouldn't stereotype the whole Japanese population as being stupid. Really wound me up when i first read it haha.
  • 0 Hide
    ctbaars , October 2, 2012 1:47 PM
    Not a problem in Japan yet. "Crime" of this type is very low. I can see them trying to prevent future cultural acceptance of such activity like in the US.
  • 2 Hide
    bluerhythm , October 2, 2012 1:50 PM
    and don't forget to use a VPN that Doesn't keep logs.
  • 2 Hide
    killerclick , October 2, 2012 1:57 PM
    may1It's pretty much ineffective, cyberlockers won't get you caught, and you can easily hide your IP using free public proxy servers on torrents.


    Implying free public proxy servers allow enough bandwidth for downloading. You must have never used them.
  • 1 Hide
    tomfreak , October 2, 2012 2:07 PM
    killerclickImplying free public proxy servers allow enough bandwidth for downloading. You must have never used them.
    music cost a fraction of bandwidth... so brace urself soon u heard a news about some noob get jail for someone else use his internetz to DL illegal music.
  • -4 Hide
    digiex , October 2, 2012 2:15 PM
    Due to the territorial dispute with China, Japan has to please the US.
  • 2 Hide
    happyballz , October 2, 2012 2:27 PM
    Along with blowing up nuclear power plants this "illegal downloading" law puts Japan in to another 'do not want to live in' country list.
    I guess soon enough an armed robbery will carry less of a sentence.

    Corporate arm must be jacking-off strong in Japan to pass crap like this.
  • -8 Hide
    ironmb , October 2, 2012 2:37 PM
    All you complainers are just full of shit. I have been living in Japan for the past 4 years now, and this country is far better then the US. To say you hate that country because you think "downloading illegally" makes it a terrible country is absurd. Go out and date a girl, moron.
  • 22 Hide
    ohim , October 2, 2012 3:23 PM
    That awkward moment when you live in a world where stealing a song puts you in jail more time than when you kill a man by accident with your car or when you steal few billion dollars from some banks.
  • -3 Hide
    DRosencraft , October 2, 2012 3:33 PM
    Instead of complaining about a law against something that should be understood as illegal anyway, or defending those who take part in illegal acts, why don't we try finding a useful suggestion for how people can enjoy content without having to steal it?
  • 4 Hide
    jackbling , October 2, 2012 3:36 PM
    With the ridiculous compute on an sli rig, coupled with the guaranteed over-saturation of wireless networks, i can see many, many, people getting jail time over WEP.

    While im sure there is a portion of illegal downloaders that will be influenced to buy(or ignore if they download for financial reasons) content, the reality is that there is no reliable way to track the number of downloads; every firm that speculates on these numbers, takes a small sample then arbitrarily multiplies.

    I am sure we all remember the piracy claims counting losses numbering more than exist in the world.

  • -3 Hide
    lamorpa , October 2, 2012 4:40 PM
    happyballzAlong with blowing up nuclear power plants this "illegal downloading" law puts Japan in to another 'do not want to live in' country list. I guess soon enough an armed robbery will carry less of a sentence. Corporate arm must be jacking-off strong in Japan to pass crap like this.

    It's difficult to tell if this comment is more bigoted, angry, paranoid, or just plain stupid.
  • 1 Hide
    mikenygmail , October 2, 2012 4:42 PM
    Wow, I'm surprised at the amount of ignorance, animosity and jealousy regarding Japanese people.
    The average Japanese IQ is about 110-120, the highest average IQ in the world.
    Kenichi Ohmae has an IQ of 216, possibly the highest in the world.
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