New Anti-Downloading Law In Japan, Illegal Downloaders Beware

Japan looks to be cracking down on illegal downloads when it comes to music and movies. This is due in part to the fact that unauthorized downloads have surpassed legitimate downloads by nearly 10 to 1. Furthermore the digital market has shrunk by 16% in the last year alone. It took extensive lobbying by Recording Indusstry Association of Japan and their IFPI affiliates to get this new amendment to the the countries Copyright Law to pass and the wording of said law is extremely important. Originally the law targeted uploaders of illegal content with a “3 strikes” plan that should users continue to violate could then face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $128,300 (10 million yen). The change in law now allows for those downloading the illegal content to be sentenced to up to 2 years in prison with a fine of $25,680 (2 million yen).

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The implications of the law change could be worse as watching an infringing YouTube video could potentially land users in hot water. The law change in Japan has made it one of the toughest when it comes to anti-piracy measures and should the Recording Industry Association of Japan get its way it may end up far worse in the future.

For some rightsholders though, even this kind of draconian regime isn’t enough. As reported in June, music rights groups including the Recording Industry Association of Japan say they have developed a system capable of automatically detecting unauthorized music uploads before they even hit the Internet.

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