Illegal Downloading in Japan

A new anti-downloading law took effect in Japan on October 1st, 2012.  As anyone who knows me might attest, I do not understand legal things very well, this case included.  I can not even speculate on the impact this may have on Japan but I know a lot of people that are now scared to even use Youtube.  The law was written to allow police to take action in more cases than it should be able to.  For instance it is my understanding that if you watch a YouTube video that was uploaded illegally then you could be punished if you were caught.  My main argument to this is that as a casual YouTube user, I have no idea who uploads the videos.  If they are taken down by the service then I can understand that the person did not have the rights to upload that video, but even that has its flaws.

My problem with buying music in Japan is pretty simple.  It’s expensive!  I always thought that iTunes tracks were expensive.  I took a screen shot of the top 20 tracks as of right now in the US iTunes store.  All the tracks are $1.29.

In Japan however, amongst the top 20 tracks, only 1 is not ¥250.  It is ¥200.  Right not (According to Google) 250 yen is $3.20 US.  200 yen is $2.56.

Would I rather listen to a track on YouTube than spend $3.20 on one track?  YES!  If I can find the track on YouTube and listen to it but it was uploaded illegally, I can go to jail for 2 years?  And/or pay ¥2,000,000?  How do I know who the uploader is / what rights they have?  Paying ¥2,000,000 would ruin my life.  Forever and always!

I have no idea what to do from no on.  I guess the next step is no music in my life.

I will update this a bit later when I know more.  For now here are some links:


Reddit discussion

Kotaku 2012/06

Kotaku 2012/10

CNN 2012/10/01

Google search “Japan download law october 2012”



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