Japanese ISPs to Cut Service of File-sharers… Game Biz, Big Media Pressure Behind Move

Could it happen here?

AFP reports that Japanese Internet Service Providers will sever the Internet connection of those who illegally download files. It is said to be one of the strictest online piracy measures anywhere.

And the video game biz is right in the middle of it. From the AFP story:

Faced with mounting complaints from the music, movie and video-game industries, four associations representing Japan’s Internet service providers have agreed to take drastic action, the Yomiuri Shimbun [newspaper] said…

The Yomiuri Shimbun estimated that 1.75 million people in Japan use file-sharing software, mostly to swap illegal copies…

One [ISP] considered two years ago a plan to disconnect people who swap illegal files but dropped the plan after the government said it may violate the right to privacy, the Yomiuri said.

Japanese government officials were unable to be reached for comment by AFP.

GP: While we don’t condone illegal file-sharing, ham-handed moves like this one just leave GP shaking his head. Internet connections are as ubiquitous – and as necessary – as telephone connections in developed nations. Would the Japanese government permit its citizens’ phone service to be yanked out over pressure from Big Media?

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