Japanese Lawmakers Push for Criminal Penalties for Copyright Infringers with New Bill

According to a Wired report, Japanese politicians are pushing hard for a new law that would make it a crime to download or make unauthorized copies of copyrighted material. The new law would also make it illegal to use copyright circumvention devices. Those breaking the law could face up to two years in prison and a two million yen ($25,400) fine. We assume the devices being referred to are like the R4 used to copy DS games…

While some lawmakers think that illegal downloading in Japan is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with in the strongest possible manner (two years in prison is a pretty strong deterrent), others believe there are better ways to deal with the problem.

"Allowing illegal downloads to exist as they do now will harm the growth of the Internet," argued Lower House member Hakubun Shimomura. "The illegal flow of material is a problem, but rather than strengthening the penalties, we should bolster the deletion of illegally uploaded content," Lower House member Takeshi Miyamoto said.

According to the Wired report, the amendments are supported by Japan's three major political parties. The law would affect just about every media you can think of – from games and DVD's to music and movies – as well as software designed in the country to circumvent copyright protection and facilitate downloading.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Word Japan concept art © 2012 dmiskv, provided by Shutterstock.

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