You can’t blame Japan for trying to emulate its peers, even in ways that infringe upon the rights of its own citizens. The United States has the MPAA, RIAA, and many other organizations fighting against piracy, and Canada has also recently come on board by passing a bill on the matter as well. After considerable effort, Japan can now finally be seen as equals in this regard.
This past Wednesday a new law covering various issues related to copyright and the use of digital content was unanimously passed in Japan’s House of Councillors. Out of the 242 members, 233 voted on the bill; the final vote being a staggering 221 for and only 12 against. The bill had already passed in Japan’s House of Representatives last Friday, so it will now go into effect starting on October 1.
One of the largest areas affected by the new legislation is the act of “ripping” purchased content. For example, ripping DVD’s in order to create backups or to transfer to mobile devices such as tablets. Since this requires that users break the copy protection on the discs, under the new law this is now highly illegal.
The new law also outlines the penalties that users will face if they are caught illegally downloading copyrighted content. If caught, those individuals will now face up two years in prison or fines in the range of 2 million yen (~$25,400). Finally, it has provisions that require both national and local governments to educate children on the horrors of illegally downloading subbed episodes of Dora the Explorer from the West.
With the world economy heading towards total collapse, numerous wars raging all over the globe, and more people falling into poverty, one has to wonder where the priorities of politicians lie these days. At least we can all sleep easily at night knowing that Japan and other governments are keeping us safe from much worse “dangers.” As they say, mommy knows best.
Source: Anime News Network