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Japanese Government: Streaming Not Illegal Under New Law

posted on 2012-07-17 01:53 EDT

The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs posted (PDF) a "Q&A" document regarding the recently passed law that penalizes individuals who illegally download copyrighted material. One question in the document addresses the concern that the law would criminalize video streaming websites such as YouTube and Nico Nico (formerly Nico Nico Douga), as they require caching, or the temporary downloading of data, as a part of the streaming playback process.

The document states that while caching involves the downloading of data to a user's playback device, this act in itself does not constitute an illegal reproduction of copyrighted materials. Specifically, section 47-8 of Japan's Copyright Act allows for the copyrighted materials to be reproduced if such an act is necessary for the smooth and efficient processing of such data.


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