Manga Artists Complain About Proposed Japanese Law Forbidding Pirated Media Screenshot Downloads
posted on by Kim Morrissy
A subcommittee of Japan's Council for Cultural Affairs recently agreed on a plan to expand the scope of Copyright law. Downloading anime images, illustrations, and photographs that are illegally posted to personal blogs and Twitter accounts would also be illegal, as would copying and pasting song lyrics. The laws would not be limited to directly downloading images themselves — taking screenshots of illegally uploaded media would also be against the new laws.
Even though the laws were apparently proposed to protect the intellectual property rights of manga artists, some manga artists are among the critics of the law. Nodame Cantabile creator Tomoko Ninomiya posted a tweet on February 13 saying: "Who asked for this?"
誰が頼んだよ、こんなの…。— 二ノ宮知子 (@nino0120444) February 13, 2019
著作権侵害、スクショもNG 「全面的に違法」方針決定:朝日新聞デジタル https://t.co/BflncDsb6F
When another Twitter user responded to her saying that the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs has yet to define the specific terms for how and when the law will be applied, Ninomiya responded, "Something so vague shouldn't pass."
Love Hina and Negima! creator Ken Akamatsu also shared multiple articles about the subject on Twitter and wrote several tweet threads dissecting the implications of the law. He stated that this law will make Japan into a country where it will be really easy to pester and bother people with the threat of being arrested. He also said that until a legal document outlining the specifics behind the law is released, then not even a lawyer will be able to interpret the full implications.
Kaze to Ki no Uta creator and head of Japan Society for Studies in Cartoon and Comics Keiko Takemiya released a statement on January 23, saying, "If this law passes, I fear that it will cause fan activities to wither, and the relationship between manga artists and their fans will be diminished."
News of the law has generally been a hot topic on Twitter lately, with the Japanese word for "copyright infringement" becoming a trending word over the past few days. Akamatsu said that he hopes that the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs will listen to the objecting voices of the manga artists, among others.