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Hen Zemi's Tagro Addresses Illegally Streamed Videos

posted on by Egan Loo
Current Japanese law does not prohibit watching unauthorized streams

TAGRO, the creator of the Abnormal Physiology Seminar (Hen Zemi) manga and the artist of Gainax's Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt manga, weighed in on the issue of illegally streamed anime on his Twitter account on Tuesday. (The fourth Hen Zemi manga volume shipped last month with the first of two planned original anime DVDs.)

TAGRO first noted that he was encouraged that a recognized creator such as Yana Toboso (Black Butler) raised her voice on the issue on Sunday. TAGRO then talked about a young woman who said she put an illegal video of Hen Zemi on her blog for all to see. When he warned her about it, she responded, "I understand the feelings of annoyance that creators get when their material is watched for free. I get annoyed when an anime BD I just bought is posted on the net!" TAGRO expressed his incredulity at her response.

Japan's Copyright Law prohibits unauthorized uploaders but had expressly allowed people to download for private use until this year. In June of 2009, the Japanese parliament passed an amendment that would make it illegal to knowingly download copyrighted material without authorization for the first time. The new law went into effect on January 1, 2010.

However, the Internet Watch website reported that the Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs specifically stated in 2007 that watching an unauthorized stream from YouTube and similar video websites is not considered a prohibited "download," even under the legal definition of the term in the amended law. (Posting an unauthorized video online, on the other hand, was and remains prohibited.)

After the agency's pronouncements, the Gigazine website noted that YouTube users technically do download, if temporarily, a video file when they "stream." On the other hand, the Japanese copyright laws already had an exception to permit temporary file copies in browser and video player caches.

[Via Temple Knights]

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