Japanese Gov't Aims to Penalize Unauthorized Downloaders

posted on by Ko Ransom

The Chunichi Shimbun paper reported on Friday that the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has aligned itself with the minority Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito Parties on a proposal that will set penalties for unauthorized downloads of music and movies. The LDP proposal includes imprisonment for up to 2 years or a fine for up to 2 million yen (about US$25,00). In indirect acknowledgement of net users' concerns about this legislation, the proposal would make unauthorized downloading a crime that requires a formal complaint from the victim before any legal action is taken.

The Japanese parliament passed an amendment to Japan's Copyright Law that made it illegal to knowingly download copyrighted material without authorization for the first time in 2010. However, the current law does not include penalties for illegal downloading. The new proposition's proponents want to expand on that law by creating penalties for downloading.

Japan already allows prosecution against people who upload copyrighted material without authorization. Most of the prosecution in the last four years have been for alleged uploading using the program known as Share — a file-sharing program with security flaws that have been known since 2006.

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