1 Year After Japan's Stricter Download Law, Music Sales Stagnate
posted on by Marlene First
One year after a stricter law against music and video downloads went into effect in Japan on October 1 of last year, there is no significant recovery in music sales. Instead, a decrease in music sales was recorded in the last eight months, as well as an earlier sharp decrease in digital music distribution.
According to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, the number of personal computers on the Japanese file-sharing services Winny and Share has decreased by 40% since last year. While music sales during the October 2012-June 2013 period increased 5%, sales during the January-August 2013 period decreased by 7% (compared to the same periods in the previous years). In addition, legal digital music distribution during October 2012-June 2013 dropped 24%.
The stricter law includes sections outlawing the "ripping" of content for personal use, if it involves the bypassing of digital copy protection such as the CSS system on DVDs.
The law also includes a section that imposes a penalty to the already illegal act of knowingly downloading copyrighted material without permission. Those charged with illegal downloading now face up to two years of prison or fines of up to 2 million yen (about US$25,400). The law also obligates national and local governments to educate minors on illegal download prevention.