Proposed Japanese Copyright Law Revision Now Covers Downloads of Manga, Magazines, Academic Works (Updated)
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
The Japanese cabinet meeting approved a proposed bill on Tuesday that expands the copyright law to punish those who knowingly download illegally uploaded or pirated manga, magazines, and academic works. Previously, the law only formalized punishment for downloads of illegally uploaded music and videos, as well as illegal uploads of all materials. The Japanese government is aiming to implement the revision by January 1, 2021.
The proposed revision would also ban "leech sites" that aggregate and provide hyperlinks to pirated media by October 1.
The revision will still allow for the posting of a panel from a multiple-page manga, or posting photographs where the manga is not the focus of the photo (for example, appearing in reflections). The revision will also not punish people who download derivative works (such as dōjin or fan fiction).
A subcommittee of Japan's Agency of Cultural Affairs agreed on a plan in February 2019 to create comprehensive laws banning the practice of knowingly downloading all illegal media from the internet. However, that plan caused concerns as critics argued the tighter regulations would be too broad and hinder the freedom of expression of internet users. The Agency of Cultural Affairs then revealed the draft of a plan, which contained exceptions for screenshots, to a panel of experts on November 27 to discuss the proposed changes.
Update: Updated to note that the proposed revision has yet to be sent to the Japanese parliament, and that the current law already imposes punishment for illegal uploads of all materials.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history