Japan introduces stiff fines, jail time for illegal downloads
News On Japan via NPR -- Oct 02
Beginning October 1, illegally downloading a copy of your favorite new song could land you in jail in Japan.
The country has instituted a new law that punishes those downloaders with up to two years in prison or fines of up to $25,700.
Torrent Freak, a blog that reports on online downloading, points out that there is something important and different about this law: Most countries already consider uploading copyrighted content illegal. But this makes downloading content illegal and also punishes the action with what Torrent Freak calls "one of the most draconian [punishments] in the world."
The BBC reports that the punishments for uploading are even more severe. The BBC says that "in Japan illegal uploads of copyright infringing music and videos carry a maximum 10 year prison sentence and a 10 million yen fine."
The BBC adds that critics of the law like the Japan Federation of Bar Associations believe that the country should have kept the punishment for illegal downloading a civil matter, not a criminal matter as it has now become.
The issue of itai-itai disease, one of Japan's four major pollution-related diseases, was fully resolved on Tuesday as the company that caused the pollution and a victims' group agreed on a compensation package. (Yomiuri )