Did This Man Deserve This?

Japanese piracy law enforcement is tough. It doesn't matter whether that's the selling of customised figures or illegal uploading of games, the authorities are so not pussy footing around. Consider what happened to Takashi Matsuda.

The 47-year-old company employee was arrested on the evening news for violating Japanese copyright law and was dragged away in shame.

The police arrested the man for uploading the twenty-seventh episode of Kamen Rider 000 on a California-based server for unauthorised streaming. According to RBB Today, the man admitted that he had been uploading episodes "since around this January."

Blocking the doorway was a cardboard box for an Anpanman children's toy.

Japanese netizens have been quick to criticize the man, wondering why a 47-year-old was uploading episodes of Kamen Rider 000, a program aimed primarily at kids.

One shot showed the man being hauled away with his face buried in his hands in disgrace.

In recent years, video game makers have also began waging a war on game piracy, with Nintendo even opening a tips line for informants. Companies like Nintendo claim to have lost money because of Nintendo DS piracy — something that is no doubt true.

Under Japanese law, it's not only illegal to upload copyrighted material without permission, it's also illegal to download it. This legislation is extremely unpopular in Japan.

Even with these strict copyright laws, there must be more serious, far more detrimental crimes that deserve televised takedowns. Japan is safe, sure, but this is overkill.

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome — game related and beyond.
(Top photo: ANN News)


    Yeh, definitely seems pretty harsh for that level of crime. Then again, it doesn't seem Japan has much crime to cover thus something like this would be more likely to be blown out of proportion.

      He did a crime, got caught, and will pay; That's fair enough. But why that gets news coverage I don't know. There's a lot more important stuff going on in the world than some schmuck nobody cares about.

    That's a bit much isn't it???? I mean shaming him, really??

    I'm sorry but I don't think I'll ever be able to take any piracy discussion seriously. The logical fallacy of assuming download = lost sale pisses me off too much.

      Not that I support the RIAA or strict DRM, but that kind of narrow-minded attitude is why we've got a piracy problem, and why nobody should take your views seriously on the matter. You're just the other side of the same coin.

        He has a point though.

        Companies complain about lost sales/money due to piracy. But you can't lose what you never had. If you can then I lost $30 million on the weekend.

          You can " lose what you never had", you just have to look at it from a different perspective.

          If you skipped work today, then you have just lost a days worth of wages.

          That's an obvious defense, but it's a shitty attitude if that's your sole contribution to the discussion. There's a much larger issue going on that requires innovation and new means of distribution in every single medium.

        How is he being narrow minded? It's true that not all acts of piracy = lost sale. I think everyone has downloaded something that they would never have bought anyway.

        The reason why we have a "piracy problem" is simple: people will take something for free if they can. Hell, in some situations it's more convient to pirate something than it is to obtain it legally. You aviod registering to a service, or going into a store, you don't have piracy warnings you can't skip like on DVDs, no DRM which constricts how you use the thing you legally bought.. etc...

        I'm not trying to justify piracy, especially if someone if profiteering off of it by selling burnt dvds/games/cds etc..

          It's like saying "I don't even want to talk about drug law because pot grows naturally and should be legal, maaaan!" It's a juvenile simplification of the issue, the same black-and-white rendering that got us in this mess.

          It's the ideological opposite of the RIAA, who think piracy is completely and utterly wrong and must be stamped out, but pragmatically, it's the exact same thing, and it gets us nowhere.

    Wouldn't of happened if he didn't break the law.

    Can't seem to conjure up any pity for him.

    I don't know why but I really dislike the word netizens.

    I agree. Netizen is an awful word. What's it supposed to describe? Citizens who use the internet? Doesn't that make EVERYONE a "Netizen"? Do we call television watchers "Teleizens?" Or phone users "Phonizens"?

      Or practicioners of Buddhism "Zenizens"?

    Oh look out, an article about piracy and the White Knights are all a twitter.

      +1 on that. I also agree with Shinkada, assuming downloads = lost sales is stupid.

    Personally, I download anime the second they're translated from Japan, because it can be a good 6 months or more (or often, not at all) before they're picked up here, and most of the pay to watch websites (crunchyroll etc) are all America only.

    I can't see this as a major crime to be honest.

    In my case, filesharing actually translated into increased sales. I would never have bothered to buy a bunch of Nine Inch Nails, Devin Townsend or Opeth if I hadn't first been able to listen to them for free and at my own leisure. We used to share mixtapes and record from the radio. Were those lost sales too?

    Japan does have a lot of crime that the police turn a blind eye to. If they can't force a confession out of someone, they won't investigate the crime. The conviction rate is something like 97%, because the police ignore anything that might get their numbers down. Even obvious murders are called suicide if they don't catch the person in the act or beat a confession out of someone.

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