Strict New Download Law In Japan Probably Won't Kill YouTube

If you think the internet is a place where information can be shared freely, a place where things like copyright law do not apply, and a place where you can do whatever you want, well, bad news. Starting today, a strict new download law ends your notion of the internet. At least in Japan, that is.

However, if you aren't already breaking copyright law in Japan, then you should be OK — even if you are checking out illegal content on YouTube.

The new law, which was passed by legislators this summer, is a stricter revision of the country's copyright law. As of today, downloading illegally uploaded materials is punishable by up to two years in prison and approximately US$25,000 in fines.

When the law was originally announced, Japanese tech pundits worried that the law could kill YouTube, a site rife with illegally uploaded movies and TV shows.

Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs has explained the nitty-gritty of the law, going into detail about some of the finer people net users in Japan have been worried about.

In short, if you check out illegally uploaded files on YouTube, that is not illegal. However, if you download said files onto your computer, then that would be illegal. Thus, YouTube will continue, business as usual, for the vast majority of users in Japan.

Another interesting exception is that it is not a crime to download an illegal file as an email attachment — as, I guess, the logic is that the email recipient might not know what he or she is downloading. Fair enough.

Yet, uneasiness persists online in Japan as net users anxiously wait to see how this law is enforced and how to navigate the grey area between what's allowed and what no longer is.

迫る違法DL刑罰化にネット民不安 [WebR25]


    What if you downloaded it to a server in another country, then streamed from it?

    Ridiculous, every thing you see from the internet is downloaded when it comes to usage charges. Just miseducation.

      Thats clearly not the purpose behind the law though.
      The are trying to stop people from retaining a copy of it.

    Seed/stream boxes anyone?

    That email law is quite silly as well. I mean you could ask a friend to email you anthing.

    This is just the Japanese record companies trying to flex their muscle because they have no idea how to proceed in the digital age. They have no plans to seas with the inevitable shift to streamed music so they are taking their giant leap backward

      To be honest Japan extreme copyright saves their local brand from dying. Just a way to preserve their culture I guess. Can't blame them for not trying to enter the world like korea

    Except that they should be pushing theist content to international markets and facilitating exposure, not closing ranks.
    It has the knock on effect of discouraging music consumption. Japan is a stay in line, fearful place. Parents will lock their kids off youtube for fear of being fined. And the only result will be backlash, law reversal and more uninspired kids

    It's only people that read the mistranslations that were worried. There was a guy on youtube I got linked to that actually got the original Japanese text and explained the whole "watching youtube (streaming) is fine, but making a copy to your computer (ripping the video from the site) isn't" deal.

    Not sure how I'm gonna go about getting my Christmas Dr. Who episode now though.

    Give all those rippers and such a day or two to find loop holes then everthing will be back to normal.

    Rule 434: It's only illegal if you get caught. ... and if you get caught we told you so.

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