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Illegal Downloading Now a Crime In Japan With Increased Penalties

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the go-directly-to-jail dept.

Anime 286

eldavojohn writes "Although downloading songs without paying for them in Japan used to be a civil offense starting in 2010, it is now a crime with new penalties of up to two years in prison or fines of up to two million yen ($25,700). The lobbying group behind this push for more extreme penalties is none other than the RIAJ (the Japanese RIAA). The BBC notes this applies to both music and video downloads which may put anime studios in a particularly uncomfortable position."

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286 comments

Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (0, Flamebait)

o5770 (2739857) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512149)

I'm a struggling open source artist trying to make some cash, but as long as pirates are allowed to download what they want.. well, they will download the popular songs and not mine. By fighting against piracy, we open source artists win as people have to listen to our music instead.

This is not only true for music, but also software development and everything else FOSS. If anti-piracy would win, then so would open source software.

The cost is too high (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512179)

It is not worth wrecking the lives of the people involved just to boost sales of your crappy open source music.

The goalposts is too mobile. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512243)

Yeah! Let's wreck the lives of the artists instead. That'll show them.

Re:The goalposts is too mobile. (4, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512371)

No matter how much we try we won't able to wreck the lives of artists as much as the MAFIAA does.

Re:The goalposts is too mobile. (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512595)

There is a big difference between wrecking someone's life by taking away their freedom and wrecking someone's life by ending a subsidy.

Re:The goalposts is too mobile. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512613)

Herp.

Re:The cost is too high (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512277)

WTF is open source music?

Are you mandating that the sheet music be made available?

Re:The cost is too high (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512347)

I wonder about this, too: what exactly is an "open-source artist?"

Re:The cost is too high (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512433)

The artist is an art-producing AI, who was compiled from source code that is open.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512201)

Except that the only way for anti-piracy to "win" is to take general purpose computers out of the public's hands and move everyone into walled garden ecosystems, which would kill open source software.

For as long as people can use computers to share files, they will. The only way around that is to replace the public's computers with devices that don't run unsigned software and don't play back unlicenced media.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (3, Insightful)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512279)

If it can be read, it can be copied. There are means of distribution that cannot be stopped by conventional means.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512531)

If it can be read, it can be copied. There are means of distribution that cannot be stopped by conventional means.

In theory, you're quite correct... but you totally fail to see the bigger picture:

Joe Schmoe: "The Government has just criminalized the possession of any knife, even table knives..."

Joe Complete-Fucking-Idiot: "Haw haw, we can still take a piece of scrap steel and give it a sharp edge with a grinding wheel..."

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (2)

SScorpio (595836) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512281)

At least everyone is switching to using mainly iPhones and iPads. Ohh Sh....

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512463)

So why is this insightful? You don't propose a solution. Just restate the obvious.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512585)

Abolishing Copyright is my Anti-Piracy.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (2)

zill (1690130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512609)

Even then it still won't work.

Anytime you have a headphone jack I can just play the play and record it on a second computer.
Anytime you have a DVI/HDMI jack I can just play the video and re-encode it on a second computer.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512719)

The XBox 360 was a closed system which refused to run unsigned code, until someone came up with the JTAG hack, and when that got patched, there was a reset glitch hack (CPU related) exploit.

locked down systems are far from as secure as they claim.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (2)

lanevorockz (667614) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512209)

Agreed, Restrictions against piracy will push this a bit further to the right direction but what is worrying is that privacy should still be an value. I believe that once privacy is broken, the trust that people have in IT will drop and eventually drive them out of the internet. So yes, it is a good initiative but it might really easily backfire and break the very industry that is lobbying it.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512215)

yeah, I actually agree with you. If you can illegally download any album then it takes away from the artists who let you download their music for free or for reduced price. For instance the group Death Grips just released their new album today for free [bayfiles.com] but since people can just steal any album most won't appreciate how cool it is to have a band that signed to a major label releasing free music.

Also, quite frankly, I'm sick of spending $1000s on professional apps and then pirate kiddies have the same shit but this is one of the joys of using a Mac. The pirate kiddies ask "where can i download a cracked copy of Logic Pro, bro?" and I have to say "Sorry, Logic Pro is Mac only, kid".

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512311)

I knew the first post was you, but posting an AC reply with "quite frankly" in it makes it even more obviously. You're basically a bit for the RIAA and/or companies that think exactly like them.

Are you trying to suggest that Mac users don't pirate, or that there aren't a lot of Mac users out there? You are insane.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512461)

He is merely reciting the conversation that he and his buddies with thousands for dollars to spare on professional apps talk about while showing off their "open source" music on their closed source iPhones through the amazing EarPods; I know, because I did the same thing in high school, just on different topics; And in the meantime, the actual "pirate kiddies" (which was probably derived from script kiddies) go to a bigger torrent tracker and download any of the Logic suites.

Moral of the story, it is a win-win-win situation, Apple get their monies from people who have them, someone gets software that they can't afford and at least two egos are boosted.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512501)

I knew the first post was you, but posting an AC reply with "quite frankly" in it makes it even more obviously. You're basically a bit for the RIAA and/or companies that think exactly like them.

Are you trying to suggest that Mac users don't pirate, or that there aren't a lot of Mac users out there? You are insane.

Of course Mac users pirate, just like the rest of us.
Those utorrent mac applications are not used by windows or linux users.
Who even remembers hotline ? The default file sharing application on mac many years ago.
Mac users are greedy thieves like the rest of the pc population.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

Vicarius (1093097) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512313)

Also, quite frankly, I'm sick of spending $1000s on professional apps and then pirate kiddies have the same shit but this is one of the joys of using a Mac. The pirate kiddies ask "where can i download a cracked copy of Logic Pro, bro?" and I have to say "Sorry, Logic Pro is Mac only, kid".

Too bad for you that "pirate kiddies" don't have to buy an expensive Apple personal computer and can run OS X inside a free emulator [sourceforge.net] on an IBM compatible personal computer. Thus, they can in fact find a pirated copy of Logic Pro and run it for free. On the plus side, once the "pirate kiddies" become professionals and start making as much money as you, they will also pay thousands for software that they got used to while studying/growing up.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512349)

Too bad for you that "pirate kiddies" don't have to buy an expensive Apple personal computer and can run OS X inside a free emulator [sourceforge.net] on an IBM compatible personal computer.

Yeah, but I've found most people who pirate have no bones about dropping serious bank on hardware. Look at the gaming industry, for example. (Though Steam has undoubtedly put a decent dent in piracy there by way of not completely sucking ass, piracy is still rampant.)

Thus, they can in fact find a pirated copy of Logic Pro and run it for free.

And then there's this. If the GP seriously thinks apps aren't pirated on OS X, well, I've got a few bridges available at outrageously discounted prices. I have this one in Brooklyn that was only driven over by a little old lady on her way to church on Sundays - it'd be a perfect fit.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512571)

Yeah, but I've found most people who pirate have no bones about dropping serious bank on hardware.

That's probably because hardware isn't subject to a model of artificial scarcity. There are actual manufacturing and distribution costs involved in producing things like CPUs and hard drives.

If we ever have Star Trek-style replicators, you can expect that to change.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

dskzero (960168) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512557)

it was all fine and dandy until you went "Apple rocks, PCs are teh suck!!1!".

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (4, Insightful)

JosKarith (757063) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512285)

"people have to listen to our music"
Do you _really_ want that to be your business model? Successful not because of your ability but because someone has mandated it? I guess your artistic integrity is worth less than the bottom line. You'll fit in fine with the *IAA then.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512421)

On one hand, that sounds awful, and I want to mock the individual who wrote it, too.

On the other hand, they have a point. If copyright infringement could be eliminated then people who don't pay for music but want music would be exposed to different music.

On the gripping hand, you can't eliminate copyright infringement.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512337)

We need to keep separate antipiracy mechanics and antipiracy. Often the various antipiracy stuff is just badly disguised walled gardens not really there for fighting piracy but more about controlling content.

But overly i agree, the less piracy the more popular open source stuff.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512437)

But overly i agree, the less piracy the more popular open source stuff.

To be more precise, stuff that is free in cost would be more popular.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512355)

Brilliant.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (4, Interesting)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512487)

... they will download the popular songs and not mine.

That's like saying I'm going to get a free lunch from the soup kitchen down the street instead of paying at your restaurant. The onus is on you, the artist, to prove to me why I should spend the time seeking you out and why I should spend money on you. This has been true since the dawn of time, and blaming your customers for downloading what they like will not help you one bit. Oh yeah, and pick your allies carefully - don't think for a second that the major labels won't go out of their way to marginalize you the moment your business model starts biting into their sales.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512701)

blaming your customers for downloading what they like will not help you one bit

They don't even know what they like. They've been trained to accept the major label mass market music. Music labels get to use deceptive advertising practices that they have access to because they have the majority of the money in this market and because they operate as a cartel which punishes music stores for disobeying their collective will.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512635)

I wouldn't be so happy about this if I were you. If this trend continues, it's only a matter of time until open source artists like you get branded as "just another bunch of pirates" by big media and subsequently the government.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512745)

I'm a struggling open source artist trying to make some cash, but as long as pirates are allowed to download what they want.. well, they will download the popular songs and not mine. By fighting against piracy, we open source artists win as people have to listen to our music instead.

We already tried a system without internet piracy in the 80's. Independent artists still couldn't reach out.

Now here is my problem, I am a struggling human being trying to save as much cash as possible. Because of people like you who wants to reform copyright all the time I have to pay a media tax for a lot of goods that have nothing with music to do. If you start to lobby to get rid of that tax then I might consider that artists might need another source of income but as it is now I have already paid you without getting anything in return so I feel pretty damn entitled to engage in piracy if I ever feel like it.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512847)

I'm a struggling open source artist trying to make some cash

The music market is so completely oversatuated that anyone who blames lack of income on piracy looks like a retard. I can't go to the pub without stumbeling over ten people who wants to be an artist.
I can find thousands of artists out there that create music as a hobby and gives the content away. Sure, you need to make money but I have no obligation to buy anything from you specifically. You would probably be better off if you got a real job and kept the music making as a hobby, there are already so many hobbyists out there to make the music market unviable for independent artists.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

dskzero (960168) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512983)

Very well said. I'm pretty sick of people going "I AM SO TALENTED BUT PIRACY DOES NOT ALLOW ME TO LIVE OFF MY ART". Open Source "Art" sounds like a good idea if you do it for free, a buzzword if you don't.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

MrSenile (759314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512923)

You're assuming, of course, that people would download and/or buy your material anyway.

No. I have not listened and/or used your material, but I can tell you based on your attitude right there I wouldn't do it even if it was the most remarkable piece of art in the world.

Anyone who uses an excuse of punishment to forward their own goals frankly doesn't deserve my business.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512985)

Thank you! Netflix is a great example of this for movies. $7.99 a month is not enough to support all the first run movies you can watch, but it supports a lot of quality independent movies.

Ive watched so many great indie movies because of this. If I could watch unlimited blockbusters for free I would have missed out on a lot of great indie movies.

The pro-piracy position is insane, its making it unduly hard to make a living off the sweat of your mind. People will only pay for things if you make them pay.

Re:Fighting Piracy is Good for Open Source (1)

cHiphead (17854) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512999)

Well it's sure heartening to know arrogance doesn't just apply to signed Artists that deal with the MAFIAA.

You have no idea where the road you are going down will lead, do you? You really think putting people in jail for copying files where there is no loss of physical product, only duplication, will lead to some sort of success for yourself and those like you? You want to benefit from the suppression/repression of others? Think bigger picture.

Good luck finding those pirates though (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512173)

Isn't Japan the country whose P2P scene is dominated by darknet software like Winny and Share?

Re:Good luck finding those pirates though (5, Interesting)

vovick (1397387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512227)

Yes, and IMO this is pretty much the reason for such high penalties. Every now and then when someone gets actually caught it makes a sensation in the news.

Re:Good luck finding those pirates though (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512293)

Said darknet software is closed-source though. There is no solid evidence that it is actually well-designed and secure. I seem to recall a few analyses that suggested that it isn't.

Re:Good luck finding those pirates though (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512389)

Won't the Japanese police catching a few downloaders anyway drive the creation of even better software? We're reaching a tipping point here.

Re:Good luck finding those pirates though (5, Informative)

shoemilk (1008173) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512351)

One big thing about this law is a DMCA-like crack down on circumventing DRM and most Japanese language articles about this talk about it including making copies of movies or CDs that you rent. I didn't go to a rental store today, but it's always been one of my personal pleasures to walk into a movies store and the main display when you walk in is piles of blank CDs and DVDs. The largest chain Tsutaya often doubles as a bookstore with books and magazines teaching you how to rip CDs and DVDs were prominently displayed. I might go down tomorrow to see if it's changed at all. Though when the price of a new CD is generally $30+, it makes a lot of sense that most Japanese people would just rent and rip.

Personal ad:"currently seeking permission". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512207)

The lobbying group behind this push for more extreme penalties is none other than the RIAJ (the Japanese RIAA).

What? Were you expecting piracy to suddenly be OK, just because it happens outside the US?

Re:Personal ad:"currently seeking permission". (4, Informative)

Aryden (1872756) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512615)

Re:Personal ad:"currently seeking permission". (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512685)

One would hardly think that offering distribution via the Internet, to people one does not even actually know would still qualify as "personal use".

Re:Personal ad:"currently seeking permission". (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512933)

No, but *downloading* for personal use does qualify as "personal use". In various parts of Europe (and elsewhere) downloading stuff is perfectly legal (sometimes 'subsidised' by media levies). It is the uploading that is illegal.

What Japan seems to have done (I haven't RTFA) is not only make downloading for personal use illegal, but also criminal. Off the top of my head I'm not aware of any other jurisdictions in which this is the case (although the UK law enforcement groups have been suggesting that it could be for a while now).

Re:Personal ad:"currently seeking permission". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512955)

Two fucking years in prison? Have you lost your motherfucking marbles? Fuck you.

Anime (5, Funny)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512223)

If you think the anime studios are in a particularly uncomfortable position, you should see what happens to their characters.

Re:Anime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512301)

Keywords for the post above: sex, porn, tentacles, ninjas, monster, devil, tentacles, fetishes, cosplay, school uniforms and tentacles.

Re:Anime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512729)

Many anime studios own a music company... which is helpful due to the anime custom of changing the opening and closing themes at least once a season. (Well, in some shows... "Lucky Star" has different ending noises for each episode.) Although I haven't been able to find whether the musical cross-promotion began before or after the musical acquisitions.

Start at the top (3)

fox171171 (1425329) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512265)

Hopefully a family member of someone from the RIAJ, or maybe a politician's kid will be the first one caught.

Re:Start at the top (5, Informative)

JockTroll (996521) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512307)

Are you so naive as to think the law applies in equal measure to the proles and to the lords of the ruling elite? Grow up.

Re:Start at the top (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512387)

Are you so naive as to think the law applies in equal measure to the proles and to the lords of the ruling elite? Grow up.

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges."

Re:Start at the top (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512365)

Judging by similar laws in other countries, the first caught will likely be someone who does not have or use a computer or network connection, or, alternately, someone who was obviously deceased at the time of the supposed infringement.

Why would it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512287)

Most piracy comes from overseas where stupid regions and language-locks prevent people from accessing said media.

The only time it becomes a problem is when Funimation or some other company licence a local copy for whatever language / region and there is the subbed version still up.

Most subbing sites make it a point to ban Japanese IPs since they don't want piracy, they are just doing a job that often studios simply can't afford for those not in the direct target audience. (those who live in Japan)

Re:Why would it? (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512435)

Indeed - and it's no secret that the anime industry (both the Japanese creators and Western distributors) has often used levels of overseas piracy to determine which titles are worth licensing for release in the US/Europe.

It's not a foolproof method - it backfired badly during the industry-crash in the middle of the last decade when a lot of companies found that there are certain titles that people are just not going to walk up to a shop-counter with in the US or London, even though they'll nab them happily enough from a torrent. However, it can generally be a good way of spotting whether a title and/or similar titles are worth a subtitled streaming release, a physical DVD/BD release or potentially a fancy special edition box.

But yes, there's the reverse importation problem - and this is as relevant to gaming as it is for anime. For whatever reason, Japanese buyers of anime and video games are content to get ripped off to an utterly eye-watering degree. The "old" system for anime releases in the West was to set a price point of $30/£20 per volume of 4-5 episodes. These days, US/EU distributors struggle to get away with that model for all but the very biggest of releases (Puella Magi Madoka Magica is the most recent example I can think of) - it's more normal to get volumes of 13 or so episodes, for not much more than $40/£25 per volume. Meanwhile in Japan, that $40 equivalent gets you a volume containing... two episodes. The situation is broadly similar on games, where prices for many titles (particularly Japanese-developed ones) are utterly eye-watering in Japan.

Now if you've got a market that's willing to play along with prices like that, you're going to do everything you can to protect it - and that means doing whatever you can to block reverse importation. So yes, most Western (legal) streaming sites block Japanese IP addresses.

In the gaming sphere, Nintendo insist on full region locking (probably due to their Apple-style paternalist, authoritarian culture). Sony make it very hard to release region locked games on their console - there's only been one region locked PS3 game to date (Persona 4: Arena - and a worthy target for a boycott if ever there was one). But the 360... the 360 is more interesting. Microsoft neither ban nor mandate region locking; they leave it up to the publisher to decide (and don't lock the games they publish themselves). If you look at the trend for region locking on 360 games, while you can always find a few exceptions, a large of US releases will work on European consoles and vice versa, but very, very few will work on Japanese consoles. This at least partly explains why so many of the smaller Japanese developers have been willing to go the 360-exclusivity route during this console generation, despite the 360's poor installed base in Japan.

Re:Why would it? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512967)

It's not a foolproof method - it backfired badly during the industry-crash in the middle of the last decade when a lot of companies found that there are certain titles that people are just not going to walk up to a shop-counter with in the US or London, even though they'll nab them happily enough from a torrent.

But that's really about... oh er, you mentioned it here:

Japanese buyers of anime and video games are content to get ripped off to an utterly eye-watering degree. The "old" system for anime releases in the West was to set a price point of $30/ã20 per volume of 4-5 episodes

Yes, and when I has more money than sense I bought a bunch of stuff at that kind of pricing. Now I have more sense than money and fuck that. That's way too much to pay, especially for something that's already been paid for. And I don't even want their shitty subtitles, I want fansubs, so the value of their subbing, dubbing or whatever is $0 to me, whatever they might think it's worth.

Corporations getting desperate. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512295)

The corporations are fearful of losing their monopolies. They are upset that technology allows duplication.

They are trying to secure their monopolies through legislation. I believe in protecting copyright laws of product names, logos, and slogans. To protect the creator or manufacturer's name from being used to sell products that are not of theirs. But to it is ridiculous to have a patent on design of the product, computer code, musical patterns, architectural structure, methods, shapes, colors.

To say someone owns a shape or design is a monopoly, a tyrants game.

Re:Corporations getting desperate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512369)

No shit.

How about something that every single person on earth doesn't already know.

Lobbying should be a crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512319)

It's the opposite of democracy that the ones with money get to decide about legislation.

Show ga nai ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512331)

as we now say in Japanese

Somewhat fair (3, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512357)

I guess one is supposed to be pro-piracy around here, but I am OK with piracy being reduced. If the artist(s) want a monetary compensation for their works, it's a fair deal. Of course if they set a price too high or make a crappy product, it's also fair for me to not buy it. But it's not a excuse to download it for free... Unless the producers choose so. For example if the anime studios feel that piracy has helped them, then why not just put up some free clips online in the future, by your own.

Re:Somewhat fair (5, Interesting)

Zimluura (2543412) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512465)

I used to be strictly anti-copyright-infringement, but when I learned how these **AAs buy laws from my politicians. And then look at my relatively small disposable income (not nearly enough to buy politicians), well, that's when I started to feel maybe it's time for some civil disobedience. It's at least time to not give the **AAs any more money.

Free Culture
http://archive.org/details/free-culture-audiobook [archive.org]

There is a real easy solution for this. (2)

3seas (184403) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512359)

boycott. don't buy any material falling under this law. When enough do this sales will drop and they will notice. Out of sight & sound out of mind and ear. It doesn't exist.

There is plenty available for free.

Re:There is a real easy solution for this. (3, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512525)

That does not send out a clear message. People have been downloading this stuff for free and that's exactly why they set up stricter laws.

Wouldn't it be funny (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512367)

I would love to see (yeah it'll never happen) if nobody pirated _anything_ for a year. Would that kill the industry outright you think?

Re:Wouldn't it be funny (4, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512451)

Exactly. Many, many of the people who pirate stuff also buy stuff.

It is just as easy to stop pirating AND buying as it is to just stop buying.

Plus there is no difference having an mp3 on your computer from a CD you legally purchased and ripped, and then later lost, versus having a pirated mp3. But when criminal jailtime is in play, this translates into having any mp3's on your computer being a bad idea that could land you in jail.

Draconian laws that can ruin someones life will eventually provide the impetus for people to stop pirating stuff AND stop buying stuff. Total avoidance will be the safest policy.

Then those police state espousing motherfuckers at the RIAA and MPAA can go the hell out of business.

The RIAA and MPAA should start tracking how the animosity that their customers feel about them impacts the bottom line. I wonder if they'd find a trend.

Re:Wouldn't it be funny (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512763)

No.

But I believe the odds are pretty heavily in favor of nobody actually noticing.

Equal Penalties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512381)

Let me know when record company executives are jailed for fleecing the artists they con into signing slavery contracts. You can also let me know when any of the money that is collected by the RIA* ends up in the hands of the artists.

Lost in translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512385)

Sorry but when I hear "Japanese torrents" I think of something completely different.

screw that! (1)

Laser Dan (707106) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512439)

What a ridiculously disproportionate penalty, I thought only the US was that screwed up.
I blame Sony.

I'm living in Japan, so lately I have been renting a "seedbox" in the Netherlands for $15/month.
I can download whatever I want to through the web interface, then copy it via sftp.
I'm sure solutions like this will start becoming a lot more common soon.

Re:screw that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512919)

Hmmm,

I guess the inverse is also possible.

Start a connection towards the TOR network. Change you're connection until you have a japanese one. Start downloading. Sent someone innocent to jail.

So sad (1)

grodzix (1235802) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512469)

I love it that we live in such a world that ENTERTAINMENT industry takes over our lives thanks to whom we will be spied on, fined, prosecuted and taken away our rights because of mere suspicion we're about to do something (it will happen soon enough). There are lots of people who are victims of crime, who have their shops or pubs demolished, people that fear for they safety because there is no one to protect them or ones who lose all their money in some sort of a scam. But no one cares about their rights. It's all about people who are so obsessed with money that want more and more and more. Politicians go up their asses to please them while ignoring the people who enabled them to have this richness and power in the first place. Sometimes I'm sad that our world works like that, sometimes I don't give a damn. All that would take to fix it is for a nation not to buy certain things for certain time so everyone would come to minds and got their priorities straight, but I don't think it's possible. People rather have camera installed in every single of their room than not be able to watch their favorite soap opera or listen to some music they like.

GOD THERE ARE A LOT OF MILLIONAIRES IN JAPAN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512471)

But they'd be well into Romney's 47% here in the States !!

The RIAA and the fim makers have opposing goals (3)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512479)

To me it seems like the RIAA and the fim makers have opposing goals.
The RIAA seems to want people to pirate (proof: the unskippable "educational" messages and other bothers that don't appear in the pirated version) so they can sue them and get some money. Thus they lower the quality of the official versions with respect to the pirated versions. The film makers want to sell their films, and don't want the viewers to pirate. To lower the quality of the official versions with crap like unskippable messages is contraproductive to this. Somehow the RIAA has the film makers believing the nagscreens are good. Dunno how they did it.

Re:The RIAA and the fim makers have opposing goals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512819)

Somehow the RIAA has the film makers believing the nagscreens are good. Dunno how they did it.

By nagging them.

Basic Math (3, Informative)

Mansing (42708) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512575)

Population of Japan: ~128 million
Estimated Illegal Downloads: 4.38 billion

That works out to be a 34 songs per person per year in Japan. Somehow the mathematics just aren't there ....

Re:Basic Math (3, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512839)

That works out to be a 34 songs per person per year in Japan. Somehow the mathematics just aren't there ....

The number seems quite reasonable to me. Since downloading is except for the risk of being caught essentially free, there will be many people downloading whatever they can, with the purpose of the downloading being to _have_ thousands of songs, instead of _listening_ to thousands of songs.

Fighting piracy is moronic... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512597)

... because it goes against the laws of nature. Lets face it. There is no way you're going to be able to take away all the computers now in existence for creating and copying content. Not only that anyone who makes war on general computing will eventually leave a giant market open to competitors who's machines are not locked down. This happened with DVD players, why wouldn't it happen with computers?

New RIAJ Strategy (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512633)

1. Gather a list of hundreds of thousands of torrent downloader IPs.
2. Demand that these IPs be reversed to actual people and prosecuted at government cost.
3. Threaten that the RIAJ will start a public campaign accusing anyone who does not support the prosecution of everyone on the list of being "soft on crime".
4. Profit.

Socialize the costs, privatize the profits. This is a really big win for the recording industry.

So am I the only one (0)

kiriath (2670145) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512637)

That thinks that the best way to combat these stiff penalties is to *not steal* the software/music/movies?

For the love of all things good... what sort of lot will get all bent out of proportion because someone made a law with a stiff penalty to combat something that is morally and ethically wrong?

"They made the penalty for murder... DEATH.. WTF?"

Re:So am I the only one (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512929)

"They made the penalty for murder... DEATH.. WTF?"

Troll detected. Comment invalidated. Everyone knows mentioning the death penalty is bait.

Why not go after the real problem? (4, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512645)

Average kid downloads 1,000 songs that could have been purchased for $0.99 each, so studios lost $999 (artists even less). Average Chinese bootleg produces 100,000 CDs and studios lose $1.3M. Why not go after the real problem?

Correction: (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512863)

Studios didn't "lose" anything - they just didn't sell that much...

Re:Correction: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41513009)

This is such crap. Before Napster I used to buy CDs often. After napster I stopped completely and so did a generation.

Re:Why not go after the real problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512871)

Nuke China.

Not so fast (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512931)

What makes you think your average kid would have paid for those songs if he wasn't able to "pirate" them? What makes you think the people who buy bootlegs would have paid full price if the bootlegs weren't available?

The answer is that you have absolutely no clue, and therefore your monetary estimates are false.

Re:Why not go after the real problem? (5, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512949)

I get your point, but the kid didn't have $999 in the first place, and the purchasers of bootleg DVDs don't have that $1.3 million. If we accept those numbers, then we're just confirming the delusional math of the the "Associations" (pronounced "cartels").

obsolete (1)

nten (709128) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512961)

The reason they don't go after the real problem is that the *are* the real problem. The don't fill a need anymore. Poor independent bands can buy or rent the equipment to record their gigs on the money they make from them, and distribute it for micropayments online, and market themselves through social media and viral youtube videos. The last claim they have is some sort of content filtering to get rid of all that terrible music you would have to listen to to find what you want. The epublishing business has shown that user reviews are sufficent to flag the low quality stuff, so even that claim is bogus. They are spending huge amounts of money, not finding the good stuff, but promoting what they found whether it is good or not (sometimes it is). They are also spending huge amounts of money legislating their own existance. I'm looking forward to the day when a large venue like Wembley stadium realizes some internet phenomenon can sell them out without going through a label, that would be a turning point I think.

Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512699)

This is really a sad day. Such a stupid way of dealing with things.
Time to get a VPN!
www.notgetcaughtdownloading.com

Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512883)

Two years for downloading a song? OK. Here's what I'd do. I'd take a baseball bat, beat the shit out of one of those RIAJ's exec, steal his wallet and buy all the songs I want with HIS money. If I get caught, I'd get what? 6 months? I think it's worth it.

Seems a bit redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41512975)

"Illegal" downloading is now a crime? So, "illegal" downloading wasn't a crime before? I really must re-visit my understanding of the work 'illegal'.

The core objection to this, I think.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41512993)

... is that treating the downloading of infringing content as a crime is virtually impossible to enforce universally.

Of course, laws prohibiting speeding only tend to catch a few people too... so I would argue that the inability to enforce it universally should not be an excuse to not try. At the very least, perhaps, some may simply curtail the illegal behavior only because they do not wish to be caught.

(Disclaimer... since the last time I said something like this here, it evidently wasn't obvious): I realize, of course, that there are deeper reasons for laws prohibiting speeding which relate to issues of public safety, and I'm not comparing the act of copyright infringement to driving 80 miles per hour down a residential road... only comparing, perhaps superficially, the similarity in the attempts to prohibit them.

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