THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN Japan will enforce anti-'piracy' laws that criminalise illegally downloading media files.
The penalties see downloaders running the risk of a two year stay in prison and a fine of up to about £16,000, according to a BBC report.
The BBC reports that the enforcement proposal follows a lobbying campaign by the Japanese music industry, adding that the penalties could apply even if someone has downloaded only a single file. The laws were passed two years ago, but so far have not been implemented.
Local rightsholders will be hoping that from now on the criminal penalties will be enforced, and in spades. They are the kind of sanctions that rightsholders dream of and are much stricter than the three-strikes policy we are expected to endure in the UK.
Anyone caught uploading is also treated more sternly, and could be jailed for as long as ten years.
Japan has a large market for media material, and its government apparently is bowing to protect the interests of rightsholders.
This past Summer the Japanese government ratified the draconian Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), despite it being rejected elsewhere. µ
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