10 guys and 1 chick make up the latest batch of poor bastards caught by Japan’s long hand of the law, over charges of illegal uploading of copyrighted content on the Internet – most notably anime, games, movies and music. Some of the pirated anime titles include the ancient Ranma 1/2, Fresh Precure!, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gundam 00, Dragon Ball Kai and Lucky Star, and the pseudo-victims’ age ranges from 23- to 57-years old.
The arrests are likely to become more numerous starting from next year, because Japan’s Copyright Law (which currently targets uploaders alone) will be toughened to also outlaw downloaders of pirated goodies, as of January 1, 2010. At least if they knowingly download such counterfeit content for the first time.
Not sure if that’s the actual phrasing used in the soon-to-be-enforced amendment, or just some confusion mixed up in translation along the way. But it sure sounds easy to dodge and non-threatening. Especially since illegal downloading is nothing more than a technical term at this point, with no actual punishment legislated by said amendment, and no apparent regulation regarding streaming content.
Looks like their lawmakers are pretty far behind their time… Not unlike Japan’s conservative anime publishing industry, which stubbornly clings on to selling expensive discs (or at least trying to), despite the cotinuing rise of – and demand for – digital distribution.