Just as Japan is looking to make things slightly more reasonable for people uploading TV clips, it appears that the courts have given people a setback concerning music copyrights. There's apparently a service in Japan that allows users to upload songs that they own to use those tunes as ringtones on their phones. The uploads are only for personal use and no one else has access to them. However, according to an article on Slashdot, a court has ruled that just the act of transferring those songs to computer servers owned by someone else constitutes copyright infringement. Even though the actual act of infringement then is due to the end user doing the uploading, the court appears to have found the company that hosts the servers as the guilty party. As the article notes, this could effectively make any online storage site guilty of copyright infringement in Japan. This ruling makes very little sense no matter how you look at it, and hopefully whatever changes Japanese politicians are looking at concerning copyright law will look for a way to protect this type of usage.
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