Japan's Digital Shoplifting Plague

from the claw-their-eyes-out! dept

It’s becoming increasingly clear that we live in a world where the majority of people simply don’t understand “digital”. Over in Japan, the Japanese Magazine Publishers Association is on the warpath trying to stop browsers in bookstores from taking camera-phone photos of their magazines, calling it “digital shoplifting”. As an example, they say that a woman may flip through a magazine and see a new dress or hairstyle, and snap a photo to send to their friends to ask what they think. The magazine publishers are angry that this is (they believe) taking money out of their pockets. Of course, that assumes (probably incorrectly) that the person would have bought the magazine in the first place or that they wouldn’t then go and buy the magazine anyway. Meanwhile, bookshop employees say they’ll have trouble stopping this activity, since they can’t tell whether someone is just sending a text message or if they’re using the camera phone. Based on this idea, shouldn’t we be forced to claw our own eyes out? Or, at the very least, have all magazines and books wrapped in black shrink wrap to prevent someone from (gasp!) actually seeing any part of it before buying. Perhaps it really is time for someone to invent the DRM helmet and make sure that anytime you see anything, you get charged for it.

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Comments on “Japan's Digital Shoplifting Plague”

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1 Comment
Con Tendem (user link) says:

re: mobile-phone shopping

Should not the Association first ask the advertisers? I mean — they pay to have people look at their products in these magazines, and ideally think about buying it. So if a person takes a snapshot of a dress in a magazine and talk about it for 10 minutes to their friends about, were I an advertiser, I would be quite happy. If the “theft” is as widespread and easily shown as the Association claims, they can just raise their rates for “extra readership”, no?

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