Japan Makes Private Copying Illegal

from the wrong-direction dept

Plenty of countries have reasonably pointed out that the entire point behind copyright laws was to protect again commercial for-profit copying — and thus, private, non-commercial personal use copying really shouldn’t be covered by copyright laws. Of course, for an entertainment industry hell-bent on filing lawsuits against people rather than adapting to the marketplace, this is a serious, serious problem. So, the recording industry has been lobbying hard in any country that carves out an exception for private copying, trying to make it illegal. Unfortunately, it appears they’ve won in Japan. A new copyright law has been passed that specifically says that private, non-commercial copying is infringing (via Cybeardjm). This really isn’t all that surprising, given that Japan has also been pushed on copyright extension and a recent court ruling found that uploading your own content for personal storage could be infringement. Still, it’s yet another victory for entertainment industry lobbyists who will do anything possible to pass laws to protect old business models.

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Comments on “Japan Makes Private Copying Illegal”

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45 Comments
Rob R. (profile) says:

Man, I really hope this gets overturned. It will stop all copying of all media everywhere.!

Oh, wait. No it won’t!

The people that copy things illegally will KEEP doing it and people (like me) that make real backup copies of disks they really bought will keep doing so.

If the movie industry thinks a person will small children that do not take care of the movie disks is going to re-purchase movies when they get damaged by the kids – they’re stoned. I back up the movie and put the original in a locked box. The kids get to watch the backup copy and if they break it I can make a new one for about $0.09 instead of having to buy another one for $4.99-24.99. I will keep doing it this way. If they make it so I cannot back up my movies then I’ll simply stop buying movies at all. Their loss, not mine.

lancehassan (profile) says:

Re: Life goes on...

the problem being, that now they will have or assume the right to use the kind of Draconian copyright protection that will break hardware. Like the Windows EULA, you no longer own what you paid for, you are paying for the disc not the content. The good news is that the revolution will not be televised sparing us watching all the lawyers lined up on the wall executed.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Theft of the Public Domain

Billboard.biz wrote: “The Japanese parliament has passed an amendment to the existing Copyright Law that extends further protections to copyright holders and, for the first time, makes it illegal for private users to download copyrighted material that has been uploaded without the rights holders’ permission.”

While one has a right to protect their property, they do not have the right of protecting it by taking (stealing) the rights of others.

Additionally; once again, we have a “new” property right that the copyright owner did not previously possess. This is inappropriately characterized as “protecting” the copyright owner. The reality is that what was legal is now being made illegal. Really this is an aggrandizement of their so-called property right, not protect it.

kirillian (profile) says:

Re: Theft of the Public Domain

Now THIS statement makes sense.
If only all those Anonymous Cowards could come to understand that citizens have rights granted in the Constitution. Corporations do not. Corporations are granted derived rights through laws. Hence why individual rights supersede and should trump corporate rights and privileges. The fact that they currently do not is rather reminiscent of the situation that caused the Declaration of Independence to be signed – basic rights were being abused for the benefit of those in power.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Theft of the Public Domain

Perhaps of interest…Courtney Whitney and Milo Rowell, two military officers on Douglas MacArthur’s staff, are generally considered to be the most prominent drafters of the current Japanese Constitution. In a broad sense it might be fair to suggest that some basic principles of the US Constitution are embraced in the document.

IanK says:

Re: When copying is outlawed only outlaws will copy

Agreed. This won’t change a thing.

And are any of you actually familiar with Japan? In Japan, you can go and rent music CDs. Many people rent a CD at the same store where they’d rent a DVD, and rip the CD. It’s always more likely that a person will rip a CD rather than a DVD, because good songs are worth frequent repeated play, whereas movies may only be watched a few times before you feel the urge of watching it again.

It’s also significantly easier and faster to copy a music CD. Once you pop a CD into the computer, the first thing it does is ask whether you’d like to copy it or not.

This law is just a law. It won’t change behaviour.

Jeff (profile) says:

I wonder...

if companies like Sony realize that this could hurt them.

If some one buys a CD but wants to listen to the music on an MP3 player, they are breaking the law in ripping the disk.

This puts companies that make the players in a position to either promoting electronic distribution models or avoiding the realization that they are potentially promoting illegal activities (at least in Japan).

Anonymous Coward says:

If US copyright law was amended in a manner akin to what has reportedly been passed in Japan (I say reportedly because I have found no english translation of the legislation) I daresay that comments here would border on ecstatic.

As I understand things (again, I have not seen the legislation), a P2P downloader can be deemed to have infringed copyright if the downloader knows at the time of downloading that the file being downloaded was “placed” on the internet without the authorization of the copyright holder. This is a significant limitation that does not exist under US copyright law.

Moreover, it is reported that there are no financial repercussions to downloaders in the event they are deemed to have downloaded with knowledge as noted above. Under US law there are financial repercussions, some of which can be very significant to the ordinary downloader.

I find it difficult to join an anti-RIAA rally on the basis of this clearly toothless tiger.

Headbhang (profile) says:

Ah, the poll.

It’s a bit ironic that on the same page from the original link they have the poll titled:

“Despite fears about the economy, the concert business seems poised for strong business this summer. Are economic concerns curbing the number of concerts you plan to see this summer season?”

The results so far:
15% – No, I’m seeing more shows than I typically see:
36% – I’m planning on attending roughly the same number of concerts this summer.
49% – Yes, I’ve been hit by the recession and won’t be going to as many.

So yeah, piracy is killing the music industry alright.

YouAreWrong says:

masnick misleading you again

Masnick — once again, you’re making this new law sound like something it is not. Based on the article you linked to, the new law sounds only like it bans filesharing — not “private copying.” When you say “private copying” you’ve led at least a few commenters above to believe this law covers personal copying which is nowhere in the article. So congratulations. You are trolling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: masnick misleading you again

It is typical of Mike’s work, he tends to do the “lead a horse to water” thing with his readers, hoping to get them morally outraged. More often than not, the story is either a stretch, or minimally related to the point he is trying to extract from it.

There have been a number of clear factual errors made on this blogs in the last couple of weeks (like the number of Pirate Party people elected), so this latest stretch of the truth shouldn’t shock anyone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: masnick misleading you again

I agree, the techdirt summary reads nothing like to source article. The law is not about private copying.

A loophole in current laws is that only persons distributing copyrighted content without the owner’s consent can be sued. The receiving end is most of the time excluded as there is no way to know whether the distributor indeed had the required consent.

This closes the loophole by putting the onus on the receiving end to verify that he is obtaining material from a legal source.

Basically, the same could apply to buying a CD in a store. Shall we ask for proof that they are allowed to sell it?

The techdirt article is misleading and getting ppl up in arms over the wrong problem.

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