Japan Comes Down Hard On Pirates

The Japanese may soon find themselves being jailed or fined for something as simple as copying a DVD’s content into their hard drives.

A proposed law – set to come into effect next year – could make unauthorised copies or downloads of digital content a crime. It’s currently being debated by the country’s Upper House.

“Allowing illegal downloads to exist as they do now will harm the growth of the Internet,” Wired reported Lower House member Hakubun Shimomura as saying.

Apart from affecting civilians who want to back up data, the law is also set to cover any software designed to beat copyright protection, as well as the uploading, downloading and sale of any copied data.

And in case you think this is a joke, the penalty for committing these offences is severe: two years in prison or as much as two million yen in fines.

Ah, Japan…

(Source: Wired; Pirate photo: ImmortalGeisha)