A bill has been approved in Japan that will see illegal music downloaders risk facing up to two years in jail or fines in the amount of AU$25,000. From October this year, illegal downloaders of copyrighted music and videos could face these harsh penalties after the bill was passed by a vote of 221-12 through the Upper House of the Japanese Diet.
Upper House member Yuko Mori, told the Japan Times that the law will only target those aware they are downloading illegal material.
“We shouldn’t risk making the general public — including youths — the subject of criminal investigations,” said Mori.
The news may seem a drastic measure in terms of the rest of the world, but while uploading and downloading copyrighted material has been illegal in Japan for years, it has only ever prosecuted the uploaders until now, serving fines of up to 10 million yen (AU$125,000) or a sentence of ten years in prison.
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