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Jail For File-Sharing Not Enough, Labels Want ISP-Level Spying Regime

From October, knowingly uploading or simply downloading copyrighted material from the Internet will be a criminal offense subject to jail sentences in Japan. But despite now having the ultimate deterrent, it’s still not enough for the Recording Industry Association of Japan. The group is now pressing for ISPs to install spying technologies that will automatically block unauthorized uploads.

Earlier this week, Japan approved an amendment to its Copyright Law that will soon give the authorities the power to jail Internet users for up to two years for simply downloading copyright material.

Uploading copyright material has been illegal for some time, but the criminalization of downloading has caused some to worry whether simply viewing a pirate music video on YouTube could render people liable to prosecution.

Understandably this kind of talk has the potential to lead to a climate of fear among Internet media consumers, but if that leads to increased sales at authorized outlets rightsholders won’t be too disappointed. In fact, after lobbying hard for this tough copyright law amendment, that will be very much “mission accomplished.”

Not surprisingly though, even the toughest of sanctions aren’t going to stop the big recording labels coming back for more mechanisms to protect their interests. And that they have.


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Cut The Middlemen

Of course, the ISP (middlemen) is one of InterNet's biggest weaknesses.