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crime

First convictions in Japan handed down to YouTube movie recap posters

29 Comments
By SoraNews24

Early this year we reported on the arrest of three people for posting 10-minutes videos on YouTube that gave the full synopsis of movies in subtitles or narration over clips or still images from the film. Known as “fast movies” in Japan, these videos are not uncommon, but on 16 November, all three were found guilty of copyright infringement for posting them, making this the first conviction of its kind in the country.

One defendant was given a four-year suspended sentence of two years in prison and two million yen, while the other two received three-year suspended sentences of one and a half years in prison and fines of one million and 500,000 yen each.

▼ A news report on the convictions

Although the sentences were all suspended, the penalties for breaking probation are especially high for copyright infringement which averages at about a 300,000 yen fine for a first-time offense, according to lawyer Hiroyuki Nakajima who was involved in the case.

During the trial, the prosecution successfully argued that the defendants’ goal was clearly to make profit and that they were aware of wrongdoing since they avoided posting movies by companies that had a reputation for claiming infringement. Moreover, it would seem that the judge wanted to make an example out of these three as a deterrence against posting unauthorized movie recaps online.

Even in the court of public opinion, most people in online comments seemed to agree with the sentencing and hoped to see more of it in the future.

“I think just a real fine would be effective. Then you’d see uploaders pull down their videos one after another.”

“Please crack down even more.”

“I hope that all unauthorized reproduction of manga, anime, and all that will be eliminated.”

“I’m surprised people would do that in the first place. It’s only natural to get caught.”

“Good.”

“I remember at one point those videos were everywhere. I wonder if we’ll see more trials like this in the future.”

“Thanks to fast movies, I was able to find ones that I wanted to watch. On the other hand, I was also turned off some movies.”

While there are many other fast movie videos online, they don’t all necessarily constitute copyright infringement. Much like in other countries, Japanese law takes into consideration the work’s length, purpose, creativity, and harm to the original copyright holder.

Still, when a video that collects ad revenue is more or less just a condensed version of a major motion picture, the window of not getting hit with a criminal conviction is rather narrow. Once again in cases like this, the golden rule to not being punished is to get permission of the copyright holder in advance. It never hurts to ask, but it can hurt a whole lot not to.

Source: Bengoshi Dot Com NewsOtaku.com

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Evangelion creators issue multilingual warning for pirated copies, preview final film’s third act

-- Manga author who groped girl’s breasts on Tokyo street won’t have to spend any time in jail

-- Three people become first arrested in Japan for posting 10-minute movie recap on YouTube

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
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*Thanks to fast movies, I was able to find ones that I wanted to watch. On the other hand,* I was also turned off some movies.

Thr real reason they were prosecuted. Negative reviews are illegal, didn’t you know that?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

So they did a YouTube Spoiler Review and got 4 years and 2 million yen fine.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

They gave a review with spoilers as subtitles, it's not like they pirated the movie, they didn't even use the trailer.

This is just wrong

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Who would want to watch a condensed

spoiler of a movie? With a guy talking over it or subtitled with his own stupid opnion to boot.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Youtube has a Fair Use Policy that allows people to reuse copyrighted material so long as they follow certain guidelines. Why was this not taken into account? Videos like these are uploaded all the time.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

What's the crime? How is that any different than reading a movie review from a film critic. Nearly half of reviews have spoilers anyway. I'm guessing this has less to do with copyright infringement than the YouTube ad revenue.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I am not sure about this one.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And stuff like this is why people set up corporations offshore.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I do not see a point of such recaps and also how different is it from a review with spoiler and a few screen shots + trailers that are available at IMDB. If I want to see a movie, I would watch it in it's entirety not a 10 minute recap. Justice has not been done in this case, their difference team was too weak!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yeah, focus on these “criminals” when there are legitimate psychos, abusers and killers out there that need to be locked for life.

Good to see your priorities are in order there, Japan.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Mentally ill lawyers.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@purple_depressed_bacon

Youtube has a Fair Use Policy that allows people to reuse copyrighted material so long as they follow certain guidelines. Why was this not taken into account?

US "fair use" is different from Japan's "fair use".

Youtube was following US "fair use" practice and were allowing those recap videos.

Japan's definition of fair use is far more restrictive.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

As far as I am aware, Japan does not really have any “fair use” clauses.

The college I used to work at had the library remove all audio visual material, and we were banned from using AV in lesson. Even linking to YouTube was forbidden.

The rules here are insane.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I’ll add that if you take a photograph of your friends and one of them is wearing a Pokémon T-shirt, you are technically infringing copyright.

Use Twitch or Discord for streaming games you play? Technically illegal in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You know what the worse thing was? According to the person who use his voice to recap the movies, he told the people who interview him that when the owner the channel ask him to do the voice to earn some money, the recruit had ask him if it was legal or not. And the owner told him it was perfectly fine and he had ask a lawyer advice before starting to do it.

The recruit actually believe him thinking it was fine and took the job. The 3 people involve actually never even met each other directly or know each other. Imagine his shock when the police came.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm confused - why is this a crime? We see stuff like this all the time on YouTube.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I've seen lots of official trailers which give away the whole plot to the extend that I longer want to see the movie.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

*Early this year we reported on the arrest of three people for posting 10-minutes videos on YouTube that gave the full synopsis of movies in subtitles or narration over clips or still images from the film. *

Err, more than copyright infringement, this sounds more like "spoiler alert infringement"? They arrest people for that? No, really? What's next, the police booting down your door when you discuss a movie with your wife at home?

No, really????

Either this article is lacks key details or this is just insane!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Never forget: corporations are more important than people... humans should not go up against corporations.

These guys should do a lesser crime next time, like defraud a family member or stalk a co-worker.

Actually, what am l saying? Everyone knows that corporations are people... so never-mind.

/endofsarcasm

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

BlackFlagCitizenToday 11:07 am JST

I'm confused - why is this a crime? We see stuff like this all the time on YouTube.

Its because Japan is soo peaceful living in harmony the Jcops have nothing better to do than pull over foreigners on a bicycle wondering if it was stolen or not as they scan that yellow bar tag. Or pulling you over wondering if you have a visa.... But they have time to browse YouTube.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As a youtuber I think one should be recording Japanese car drivers and there license place for everytime they run a red light in the residential areas so the jcops will love you for doing there job they are not doing and passing the videos over so they get a ticket. Infact I think thats a good idea as it happens all the time and you will make people think twice before running a red light.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I remember a few years back someone on Youtube posted 5-minute condensed episodes of Charlie's Angels which was really convenient. They showed only the important bits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You know what's really wrong and a crime?

All the content and anime leaving Japan and being illegally pirated online for Free with the original creators who spend 12+ hours a day receiving nothing!

You go overseas and the vast majority of Japanese content, especially Anime is completely free and easy to steal\pirate!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Not to mention that animation originally comes from europe and thats foreign.

You probably think Japan invented it .

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

“*SPOILERS!**” ahead. -* Without this disclaimer at the beginning of ANY review of novels, manga, anime & films, it’s really unfair to the creators and other people who toiled to bring this entertainment to consumers. Furthermore, the individual members of the intended audience should be given a significant amount of time to enjoy their own subjective experience of the material.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, @ReasonandWisdomNippon 11:11pm international piracy of IPOs is wrong and a crime. That being added to the conversation, will you now turn your accusations toward the true, proximate villains in the manga & anime industries? - Those publishers and distributors that continue to fail to pay for services rendered and subsequent royalties to, as you’ve expressed, the original content creators?

*- @ReasonandWisdomNippon** Nov 21 11:11pm: You know what's really wrong and a crime?*

*All the content and anime leaving Japan and being illegally pirated online for Free *with the original creators who spend 12+ hours a day receiving nothing!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No crime was committed here just Japanese injustice system at its same old tricks looking after vested interests.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan has always had a really weird and restrictive attitude towards copyright laws, so this doesn't really surprise me. It doesn't matter if everyone else has realised by now that these kinds of videos actually help product sales, Japan will crack down on them.

There are very few legal paths to obtaining a lot of Japanese media overseas too, which just makes people pirate them because they have few other options. Online marketplaces have long since discovered that if you make it easy for people to legitimately purchase things, and many of them will. Don't even get me started on how impossible the Japanese music industry is to access compared to something like K-Pop, which has embraced the internet.

There's no reason these people should be charged with anything, the studios should honestly probably support them for the free publicity. If Japan really must pursue this they should have just sent a C&D first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

During the trial, the prosecution successfully argued

This is Japan, the prosecution successfully argues whatever it wants 99% of the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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