Photo: Pakutaso
crime

Japanese police make first-ever YouTuber arrest for uploading video game gameplay videos

24 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

In the most basic terms, the plot of video game "Steins;Gate" involves sending messages into the past in order to set changes in motion that will improve the present and future. Odds are that’s something that Shinobu Yoshida wishes he could do right now.

The 52-year-old resident of Nagoya has become the first person arrested in Japan for illegally uploading video game gameplay videos to YouTube. The charges stem from a trio of gameplay videos of "Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace," an entry in the franchise which was initially released in 2013 and most recently ported to the Nintendo Switch, Sony’s PlayStation 4, and Windows in 2019. The videos, which were monetized and collecting ad revenue, contained the game’s ending.

In addition to the gameplay videos, Yoshida was also found to have uploaded videos of the "Steins;Gate" anime adaptation and "Spy x Family" anime. These were not complete episodes, but instead have been reported as “fast content” or netabare videos. In Japan, “fast content” is a term used to describe condensed versions of a series episode or movie. “Netabare” translates most closely to “spoiler,” but in criminal discussions is generally used in reference to videos that extensively show the ending of a published work, as opposed to short reveal-the-plot-twist clips such as Darth Vader saying “I am your father.” Yoshida also reportedly added captions and narration to some or all of the anime videos.

▼ "Steins;Gate Zero" preview from the official Kadokawa Anime YouTube channel

At the current time, non-monetized video game gameplay videos from Japanese uploaders aren’t hard to find on YouTube. A key difference, though, at least in the eyes of "Steins;Gate" rights holder Kadokawa, may be the type of game involved in this case. "Steins;Gate" is a visual novel, and as the name implies, the gameplay consists primarily of reading, with few prompts or inputs required by the player. With the intended appeal being much more watching the narrative unfold than directly controlling the onscreen action, visual novels are, comparatively, closer than other games to a book or movie. Because of that, watching a video of "Steins;Gate" gameplay is arguably a far more viable substitute for playing (and buying) the game for oneself than it would be with a game with a higher degree of interactivity for the player.

Yoshida has admitted to the charges, saying “I knew it was illegal, even as I was doing it.” In a statement following his arrest, CODA, Japan’s Content Overseas Distribution Promotion Organization, asserted that, “in principle,” any use of gameplay videos requires permission from the rights holder.

Source: Automaton via JinNHK

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Someone made a fake Street Fighter II for Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, and it’s incredibly detailed

-- Attack on Titan gets arcade game by Capcom

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

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Copyright tantrums should be civil, not criminal. The company, in reality, gets more customers by people doing this.

So this company is like The Eagles of gaming. The Eagles have 40 people scouring the internet all day and night to take down 5 seconds of a song, when those little snippets are introducing another generation to their music, who pay for downloads and subscription to Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

Small minded people.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Seems a bit OTT to me, haven’t the old bill got better things to do.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

So those annoying youtuber that doing silly prank on the street is considered less harmless to a person who just record their gameplay inside their room in the eye of law in Japan?

2 ( +15 / -13 )

I wonder how Apple feels about their logo in the image alone with this story.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

What a joke..

11 ( +18 / -7 )

“Netabare” translates most closely to “spoiler,” but in criminal discussions is generally used in reference to videos that extensively show the ending of a published work, as opposed to short reveal-the-plot-twist clips such as Darth Vader saying “I am your father.”

Uh oh! Couldn't that in and if itself be considered "netabare"? Look out  JT the out of touch draconian internet police might be coming for you next.

As usual Japanese developers very out of touch with their communities. Nintendo and Square Enix in particular are legendary for this sort of thing.

Most other developers and publishers have long since figured out that this sort if content only helps promote their games and nurturing and working alongside such communities is hugely beneficial for them. You effectively have a small army of loyal promoters advertising for you for free. From Soft the makers of Elden Ring and the Dark Souls series have done a great jib with this.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

So stupid, do magazines need permission to do reviews? Are movies going to sue anyone that gives away spoilers?

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Well Jpopo better go arrest every game streaming YouTuber because it’s unfair and greedy. There are thousands of streamers online go fish jcop as you have nothing more important to do than to try arresting a rappist or murder

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

"jcop as you have nothing more important to do than to try arresting a rappist or murder."

I agree about murderers, but leave the rappers alone.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

There should be a time limit put on all these copyrights, after all it is a public property after all the profits were made and bills paid off, you can't claim something for ever while collecting public funds, those who can afford it will pay at first but after 10 or 15 years it should be DONATED so everyone can enjoy it, it is the right business style and ethics.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

JT. I hope you got got permission to link that YouTube video in your story. You could be next…

These game developers are doing themselves more harm than good. Most consumers will still play the games, but will find ways not to pay if they don’t feel like the creators support the community.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Never heard of something like Steins;Gate and I am very optimistic to exist without knowing about it also in the future. lol

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They should have thanked him for free advertisement, not press charges I hadn’t heard any of those games until now. It sounds like this arrest is a game to get the name of the video games on a news article without paying for the ad fee.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good to see that our taxes are hard at work policing cyber space !

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

There should be a time limit put on all these copyrights

There is, in Japan it is 70 years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They can just have Youtube take the videos down - they didn't have to arrest them

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I remember back in the day, we had copies of books and magazines that had all the cheat codes and tips and tricks to beating certain levels you got stuck on. I wonder if these game companies ever tried arresting the publisher? The modern version of this is Youtube and watching someone else play the entire campaign sometimes gives you hints on levels you are stuck on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese police are operating at the behest of private companies. How this could be in the people's best interests evades me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The copyright time limits are too long. © 2023 Peter Neil

This comment many not be reproduced in whole or in part without the expressed written

permission of the author.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Pirating is a crime ... Oh poor you officer you know it's illegal. Find the best lawyer now to save you!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japanese companies seems to never look to overseas to learn, I do understand that this game is a bit special since it's more like movie than an actual game, but overall they seem to push the law towards all gameplay videos being illegal. Meanwhile EA and Activision is paying individual streamers millions to play their game on release. Because they have learnt that's really good cost performance marketing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So let me get this straight! Is it illegal to upload ANY game play videos to Youtube from Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So let me get this straight! Is it illegal to upload ANY game play videos to Youtube from Japan?

technically yes! And not just japan. Copywrite extends to gameplay videos for some reason but no company is dumb enough to enforce it for the massive backlash that comes with it.

the company in question here ALWAYS reminds people “don’t upload footage after x point please, it’s spoilers and we might have to respond legally “ NINTENDO too has tried before and immediately got push out of it by its fan base refusing to freely make content that they would claim as their own if it had any of their games in it.

it’s dumb and they never would hang themselves in NA/EU region like this where fans are outspoken and would rally against them. Japan though… roll over city.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, is Twitch banned, censored, and illegal?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites