Downloading illegal games in Japan: From now on a fee of 20.000 euro or two years jail time

llegal downloads are for publishers still a big problem. So they usually lose (or lost) many sales on PC and PlayStation 2, PSP, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, Wii. In their opinion illegal downloading therefore has to be severely punished.

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Kingsora2121d ago

Soon: rapers, muderers sitting together in prison with the boy next door that downloaded one PSP game

blumatt2120d ago (Edited 2120d ago )

Well, it's pretty simple then: Pay for your games. lol

Is it really that hard? People need to pay for their music, movies, and games.

Side note, why are they paying in Euros and not in Yen? lol

Edit: So, people should get all their games for free?? Yeah, of course, that makes so much sense. /s That does suck about the price, but I mean let's say new cars cost way too much, does that mean you should be able to go steal one of those? Of course not!!

Simon_Brezhnev2120d ago

Well Japanese do rape their consumers. I bet new games still cost like 100usd there if not more.

Blankman852120d ago

I don't understand why blumatt has disagrees. If you're gonna steal, be prepared to do the time if you're caught. It's that simple.

PS3Freak2120d ago Show
LightofDarkness2120d ago

You've over-simplified the nature of copyright infringement far too much there, matt. The car analogy is simply irrelevant. I don't have the ability to download a new car with a few clicks of the mouse, and not actually deprive the original owner of their car.

In a world where that was possible, nobody would pay for cars ever again. There's no need to, because our economy assigns value based on the supply/demand ratio. Infinite, easily available supply = no value. It's practically air at that point. That is the unfortunate nature of digital media. It is the thread that unravels the entire structure of the economy, and how we can value art.

It's not so simple as giving the government broad powers to prosecute and impose incredibly unnecessary sentences that don't fit the crime. Grand theft should land you in prison, downloading a $60 videogame should result in either recompense (paying the publisher for the game, with perhaps a small punitive charge), or some form of probationary or community service related sentence if the defendant can't pay. However, we can't just send little Billy down the street to federal prison where we'll only turn him into an actual hardened criminal (I think we can all agree we don't need any more of those), especially when the crime is fairly trivial in reality.

It needs a much bigger discussion, and current methods of dealing with it are not viable.

MikeMyers2120d ago (Edited 2120d ago )

LightofDarkness is right, the penalty should fit the crime. However it is doubtful little Billy will get prison time for downloading one game. It is probably a scale they can use so if little Billy opens up a shop on the street and sells copies then he could go to prison.

This is a scare tactic by having big fines and the threat of jail time to discourage people from pirating. If they officially announced you will only get a slap on the wrist for one game then most people would ignore it. I also don't understand the euro being mentioned and not the yen.

The fact is we should all be paying for our games if we want to continue playing them in the future.

nukeitall2120d ago


I completely agree. Why on earth are Japan spending hard earned tax money on housing petty criminals (if you can even call it that) in jail?

Let's spend the money where it matters, and it ain't in copyright infringement!

creatchee2120d ago

I disagree with LightofDarkness. The point of a legal punishment is not to get back an equal or slightly greater value from said punishment - it is to deter people from committing the crime in the first place.

Example - if the punishment for stealing a $60 game was $80, then the risk is not that great. You weigh free vs an extra $20, decide that there is more benefit to take a chance than dealing with negative reactions, and steal the game. But But if the punishment was $50,000 and jail time, is it an automatically easy choice anymore?

For the people who still decide to pirate at that point, they deserve any punishment they get. Theu took something that did not belong to them without offering compensation. They are thieves. They are criminals.

Fez2120d ago (Edited 2120d ago )

In that case every crime should result in life in prison or the death penalty. Jay walking... death! Stealing a penny chew... death! They deserve any punishment they get, they are thieves and jay walkers. They are criminals.

People probably disagreed because the punishment is so far out of proportion.

SandWitch2120d ago (Edited 2120d ago )

A theft is not a theft if you don't take the original copy. Imagine that you find a ripped DVD (e.g. with pirated movie) in the street. If you take the DVD - you are thief? I think not. The same is when you find pirated software on the internet.

People, who rip pirated software and upload it to the internet should take all the responsibility and they should be called criminals.

I buy games myselft, but calling pirates a real criminals and putting them into jail is just nonsense IMO.

creatchee2120d ago

Wow Fez - way to blow that out of proportion.

But stealing a penny chew is the same as stealing a video game is the same as stealing a diamond ring (although laws exist where value determines the severity of the crime). It's all stealing.

And jaywalking is a crime because it puts the lives of drivers and pedestrians in danger. Oh sure - it's no big deal when there's no traffic, but some people grossly underestimate their ability to cross the street in a timely fashion, cause accidents, and end up killing people or costing tons of money I repair, hospital, and litigation expenses.


Not such a fun crime anymore, is it?

Fez2120d ago (Edited 2120d ago )

Well they know the punishment...death. For the people who still decide to steal a penny chew at that point, they deserve any punishment they get.

SilentNegotiator2120d ago

No problem, since Japan is so good about doing world wide rele-

Oh wait...

hkgamer2120d ago

Price is in Euros because it is a Dutch site.

Don't understand why you have that many disagrees though. People should pay for things that are not available for free, especially items that are not a neccesity.
Gaming is for entertainment reasons only, if you cannot afford it then wait for a price drop, buy it second hand or borrow it off a friend(I understand that renting is not allowed in Japan).


You cannot compare game prices from one country to another, Japan's economy is different. They probably earn alot more than people in the US. If you still feel you are getting ripped off then just don't support that industry or complain to the press. Japanese publishers/retailers believe that the market price is that much, similar to how Armani or Prada pricing their items. Only companies that cannot do that are petrol(gas) companies because the governemtn will intervene since it is classed as a neccesity.

@light of darkness

I understand what you are saying, but the new ammendment to the law is just a maximum penalty. Laws are also different in each country and for Japan I think it is only a scare tactic or maybe something to tell people that illegal download is bad for the society.

If people pirate, companies will make less money, therefore pay less taxes or worst case scenario go bankrupt and leave thousands unemployed therefore leading to a whole load of tax money gone.

completely agree, or maybe they should make a new law, physical theft = physical jail, digital theft = internet ban for life. =D
Don't think anyone can survive without the internet in this day and age.

I think if you find something on the floor you are supposed to report it or take it to the police. It's like finding a wallet on the floor and keeping it, that is not allowed. Or in this case, which is seeking out sites to illegally download is the same as scoping busy areas to see if anyone drops something and then taking it for yourself. It is not like finders keepers.

OK... ranted on for enough.

gaffyh2120d ago

Japan is probably one of the few countries where not many people actually pirate games, because it is not part of their culture. This legislation is created to prevent that even further. I don't agree with the harshness of it, but you can see why they're doing it. Japanese gamers actually tend to buy games unlike gamers in the West.

PopRocks3592120d ago

"The punishment should fit the crime."

Why do I get the feeling that this is coming from people who strongly believe that there is no crime in this instance at all?

ChocolateGiddyUp2120d ago

"new cars cost way too much, does that mean you should be able to go steal one of those? Of course not!!"

If stealing cars were as easy as downloading music and movies, we'd all have a fleet of Lamborghinis.

Dir_en_grey2120d ago (Edited 2120d ago )

Nah Japan actually caught on to pirating with the DS pirate cart "Magic Controller/MagiCon".

Every middle school kid would want one and their moms will just buy it for them without knowing what it is. People selling it were even out right advertising it on their store fronts. They would get fined and told to take down the signs but stores would just start selling it a week later after they got caught and fined. Pretty much every mom and pop shops would sell them.

Kids learned to install firmware on the PSP and that is pretty wide spread in Japan too.

And all that created a bunch of kids that now knows how to pirate and the possibility of finding out how through the internet, pretty much just like any other country. They would brag on their twitter about their new pirated games without even knowing or fearing the law.

It is a wide spread problem so this is most likely why this law was created to bring focus and let people know that it is a crime to pirate and DL illegal stuff.

They won't be sending people off to jail left and right, they'll just fine them/parents as a warning.

Yeah people don't care about internet pirating and think they have the right to because it's so easy and risk free

extermin8or2120d ago

I agree generally although I fully intend to sell my copy of skyrim on ps3 and when I eventually get a new laptop hopefully later this month; pirate the pc version of the game; purely to spite them because I bought the game day one and they've just stuck 2 fingers up at ps3 players from day one; the lack of communication about when issues will be delayed, they only announced dlc timed exclusivity just after the games release instead of before so many people bought it; it wouldn't have stopped me but I would have liked to know; then quietly quietly announcing the ps3 may never get the dlc for skyrim ever; I want the full post launch support they had been discussing prior to launch not just some of it, they should have tested that the engine/game functioned on ps3 correctly. So therefore I refuse to give them any more of my money; feels like they already robbed me .... Only reason I'd give them money is if Skyrim gets Dawnguard fully working before otherwise.. but otherwise I disagree with pirating a game unless it's in protest almost and for a good reason :p

doogiebear2119d ago

@ LightOfDarkness: You sir are a very ration and mild tempered individual. Please run for President, because I dont like our choices here in America.

Elwenil2119d ago

The sheer amount of thieves, criminal apologists, immature morons with overblown senses of entitlement and all around fools in this thread sicken me. Some of you need a good lesson in the finer points of property ownership and the simple black and white difference between right and wrong. Grow up, plain and simple.



I understand a lot of people feel that way, but that doesn't entitle you to pirate the game, specially if you sell your copy (since you can't even clain it's a backup).

If the game doesn't work as advertised, start going back to the store and asking for a refund. If everyone would do that retailers would start passing the problem onto distribution/publishers and, eventually, the gaming industry would have to quit the "unfinished releasing" tactic and start making sure to support gamers correctly. Companies don't like wasting money.

The same goes for worthless or cut-off DLCs or pre-order bonuses, everyone complains about it, but you don't see sales decreasing for either uncomplete games or their would-be expansions. Stop buying and they'll either adapt or go out of business.

+ Show (18) more repliesLast reply 2119d ago
MMOGames2120d ago

It says downloaders won't actively be detected, and only the owner of the pirated material may lodge a complaint through the courts. That means in order to do that, the owner would have to detect it themselves - which may have some privacy invasion laws.

Seems like a scare tactic, put a big penalty on it, but make it so hard to convict that no one actually bothers. Hope everyone gets scared and crime goes down.

SilentNegotiator2120d ago

LOL, in that case, they should start their own website where you can pirate their stuff. They'd probably make more money from non-Japanese regions that way.

neogeo2119d ago (Edited 2119d ago )

I will tell you how this fails in the USA. The average prisoner in America cost tax payers almost $22k per year. So If someone steals a $60 game I'm not willing to help pay 44k for it.

miyamoto2120d ago

So that means its safer to own a PS3 in Japan, then... where its not too easy to pirate games for.

t0mmyb0y2120d ago

All I know is my gut says maybe a certain place is effed. Not saying that place is mentioned in this article, but they are, and I would be suicidal if I lived there too.

Christopher2119d ago

Why not? They already sit next to embezzlers and home robbers.

sjaakiejj2119d ago

Theft is a serious offense. Perhaps not as serious as rape and murder, but still not to be taken lightly.

There's plenty of people in jail for a crime that shouldn't have gotten them there, but I don't believe that Piracy is one of them.

born2live2119d ago

For the 100th time, copying is not stealing! Get that in your head!! Using copyrighted material for a profit without authorization from the author is a crime! Making a copy for your own use, without distribution, should be a misdemeanor at worst.

sjaakiejj2119d ago

"Making a copy for your own use, without distribution, should be a misdemeanor at worst."

The product was made by someone. That someone is selling it. You are acquiring it without paying them, and without their permission. On top of that, you're depriving the owner of the monetary value attached to that product.

That's pretty close to the definition of theft - The wrongful taking of personal goods or property.

I know people like to 'moralize' piracy in order to feel better about themselves, but you're still taking what isn't yours, regardless of if it's copying or taking the physical object.

born2live2119d ago (Edited 2119d ago )


You assume that, if someone did not copy a game, he would probably have bought it - that's a false assumption. He would most likely just not play that game, or buy it from a cheaper source (second hand), which still would not generate any more revenues for the copyright holder! Piracy is not nearly as damaging as they would like you to think. No money is stolen from the guy who made the game because you can't prove that he would have made that money in the first place! They will make you think that there are billions of dollars lost on piracy when the actual truth is that the money was never there in the first place!

Don't let their propaganda get to you.

I agree though that piracy is not good from a moral standpoint, but of all the crimes in the world, on a scale of 1 to 10, it scores a -1. I agree that there should be a fine, but it should be proportional to the "crime" (5-10 times the lowest price on the market seems fair to me - punitive enough, without being ruinous - as far as I know, no one died of hunger because 1 individual made a copy of a game). A lot of our fellow bloggers above seem to agree that the punishment suggested in this article is not proportional to the crime (who gave the example of a prisoner costing $22k a year to taxpayers vs a game that is worth at most $60? This is sheer stupidity, and obviously the work of lobbyists - no sane person would think that $60 is worth 2 years of prison)

The real criminal is the uploader - it is possible to prove that the uploader is depriving the copyrightholder of a source of revenue. But it's much harder to find the uploader, isn't it... So, instead of going after him, which is very demanding in time and ressources, they are going after kids, students, and single moms, who can't defend themselves because they lack the monetary ressources to do so, and fine them outrageous amounts of money or sue them with a panel of corporate lawyers to make up for not being able to find that 1 guy who uploaded the file.

Piracy may be morally reprehensible, but with laws like that, you are not protecting the citizens - you are giving more rights to a company (legal entity) than to an actual human being (assuming that the copyright is held by a company, which it is, in most circumstances)!

Edit: and your reasoning is hypocritical. EVERYONE has infringed a copyright at least once in their lives, be it by photocopying parts of a book, recording a tv program or radio show, etc. Have the decency to admit it, and then I dare you to say that you should have done prison for that crime.

rainslacker2119d ago (Edited 2119d ago )


Speaking for the US laws here since I don't know about Japan.

pirating is not stealing, it's copyright infringement. Whether or not you resell the copy is irrelevant. The owner of the copyright is well within their rights to pursue legal action against you. There were some record labels that pursued this pretty heavily before the advent of iTunes and similar services.

Technically you are allowed to make a copy of any software you own. So if you have an original copy that you purchased of the software, then yes you can have a copy. This was settled by the courts during the VHS tape days.

If you do not own the original copy of the software then yes you can make a copy of it, however you are not allowed to use it. All major software comes with licensing agreements, and part of that agreement is to not use an un-purchased copy of said software. Some do say that you can not have a backup, however, as said above the courts said that you are allowed to.

It really bothers me that so many people are so oblivious to how wrong downloading media is, when it's meant to replace purchasing. There are a few examples where I think it's not a bad thing; such as demoing a CD you want to buy, and getting a DRM free version of a game you purchased(although technically against EULA).

I pirated for many years back in the PS1/PS2 days, I even installed mod chips for various systems. But it was the people like you who try to justify what you do, instead of just admitting that you are violating copyright laws, that made me realize that I was no better than a common thief.

Edit @ born: I read your response that you wrote while I was typing this, and think I shouldn't have called you out, but other than that my points still stand.

sjaakiejj2119d ago (Edited 2119d ago )

"Have the decency to admit it, and then I dare you to say that you should have done prison for that crime."

That's kind of the problem. Yes, I have done it, as has everyone else, and I have no problems with admitting it. The difference is that I feel guilty about having done it, unlike the people who try to justify that act.

And yes, I should have had the risk of being prosecuted like any other criminal or thief while committing those acts of piracy. The difference is that I was still a child when I did it, and as I grew older I started to understand what I was actually doing.

And no, I never said that a pirated game is an otherwise guaranteed buy. Just like a shoplifter probably wouldn't have bought the products that they stole. Does that make it okay for him to take them? On that note, where do you draw the line? Why is it okay for someone to download a game, but not to steal it from a store shelf? It's the same thing, the person probably wouldn't have bought it, yet he still owns a product that isn't his.

That's my point. If you want to experience a game, pay for it.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2119d ago
jerethdagryphon2119d ago

Gynga: the idea that its not theft because you didnt take a physical copy

is flawed completely , data can be copied infinitely your right. but does that give the right of ownership to the owner of a copy.

it doesnt if i hack your computer and download all of its data is that theft.

the art you made, story's you've written, inventions you designed,

its all mine now but i haven't taken the original.
i can now give that shiny new os you were planning to sell away cause well its not theft.

is that really how you see things if so you got problems.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 2119d ago
Grenade2120d ago

Why do the Japanese have to pay in Euro?

Allsystemgamer2120d ago

To get more people in prison?

MMOGames2120d ago

There's no currency exchange booth at the prison ;)

torchic2120d ago

guys come on, I'm pretty sure the article authors just converted from Yen to Euro so that it makes sense for people living outside Japan -.-

knifefight2120d ago

Did you really miss the joke? Like, and you felt like you should explain the headline because people didn't understand?
Serious question.

torchic2120d ago


well dude, if I missed the joke I'm sorry that I'm not as infinitely smart as you are, being able to catch on to jokes in an instant.

many people were asking the question so I thought it was a legitimate question.

sorry again mate.

knifefight2119d ago

It's true, asking people to be as smart as me is pretty tough task at time. Well, we both learned from it though, and that's what's important. Cheers.

MrDead2120d ago

Why not just post a bill demanding you pay for the game?

Blankman852120d ago

They don't do that for bank robbers and shoplifters, why should gamers/pirates get any special treatment?

Eamon2119d ago

because bank robbery and piracy are two different things.

Shoplifters don't get as much punishment as bank robbers.

Depending on the nature of the shoplifting crime, (if it was stealthy and nobody noticed) it could be punished with a fine or community service. If the shoplifting involved pointing a gun at the owner, that's more severe. Bank Robbery usually involves pointing guns in an organised crime and possibly stealing TREMENDOUS amounts of cash (compared to a silly $60 game).

It's like saying, murderers get a life sentence, so why should people who get charged with manslaughter be any different?

mike1up2120d ago

Because Crime doesn't pay.

TopDudeMan2120d ago (Edited 2120d ago )

I think a reasonable fine would be just slightly more than the cost of the game (just because there are people who need to be paid to handle the processing of the fine). I don't sympathise with pirates, but there's no need for some ridiculous fine. Where does that money even go?

born2live2119d ago

Funny you should ask... The RIAA for example does not, in fact, refund the infringed artist - they use that money to pay themselves!! the whole copyright thing in the US at least created a niche of lawyers who make a living off sueing kids, students and monoparental moms "on behalf of" the artist, who never actually sees a penny from it! In some cases, the artists themselves did not want to sue their own fans, but the case was out of their hands and the lawyers representing the RIAA kept going on - it's their money they are after, not protecting the rights of the artist!

Obviously, this is specific to the music industry - I have yet to find a case of a guy who got sued for copying an illegal videogame and went to court for it in the US - these matters are usually settled out of court. As far as I know, there aren't any trade group efforts to protect the copyrights of videogame developpers... not yet...

kneon2120d ago

It needs to be substantially more than the cost of the game otherwise it's ineffective as a deterrent.

I have no problem with fines in the thousands of dollars but jail time should be reserved for repeat offenders and those distributing pirated games.

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MmaFan-Qc2120d ago

a thief is a thief, no matter what is justification is, i may not agree with the punishement, but its a good way to put shit in perspective.

HammadTheBeast2120d ago

Asian prison rape can't be too bad...

WitWolfy2119d ago (Edited 2119d ago )

LOL you stereotype