Already with some of the strictest online copyright protection laws known to man, Japan is seeking to augment their anti-piracy strategies by hiding warning notices “renamed” as pirated files and content on local popular peer-to-peer networks.
An unusual strategy at best, it is intended for “copyright awareness” – the files contain a particularly strong worded message with which the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is hoping to scare or shame, and in the long run, deter the reader into abandoning online piracy.
The message states that the warning is given foremost to “raise awareness” about online copyright – especially to people presumably like the downloader, who are getting content from P2P networks such as Winny or Share. It is then followed by a stern warning to “stop immediately” and then gives information on the act being punishable by law with a maximum 2-year prison sentence and a stiff fine.
While this may seem ultimately naïve for international online folk, the ordinary Japanese citizen is generally averse to online piracy and downloading. Most people tend to be of the opinion that it’s simply not worth the risk to illegally download movies or music – even with the country being close to the top of the list for bandwidth speeds and Internet connectivity. So while this plan – apparently called “Operation Decoy File” may seem unnecessary, it may actually work in this country.
The strategy, an idea of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, with the help and agreement of various film and music groups, will run until the middle of this month. Japan’s current laws could put downloaders in jail for two years, while uploaders could face a whopping ten years and ¥10 million (approx. $108,000) fine.[ via The Register ]