The U.S. mentality that pirating isn’t really a big deal has been the butt of many jokes, but lately it’s become less of a laughing matter. Recent reports indicate that Japan has amped up its anti-piracy efforts by implementing some rather strict penalties— but before you think that anti-piracy efforts in the U.S. have fizzled alongside SOPA, think again.
According to recent reports, as of October 1, 2012, Japanese citizens who are caught illegally downloading protected content could face a two-year prison sentence or fines of up to two million yen. Some pirating crimes are significantly more consequential than others, however. Uploading content, for example, carries a 10-year prison sentence and fines that configure to $128, 400.
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Last month, the media highlighted how the “Six Strikes” policy for cracking down on copyright infringement in Europe, is now under consideration in the U.S. And although there have been reports that the FBI has been proactive at seizing websites that illegally distribute pirated content, there is no story less interesting than the one of 24-year-old Richard O’Dwyer.
The New York Times featured the British college student in an article about how the Obama administration is now going after the middleman. After O’Dwyer was identified as being a middleman, the U.S. sought his extradition with a 10-year prison sentence in mind.
The fact that there is a parallel that exists in both the Japanese and U.S. government in cracking down on pirated material should not be surprising considering that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was created by the two nations back in 2006.
What has kept the U.S. relatively free of anti-piracy enforcement policies like SOPA, has been the joint protests of major Internet giants such as Google (News - Alert) and Wikipedia. Other nations, like Poland, followed the protest methods seen in the U.S. by temporarily shutting down participating websites, and effectively warding off policy proposals.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman