Previously, police arrested some Japanese YouTubers who made summarized videos about movies and narrated them using the stills or a tiny movie clip. Also known as ” fast movies” in Japan, the videos aren’t uncommon, but on November 16, they were all accused of copyright violation. This is the first case in Japan involving YouTube’s fair use policy which many say is inexistent in Japan.
One defendant was handed a suspended sentence consisting of 2 years jail, and the fine was two million dollars (US$17,400). In contrast, the two others received three years suspended sentence that included one and one-half years in prison with fines of one million ($8,700) and 500 000 in yen ($4,350) each.
While sentence suspension was not a factor, punishments for violating probation are particularly severe for copyright violations, capped at around 300,000 Yen ($2,610) cost for the first time offense, According to attorney Hiroyuki Nakajima involved in the case.
In the trial, the prosecution argued that the defendants’ motive was clear to make money. They were aware of any wrongdoing as they had avoided posting movies by firms known to claim infringement.
Additionally, it is possible that the judge was trying to create an example of the three defendants to discourage the posting of unauthorized film recaps on the internet. Most people who posted online forums seemed to agree with the sentence and would like to see more shortly in the public forum.
However, in other countries, similar movie reviews would hardly be taken to court. Many YouTube communities also see this as quite excessive since one of the narrators for these videos only came to the project since the owner told them that he spoke to lawyers and they were doing nothing illegal.
Although there are a variety of speedy movie clips available online, they do not all-cause copyright infringement; like different countries, Japanese laws take into the length of the piece, its intent, creativeness, and the harm it causes to the original owner of the copyright.
But, when a movie that earns money from advertising is an edited version of a motion picture, the chance of not being a victim of the possibility of a criminal conviction is limited. In cases such as this, the most effective way to avoid getting punished is to obtain the permission of the owner of the copyright before the time of release. It never hurts to ask; however, it could damage the most to not.