A government panel has resumed talks on measures against pirate websites where manga and other content are uploaded without the permission of copyright holders.

At a meeting of an expert panel of the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters on Friday, some participants stressed the need to resume discussions at an early date to introduce a bill to legalize a controversial measure blocking access to such websites.

The government initially focused on the creation of a law to forcibly cut off access to such websites. However, it decided not to submit a related bill to this year’s ordinary session of the Diet, which ended in June.

The decision was made due to criticism that blocking access to websites infringes on communication privacy, which is guaranteed under the Constitution.

At the Friday meeting, a draft comprehensive package of measures to fight digital piracy was also presented.

The draft called for discussions on the legislation while noting the need to assess the effects of other anti-piracy measures.

Dissatisfied with the draft, one participant at the meeting blasted the shift in thinking.

“The discussions (on site-blocking) should be resumed as soon as possible,” the participant said.

Another criticized the government for losing its direction in crafting measures against pirate websites, apparently bearing in mind its failure to legalize site-blocking.

The government faces the challenge of dispelling concerns over the legalization of site-blocking while drawing up effective measures, an observer said.

The comprehensive package also included a plan to swiftly prepare a law to criminalize the downloading of pirated content.

The draft package called for guidelines to restrict advertisements on pirate websites, the promotion of filters to restrict children’s access to potentially harmful websites, and preparing a bill to regulate websites designed to lead internet users to pirate websites.

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