• Jiji


A court in Japan found three people guilty on Tuesday of violating copyright laws by uploading “fast movies” to YouTube.

Sendai District Court Presiding Judge Takao Okawa said that fast movies, which are movies that have been edited to about 10 minutes long without permission from the copyright holder, “could impede the development of movie culture.”

The judge sentenced Kenya Takase, 25, who orchestrated the crime, to two years in prison, suspended for four years, and ordered him to pay a fine of ¥2 million. Public prosecutors had sought a prison term of two years and a fine of ¥2 million.

A man and a woman who edited the movies were both sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years. Prosecutors had demanded 18 months’ imprisonment without suspension.

The trio’s illegal acts “could destroy the profit structure of movies and deserve severe condemnation,” Okawa said. “The amount of damage is large in light of the numbers of video views, and the result is grave.”

According to the ruling, the trio edited five movies between June and July last year without the copyright holders’ permission.

Then they breached the copyright of each movie’s distribution company by posting the shortened versions on Youtube with an accompanying narration describing the plot.

The Tokyo-based Content Overseas Distribution Association, which supported investigations into the case, said in a statement that it “will continue efforts to remove the fraudulent use (of content) and protect the copyright appropriately.”

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