Government measures to crack down on online piracy of manga and anime content have failed to move forward after a series of plans and ideas discussed since last year by a panel of experts at the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and the Cultural Affairs Agency stalled in the face of various criticism and concerns.
A plan making it legal to block access to pirate websites or issue warnings to users trying to access such sites has gone nowhere out of concern it would violate the constitutionally guaranteed secrecy of communication, while a proposed amendment to the copyright law that would have made it punishable to knowingly download any type of content illegally placed online was aborted due to worries that excessive regulation could deter legitimate internet use and hinder the free exchange of information.
The stalemate indicates there is no panacea to comprehensively resolve the problems posed by pirate websites. But as the government struggles to come up with a solution, the damage from sites that violate the rights of copyright holders continues. All parties involved, including those in relevant industries, should keep on seeking measures that effectively choke off the online piracy business.