A new Japanese law taking effect today is set to punish the downloaders and not just the uploaders of pirated material. To stem copying of music and movies, knowingly possessing pirated content can now be punishable by up to two years in prison and fines of nearly 2 million yen (U.S. $25,679). An amendment to Japan's copyright laws that introduce these punishments was placed in June.
Illegal uploads of copyright infringing music and videos carry a maximum 10 year prison sentence and a 10 million yen fine.
Institution of the law is seen as a victory for the Recording Industry Association of Japan, who says the download music market shrank 16% in 2011. They aim to follow the track South Korean industry, which has seen its global market ranking jump to 11th in the world from 23rd in a raise that is seen as corresponding to the country cracking down on download piracy in 2007.