Japan passes law that criminalizes illegal downloading as well as DVD ripping

English: The entrance to the Chamber of the Ho...

The spot of controversy this week, Japan's House of Councillors passed a bill into law that covers a variety of issues regarding the usage of documents and digital content. 233 of the Diet's 242 members cast votes on the law: 221 for and 12 against.

 As the bill had already passed the Diet's House of Representatives last Friday, the law will go into force on October 1. The law includes sections outlawing the "ripping" of content, for personal use, that involves the bypassing of digital copy protection such as the CSS system on DVDs.

 The law also includes a section added in committee that imposes a penalty to the already illegal act of knowingly downloading copyrighted material without permission, and those charged with illegal downloading will now face up to two years of prison or fines of up to 2 million yen (about US$25,400). The law also obligates national and local governments to educate minors on illegal download prevention.
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