Three people in Japan have been arrested for allegedly breaking the country’s intellectual property laws by posting “fast movies” to YouTube – short, edited versions of copyrighted movies. Wednesday’s arrests are the first in the country to post quick movies online, reports the Japan Times.
High-Speed Movies include clips and stills to provide brief film summaries and are edited without the permission of copyright holders such as movie distribution companies. The clips are typically 10 minutes or less, according to the Times, and explain the entire plot of a movie from start to finish for those who don’t have the time or inclination to watch it all.
Two of the three people arrested this week are 25 and one is 42, according to The Japan Times, which adds that police say the trio are believed to have created and released five quick movies between June 7, 2020 and July 21. 2020. Police say video creators received ad revenue relative to views, the post added.
Google, YouTube’s parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Copyright laws are complex and vary from country to country, as do definitions of fair use. the Japanese Government Agency for Cultural Affairs affirms that exceptions to Japanese copyright laws “are strictly defined so as not to unduly harm the interests of copyright owners and to prevent the normal use of copyrighted works of ‘to be hampered’.
The Miyagi Prefecture Police Department detected the fast movies during a cybersweep in July 2020, according to the Times. They identified the three suspects in cooperation with the Foreign content distribution association, a Tokyo-based organization “through which content owners and copyright-related organizations cooperate to reduce piracy around the world and actively promote the international distribution of Japanese content, such as music, movies, animation, television programs and video games “.
As of June 14, 2021, CODA said, 55 accounts had posted illegal fast movies to YouTube that had totaled 477 million views, according to the Japan Times. CODA estimates the damage to copyright owners in these videos at around 96 billion yen, or more than $ 866 million.
Below is a Japanese report on the arrests. “I watched a quick movie yesterday,” one commentator said. “I’m ashamed to say I’m not going to bother to watch the movie now.” Countered another, “After watching fast-paced movies, don’t people feel like they want to see it all?”