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Strict anti-piracy laws come into force in Japan

Published on Oct 1, 2012 8:05 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Controversial laws punishing Internet users who download pirated files with fines or jail terms came into force in Japan on Monday.

Under the new legislation they could face up to two years in prison or a maximum of two million yen (S$31,600) in fines.

The revision follows a lobbying campaign by Japan's music industry for measures to curb piracy, but critics and local media have expressed concern.

They say the change in the law allows authorities to target any Internet user and could be open to abuse. However, advocates say charges can be only be filed against alleged violators if copyright holders lodge a criminal complaint.

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