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News What do you think about Japan's new anti-terrorism law?

nahadef

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Like all the other authoritarian laws that have become fashionable lately, this too seems like it's horrible.

I'm not very familiar with Japanese law, but from what I do know I have indeed noticed that it's bad about doing stuff like this. Even before this, for example, participation in copyright infringement merely by downloading an unauthorized copy of a work has been punishable by up to 3 years in prison, and actually distributing is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, as if the Japanese leadership thinks that copyright infringement is a serious criminal offense and not a civil dispute. I think the recent U.S. copyright laws (mostly those implementing the Berne Convention and the WIPO treaties, which I think are atrocious treaties that should be torn up) are bad and draconian, but by God, compared to Japan's approach, the U.S. government is almost like a harmless spider next to a raging elephant.

Jokes aside, maybe this is just my bias, but it does seem to me like the U.S. has been the slowest to adopt these kinds of authoritarian policies, and I would guess that's probably because we have a strong Constitution guaranteeing certain rights, so it's much harder to pass these kinds of things. Or again, maybe I'm just looking at it through patriotic-tinted glasses. :laugh:

On an optimistic note, I tend to suspect that this is a temporary situation. Right now there are fears of terrorism in people and fears of... er, change... in the copyright industry. (My God, that sounds pathetic. So true though.) Eventually these fears should subside.
 
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I'm not familiar with the bill as I don't live in Japan. But from reading the article I would thing the most important thing would be to know what those 277 "serious crimes" include in it's entirety. It could be a veiled attempt at controlling certain actions or people which is a human rights violation or it could be simply meant for the protection of the Japanese people and the tourist that will be visiting Japan in the next coming years.

I'm curious to what you think about this in particular nahadef. Should a country not seek to protect it's citizens from terrorism? Is it the entirety of the bill that you dislike or do you think a modified version could accomplish the stated goal without violating rights of domestic and foreign people in Japan?
 

nahadef

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On an optimistic note, I tend to suspect that this is a temporary situation. Right now there are fears of terrorism in people and fears of... er, change... in the copyright industry. (My God, that sounds pathetic. So true though.) Eventually these fears should subside.
I don't think it's terror related. Abe is not your typical Japanese. He thinks of pre-war Japan as the "good ol' days" and has spent the past five years nudging Japan toward its darkest point in history (rewriting history books, changing the constitution, this new law). He's taking advantage of the global climate, but not acting because of it.
 
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I don't think it's terror related. Abe is not your typical Japanese. He thinks of pre-war Japan as the "good ol' days" and has spent the past five years nudging Japan toward its darkest point in history (rewriting history books, changing the constitution, this new law). He's taking advantage of the global climate, but not acting because of it.
That does sound terrible. I'm curious, how much power does Abe really realistically have, and for how long? I'm not familiar with Japan's current Constitution or how power is consolidated. But if there's a decent system in place (even if it's not as good as what the U.S. has), then it should minimize the damage Abe can do, as long as the politically active Japanese population cares about these issues.
 

nahadef

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There lies the problem!
This is my major worry.

I was talking about this topic with an informed, interested Japanese guy. I said that part of the problem is only 25% of the country cares to follow this stuff. He smiled and laughed and said, "Less."

English speaking countries have been doing political comedy and comedy news for decades now. Some think it lowers the discussion, but I think it is a good gateway for young people into caring about politics. I can't imagine comedians in Japan tapping into the ridiculousness of this country's stagnent politics. I even remember all the Richard Nixon and Kissinger jokes in Mad Magazine as a kid, they were baffling, but informed the greater world around me. Japanese kids think of Abe as the guy who dressed up as Mario.
 
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English speaking countries have been doing political comedy and comedy news for decades now. Some think it lowers the discussion, but I think it is a good gateway for young people into caring about politics. I can't imagine comedians in Japan tapping into the ridiculousness of this country's stagnent politics. I even remember all the Richard Nixon and Kissinger jokes in Mad Magazine as a kid, they were baffling, but informed the greater world around me. Japanese kids think of Abe as the guy who dressed up as Mario.
Plus around here we get bombarded 24/7 from both sides when it comes near election time. I was surprised when I came to Japan about how uninterested in politics the whole country seemed. Of course considering the source of my "normal" any country may seem uninterested in politics. If you want kids/teens to get interested in politics and their country you have to insert jokes and talk about it in things they care about. For examples if there were more political comments in manga or news or internet forums more young people might get interested in politics. I remember when I was a small child I knew who Bill Clinton was and whether the people I knew liked him or not. I also heard about a lot of bills/proposals during his time as President (note I'm still young so this was during my early child-hood to teen years). I may have known nothing about the policies or whether they were "good" or "bad" at the time I knew it was important.
 

Lothor

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This is my major worry.

I was talking about this topic with an informed, interested Japanese guy. I said that part of the problem is only 25% of the country cares to follow this stuff. He smiled and laughed and said, "Less."

English speaking countries have been doing political comedy and comedy news for decades now. Some think it lowers the discussion, but I think it is a good gateway for young people into caring about politics. I can't imagine comedians in Japan tapping into the ridiculousness of this country's stagnent politics. I even remember all the Richard Nixon and Kissinger jokes in Mad Magazine as a kid, they were baffling, but informed the greater world around me. Japanese kids think of Abe as the guy who dressed up as Mario.
But I think interest is increasing - the enormous demonstrations in Tokyo against nuclear power after the 2011 disaster then in 2015 after the constitution was 'reinterpreted' to allow Japanese soldiers to get involved in other countries' wars suggest Japanese people are not as apathetic as they seem. Also reducing the voting age to 18 may have had some positive impact on interest.

It's true that interest is low though, and political comedy is badly needed here. Abe seriously needs to be taken the piss out of until his bubble of pomposity and smugness burst!
 
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I think the law is way to immature and needs time to see how it is proven in effect. As can be observed and deduced in actual practice. Before that we can't even tell how it is going to work out.

We may have some idea of it, of course. But the law is never actually only beneficial or discriminatory until more data is collected and individuals are procured in the court of law.
 
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We may have some idea of it, of course. But the law is never actually only beneficial or discriminatory until more data is collected and individuals are procured in the court of law.
I would disagree with you if there's a possibility of someone's rights being violated. Basic human rights have an international standard but I'm sure there are certain rights that are written into Japanese law that goes beyond those. Although controlling people/actions is a very dangerous path to go down.
 
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That is self-explanatory.

Of course the life's effort of any law is to be fair and equal from an objective point of view, to any individual, party, or organization implicated as such.

That are why laws are made and is basically the sole purpose of any judicial system in the world today. You would have to be an idiot to consider otherwise.

New laws however, are always dodgy until they are proven through years of rigorous testing. There could be loopholes, pitfalls, etc that we may not know about until somebody points that out.
 
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Hard to say what the new law means from here. If someone can post the actual provisions of the new law that are worrisome, it might help.

JuliMaruchan, copyright infringement is THEFT, and penalties ought to be commensurate with THEFT. It is THEFT of intellectual property, which can be as much or more valuable than tangible property. If you don't respect intellectual property, that's probably because you don't own any that has a value. I've had my work pirated (by Russians), and trust me, legal remedies are inadequate under US law and the Berne Convention, unless you're Stephen King or the property is Mickey Mouse. That's why I haven't been able to get my stories take down from the website. The cost of litigating would be many times the remedy recovered.
 
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copyright infringement is THEFT
No, it isn't, not legally and not morally. Copyright is a state-sponsored monopoly, legally speaking. Copyright infringement, therefore, is unauthorized competition. In fact, at least one Australian court has specifically ruled that copyright infringement is not theft, and instead likened it to trespassing. That's still an imperfect analogy, but it does show why calling it "theft" is disingenuous: when you steal something, you cause someone who had something to no longer have it. That's why theft is wrong. When you infringe copyright by copying something, you cause both you and the other person to have the same thing.

I love this little cartoon:


Let's use a proper analogy here: Walmart has various generic, cheap products which are designed to be similar to brand-name products. Is Walmart guilty of theft because they copied Nabisco's Oreo cookies and produced a similar product at a lower cost? Or here's a more apt example: did you know that Oreo itself is actually a copy? Is Nabisco guilty of theft because they copied the design of the Hydrox cookie? I would say, no; it's not theft, it's competition, and competition is the whole point of capitalism. It's something to be celebrated, not punished, when someone can produce the same product at a lower cost.

With something like a movie, it's the same way. If Disney sells a movie for $20, but some guy with nothing more than an Internet connection is able to just give away copies for free, that isn't theft. It's competition. The fact that a huge corporation is able to be outcompeted so easily is just an indication that Disney's business model isn't working and needs to change. Unfortunately, the current system is to not only subsidize this outdated business model of selling copies of works, but also punish to people for competing with it.

I've had my work pirated (by Russians)
What did these Russians take away from you, exactly?

Actually, I know the answer. It's "customers" or "business" or "sales" or something to that effect. But "taking away" customers or business is not theft. It's competition. Is Walmart guilty of "stealing" customers from Kroger any time someone buys at Walmart instead of Kroger? Is Amazon guilty of "stealing" business from Walmart any time someone orders something online there instead of buying it at Walmart? I don't think so. I think this is just a normal function of capitalism.

If selling copies of your stories is an inadequate way of making money for you, I suggest rather than blaming your unauthorized competitors in Russia, you should seek out a better business model. Crowdfunding and sponsorships are possible examples. Crowdfunding is what I'm going with for now (I'm a video game developer).

I, far from fearing "piracy", rejoice when someone shares one of my games. It's free advertisement, it causes people to play my games (which, of course, is the main thing I'm after), and it directs them to my crowdfunding pages, which helps me to raise more money for future projects. And more deeply, the fact that someone is going out of their way to share a game I developed is an indication that people like my game, which makes me feel good.

I certainly wouldn't want to see one of my fans going to prison for it.
 
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In certain places copyright infringement is a very serious crime. You say it's not like theft but more like trespassing, but that's only true if you don't consider intellectual property a non-concrete asset. Let's say for example I start making comics with my own original character and start making money off these comics. Person B comes in and starts making comics with the same exact character. That is theft, person B did not create the character that they're using in their works nor did they obtain permission to use that character.

When it comes to piracy on the other end of things it depends on if you consider the actual data of what you're downloading to be the product itself. In your crowdfunding example it doesn't matter to you because it's advertising for you and a possible financial kickback anyway since your kickstarter is listed. A major company on the other hand is very unlikely to have a kickstarter especially for a AAA game that they spend major time and company assets completing. I don't know about you but I like to get paid for the work I do.
 
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that's only true if you don't consider intellectual property a non-concrete asset.
"Intellectual property" isn't even a valid concept. Copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, etc are all different and handled by completely different laws. Copyright is a monopoly, not an asset.

That is theft, person B did not create the character that they're using in their works nor did they obtain permission to use that character.
That is not the definition of theft. The definition of theft is, as Merriam-Webster puts it, "the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it". Note that an owner of property has to be deprived of that property. In other words, if I steal a dictionary from you, that is theft because I have deprived you of that dictionary (i.e. you no longer have it now). It is not because I have it now. If I steal your dictionary, then throw it into the ocean, that is still theft even though I no longer have it, because the fact that you don't have it is the important distinction.

On the other hand, if I manage to hand-write a copy of your dictionary on paper that I own using a pen that I own (because let's say I'm a blazingly fast writer), leaving your own dictionary intact, I have not stolen anything from you. I have made a new copy, on paper that I own, using a pen that I own. I have not deprived you of anything. Therefore, it is not theft.

Let's take another example. Let's say I have made a bracelet that you think looks really cool, so you go out, buy some beads and cord, and make a replica. Let's say you're so good at this that it's an exact replica. You haven't stolen anything from me. We now both have identical copies of the same bracelet. It would even be the same if that bracelet was one I was trying to sell. Just as you are not forbidden from making your own chocolate chip cookies because Nabisco sells Chips Ahoy, you should not be forbidden from making your own replica of a bracelet just because I sell it.

It's exactly the same with all copyright-applicable works. If I replicate a book, using my own computer, scanner, paper, and anything else I need, I have not stolen anything. If I give people my own replications, which I have made using materials I own, I have not stolen anything. I'm sure the publisher of the book doesn't appreciate the competition, but that's what it is: competition.

I don't know about you but I like to get paid for the work I do.
I do like to get paid, which is why I have a job, but I don't believe in subsidizing or enforcing through authoritarianism business models which cannot succeed in a free market, unless doing so provides some very useful good to society. This is not the case for books, video games, movies, etc. You mentioned that companies spend a lot of money on things like movies and video games. We don't need this. We would be just fine if video games and movies had to have smaller budgets and use different business models, or even if their production were reduced to a mere hobby for enthusiasts.
 
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Of course there is such a thing as intellectual property. You don't have the rights to my thoughts and or process just because I'm using it to make products. Of course you have the right to make chocolate chip cookies but to use the recipe and methods of Nabisco's Chips Ahoy and then sell those cookies as Chips Ahoy and not gain permission from the company is theft. The idea of chocolate chip cookies isn't copywritten the process and recipe are the things with the copyright. In the United States we do however have something called fair use as to where you can use copywritten material when not looking to gain profit off that intellectual property.
 
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You don't have the rights to my thoughts and or process just because I'm using it to make products.
There's a difference between accessing your thoughts and copying your expressions. If you have already written down your thoughts, they're not your thoughts anymore; they're your publicly available expressions (or works, if you will).

Of course you have the right to make chocolate chip cookies but to use the recipe and methods of Nabisco's Chips Ahoy and then sell those cookies as Chips Ahoy and not gain permission from the company is theft.
No. That would be trademark infringement, and possibly violation of a trade secret (I don't know if the Chips Ahoy recipe is a trade secret or not). These are not the same as copyright.

As you pointed out later, the design of chocolate chip cookies isn't copyrighted. But if it were, then regardless of the exact method or recipe you used, attempting to bake your own chocolate chip cookies, using your own ingredients, would be copyright infringement. That's the only point of this analogy. I'm showing how copyright would apply to cookies in order to show that copyright infringement is not theft. The analogy doesn't extend any further than that.
 
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Regardless. Data that's compiled into a cd, dvd, mp3 whatever deserves rights associated to the company and people involved in making that data. Sure you can make a copy of a song and nothing is "lost" but the profit, but that profit is considered the property/asset that the person has stolen. You wouldn't go to a massage parlor get a massage and then say "Oh well I just received a copy of your services so I don't have to pay." A company has to hire developers and other staff to produce materials which their services aren't and shouldn't be free. I have a problem with people saying "oh but it's just data" yeah it's my data I spent hours writing and I expect to get paid for it if you want to use it.
 
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Regardless. Data that's compiled into a cd, dvd, mp3 whatever deserves rights associated to the company and people involved in making that data.
I disagree with that premise.

but that profit is considered the property/asset that the person has stolen.
That doesn't make any sense. When you extend this logic to any other market, it means that Walmart is guilty of "stealing" profit from Nabisco, and Amazon is guilty of "stealing" profit from Walmart. We have a much less loaded term that describes what this is: "competition". If you are opposed to competition, that's fine (I disagree, but everyone has a right to their own views). But when you insist on referring to a monopoly as "property" and insist that competing with it is "theft", you are injecting, intentionally or not, propaganda which unfairly sways the discussion in a particular direction.

You wouldn't go to a massage parlor get a massage and then say "Oh well I just received a copy of your services so I don't have to pay."
No, of course not. You didn't use a copy of their services, you used their services. A copy of their services would be a different message parlor, or just doing it yourself, or having a friend do it for you. If your friend gives you a message, that friend is not then obligated to pay royalties to the local message parlor, and neither are you.

A company has to hire developers and other staff to produce materials which their services aren't and shouldn't be free. I have a problem with people saying "oh but it's just data" yeah it's my data I spent hours writing and I expect to get paid for it if you want to use it.
Do you believe that the government should subsidize anyone who wants to build houses entirely out of spaghetti noodles?

I assume that the answer is probably no. But that is the logical conclusion of your argument. Yeah, everyone wants to get paid for their work. But if your work is valueless in the free market, then tough luck. Find a way to make your skills marketable, or do something else to make your living. I don't think restricting everyone's freedom to share is an acceptable trade-off for subsidizing a business that can's support itself on its own.

That said, I don't even think that authoring and publishing of creative works would cease to be profitable due to the loss of copyright. Even if literally everyone stops paying money to see movies or read books or what have you overnight, there are other ways. Sponsorships and crowdfunding are the biggest examples I can think of.
 
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You're entirely ridiculous. This is why developers and the like started adding licensing and the like to their products. No one gets a free ride of the software train.
 
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"You're ridiculous" isn't a particularly good argument.

No one gets a free ride of the software train.
I have to beg to differ, because reality does not concur with this claim. Pretty much every libre/自由 program (you may have heard the term "open source", which describes the same software) is developed by a combination of volunteers and companies which have some motive to work on them. No copyright restrictions needed. Richard Stallman has written a list of motives people have for writing software; there is no basis in reality for the belief that people wouldn't develop software without unethical copyright restrictions:

Motives For Writing Free Software- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation

Note: "free software" refers to libre (自由), not zero price, on that website.
 
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You find me a software company willing to write a proprietary software for a multi million dollar corporation that's open source you let me know. I will be you anything it doesn't exist.
 
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