The Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs will propose amending Japan's laws so copyright holders can request the prosecution of people who download without authorization. Although Japan allows prosecution against people who upload without authorization, it is currently legal to download for private use. People who use file-sharing services that simultaneously download and upload — but were not the original uploaders of the copyrighted material — have not been targeted in the past, but the proposed changes will make the distinction a moot point.
The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC), an umbrella group of 24 companies and associations such as the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan, and the Recording Industry Association of Japan, is pushing the proposal and has contacted Google and its YouTube service about strengthening its anti-piracy measures. Under the proposal, rights holders, not the government authorities, would still need to initiate the pursuit of downloaders.
Thank you Daniel Zelter for the news tip.
Source: Hollywood Reporter