Sunday, March 16, 2008
Some scary news coming out of Japan suggests that P2P file sharers may be banned from using the Internet. Four Japanese ISP organizations, which together have 1000 ISPs as members, are banding together to ban pirates from the Internet after receiving persistent complaints from copyright holders.
The measures are directed against the 1.75 million file sharers in Japan who mainly use Winny, the most popular P2P software, to share music, movies, games, and software anonymously (and illegally). First-time offenders would initially receive warning emails. This could escalate to being abruptly disconnected from the Internet, and severe violations could result in cancellation of Internet service.
Previous proposals to disconnect users of P2P programs like Winny were abandoned because they were regarded as violations of the right to privacy in communications, but that objection has now been overruled.
According to "The Daily Yomiuri", file sharing has been estimated to cost up to 10 billion yen ($99.5 million:
A brief six-hour survey by a copyright organization monitoring the Internet found about 3.55 million examples of illegally copied gaming software, worth about 9.5 billion yen at regular software prices, and 610,000 examples of illegally copied music files, worth 440 million yen, that could be freely downloaded into personal computers using such software