Japanese YouTuber receives a fine and suspended sentence for posting gameplay footage
A Japanese YouTuber was handed a suspended prison sentence and a fine for violating the country's Copyright Act by posting "unauthorized" gameplay and anime footage.
- According to Asahi (via Anime Corner), 53-year-old Shinodu Yoshida was found guilty of violating Japan's Copyright Act and charged for posting three videos without permission from the copyright holders between 2019 and May 2022. The videos in question featured gameplay from the visual novel Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace as well as scenes from the anime Spy x Family.
- Since visual novels lack traditional gameplay and instead focus on an interactive story, the prosecutor argued that Yoshida's upload containing the ending to the Steins;Gate title was "a malicious act that trampled on the effort of content creation," discouraging players from purchasing the original game.
- Yoshida's defense responded to the claims, arguing that his actions were not "particularly malicious," and asking for a suspended sentence. Yoshida was sentenced to two years in prison with a five-year suspended sentence and a one million yen fine (equal to $6,780) by Judge Koichi Nakamura.
- As noted by Asahi, this is the first time that someone has been convicted under Japanese copyright law for uploading video game footage. Due to Yoshida's harsh sentence, it's possible that similar situations will arise in the future, or that YouTubers will be hesitant to upload videos of visual novels from now on.
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