Surprising news from the land of the rising sun. In Japan, a YouTuber was given a suspended prison sentence and a fine for showing images from a video game. According to the lawsuit, this was a violation of Japanese copyright law.
It was 53-year-old Shinodo Yoshida who was found guilty of violating Japanese copyright law. The YouTuber was accused of posting three videos between September 2019 and May 2022. The videos included footage from video games, including footage from the popular visual novel Stein’s Gate: My Darling’s Embrace.
One of the plaintiff’s main arguments was that the Stein’s Gate video depicted the end of the title. Given that visual novels offer much less interactivity than other genres, it has been said that watching a video of the game on YouTube provides the same experience as actually playing the game.
The plaintiff argued that publisher Spike Chunsoft would lose a lot of sales if countless fans watched a demo of Stein’s Gate on YouTube instead of purchasing the game. For this reason, the prosecutor stated that Yoshida’s videos were “intentionally created to impede content creation efforts.” As a result, his videos would discourage viewers from purchasing the game.
Although the defense said Yoshida had no bad intentions, the judge gave him a suspended sentence. And a fine of 1 million yen (about $6,800). This will be the first time someone in Japan has been convicted of violating copyright law by distributing video game footage.
A powerful statement, one that could mean bad news for video game players if followed around the world. After all, the plaintiff’s argument makes sense. what do you think?
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