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Japan: Police Arrest Journalists For Selling DVD-Backup Tools 252

Modellismo writes "Last week four journalists from Sansai Books were arrested for selling, through the company website, a copy of a magazine published last year (with a free cover mounted disc) focused on how to backup/rip DVDs. They violated Japan's Unfair Competition Prevention Law that recently has been revised to make illegal the sale of any DRM circumvention device or software. It's interesting to note that Japanese cyber police could arrest the Amazon Japan CEO, too, as the online giant is selling a lot of magazines, books and software packages for DVD copy and ripping: exactly what put Sansai Books' staff in trouble."
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Japan: Police Arrest Journalists For Selling DVD-Backup Tools

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  • libdvdcss ilegal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22, 2012 @08:40AM (#40729193)

    wonder how many enbedded devices produced in japan have this little piece of code in them...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22, 2012 @08:45AM (#40729225)

      It's interesting to note that Japanese cyber police could arrest the Amazon Japan CEO, too

      Eh... if they can slap steel handcuffs on you and drag you to a brick-and-mortar jail, they aren't cyber police. They're real meatspace police.

      • Not necessarily. They could have all sorts of neural implants and such. Robocop was a cyber-cop, for example.
        • by Tukz ( 664339 )

          Robocop was a cyborg.
          Cyber != Cyborg

          "Cyber" prefix is related to internet related concepts.

          • Re:libdvdcss ilegal? (Score:4, Informative)

            by totalg33k ( 970475 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @10:06AM (#40729519)
            Except that cyborg is short for "cybernetic organism". So yes, Robo-cop was very much a cyber cop.
            • by Tukz ( 664339 )

              No, he wasn't.


              "Cyber" doesn't mean what you think it does.
              Cybernetic is something completely different.

              • Re:libdvdcss ilegal? (Score:5, Informative)

                by tragedy ( 27079 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @11:09AM (#40729805)

                And if you click on the word "cyber" at the top of the article you linked, it takes you to wiktionary [] where it says:


                From cybernetic.

                Cybernetic comes from Greek meaning "steer" or rudder. It basically means the study of feedback control loops.

                • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                  by Tukz ( 664339 )

                  Yes, and has nothing to do with the current meaning of "cyber".
                  The cyber prefix was taken from Cybernetic, but that doesn't mean they mean the same thing.

                  • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @12:00PM (#40730019)

                    "Cyber" is a short form for "cybernetics", a former science that has been surpassed/replaced by control theory and dynamics system theory.

                    Just because a few thousands clueless politicians use the term the wrong way doesn't mean that they successfully have redefined its meaning.

                    • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <> on Sunday July 22, 2012 @03:24PM (#40731225) Journal

                      But once it becomes part of common language frankly your arguments become grammar nazi crap. Take virus, I'm so damned tired of listening to the geeks have a royal shitfit over whether something is a virus, a rootkit, or a trojan because for all intents and purposes the common word for ALL computer bugs is virus. That is what the public has chosen, that is what works, and you can't change the language of the entire damned planet because you don't like what they use to describe computer bugs.

                      Language changes, it morphs and grows and mutates constantly, and there is simply nothing you can do about it. The word car came from they LOOK like a carriage to you? No and in fact i doubt most of the public even knows that word came from the era of the horse and buggy, nor do they care. Accept it and move on folks.

                    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

                      Nobody said that computer PROFESSIONALS would not still have the words trojan, backdoor, rootkit, etc

                      YOU did. YOU railed against those at slashdot who correct you when you call a trojan a virus. It's understandable from a layman, but you've claimed to be a professional, and believe it or not, this ain't People Magazine, it's NEWS FOR NERDS. Real computer professionals, some with PhDs in the field (not you with the MSCE who cleans out corrupted Windows machines) come here to discuss technology. If you don't

                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by tragedy ( 27079 )

                    Words and prefixes can in fact have multiple meanings. They're usually related in some way, but sometimes the meanings can be completely different. In the case of "cyber", it comes from "cybernetics" which comes from Greek. Today, the term nebulously refers to computers in general, electronics, and electronic communications. Your attempts to pigeonhole the term are quite amusing. I can only assume that you're quite young or have very limited experience.

    • by donaldm ( 919619 )
      This is why when you download a major distribution of Linux you will not find "libdvdcss" installed since the distributors of the distribution particularly any company such as Redhat or Novel which are based in the USA would be sued by the appropriate agencies.

      What surprised me from the article was the following:

      Among other things this law makes illegal all the Linux distributions which come pre-installed with libdvdcss like BackTrack, CrunchBang Linux, LinuxMCE, Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS, Puppy Linux 4.2.1, Recovery Is Possible, Slax, Super OS, Pardus, and XBMC Live.

      The above distributions appear that they like to live dangerously by pre-installing "libdvdcss" when a little bit of web searching will tell the installer of the particular distribution how to ins

      • The above distributions appear that they like to live dangerously by pre-installing "libdvdcss"

        That's not a certainty. Those distros may be based in places where you can't go to jail just because you distributed a piece of software (isn't it funny that software == speech?). I could (without bringing any problem to myself*) post here instructions for installing libdvdcss on those distros that don't come with them, but that would put /. in trouble. It would be preaching to the choir anyway, so I won't.

        * That

        • Re:libdvdcss ilegal? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by russotto ( 537200 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @12:46PM (#40730285) Journal

          That is, unless the US start requiring that people that post such things be extradicted there.

          It is not illegal in the US to post instructions for installing libdvdcss, as long as one does not include an actual hyperlink to the software. You can include the web address, but not the actual <a href=... Ridiculous? Enormously so.

  • Japan: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22, 2012 @08:43AM (#40729207)

    The only country who bows lower to corporations than the US of A.

    • Re:Japan: (Score:4, Funny)

      by fnj ( 64210 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @08:51AM (#40729247)

      Parent would be correct, or at the very least it's a tie. Mod'ing someone down for telling the truth only shows what a sack of shit the moderator is.

      • Re:Japan: (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @09:23AM (#40729349)

        Parent would be correct, or at the very least it's a tie.

        It's not a tie. While a few very high profile sites like Pandora and NetFlix geoblock consumers from outside the US, most internet radio from the US is available worldwide. But try finding a Japanese internet radio station that plays music and is not blocked from outside Japan. Also, if you ever get the chance to watch the news on NHK Worldwide, witness how the entire sports segment of the news has the video replaced by a graphic stating "Due to rights issues, the video for this item is not available outside Japan", even though most of the sports being shown are local Japanese events that do not have rights holders outside of Japan to complain, and any other news channel is fine with showing short snippets of non-live sport, under fair use news reporting exceptions to whatever exclusive broadcast rights are in place for the sport.

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          I'll take that under advisement, but I'll raise you one Fukushima. Now, who was NOT bowing to whom to set up that cluster fsck?

    • Re:Japan: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @09:48AM (#40729451)

      It's like you believe Korea does not even exist!

      Corporations are an extension of government - it should not surprise anyone when they work together.

      • in the USA, government is an extension of Corporations

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by cpu6502 ( 1960974 )

          I think the guy was talking about the Government-issued corporate license, which makes corporations an extension of the government with special govt-granted privileges (like immunity for the owners). Of course the corporations return the favor by giving politicians campaign donations. Quoting from the article:

          >>>"Japanese cyber police could arrest the Amazon Japan CEO..... exactly what put Sansai Books' staff in trouble."

          No because Amazon has bribed the politicians not to bother them, and instea

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            yes, and on the subject of the far east, it is pretty much worse than the USA, it is practically social, political, and cultural foundation of the society:


            these guys can do no wrong. it's like the british monarchy also ran apple, ibm, microsoft, google, ge, and gm. this is way beyond special treatments and regulations in your favor. it's not even corporatocracy. it's more like corporate monarchy

            someone: what's the term for this insane level of assimilation between politic

            • Re:not in the USA (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Lisias ( 447563 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @11:57AM (#40730005) Homepage Journal

              someone: what's the term for this insane level of assimilation between political, corporate, and aristocratic power?


              • it doesn't mean anything. i've come to the conclusion the only people who like that word are, themselves, idiots

                society has problems. do you want to fix it? or just go "it's all stupid" and walk away thinking you've said something valuable and important?

            • it's like the british monarchy also ran apple, ibm, microsoft, google, ge, and gm

              A better historical example: The East India Company [].

              • luckily that's historical, because that's even worse: that's chaebol, PLUS the racist imperial subjugation and theft of other people in their own lands

            • I would say the word you are looking for is feudalism, because like in the days of the barons these orgs are treated more like Gods than they are organizations of men. Those at the top wield almost Godlike power over all, they can make elections go their way, control governments, make the people believe what they desire through massive advertising campaigns, can even get the churches singing their praises by putting money in the right coffers.

              I would say looking back over history feudalism would be the t

      • Didn't know whether or not to mod. So replied instead. You're correct in the fact that corporations are an extension of government in general for without government, corporations could not exist and anyone who argues that government is an extension of corporations is an idiot as the damn corporations can't even come into existence w/o government regulation. If you posit that Corprations Control Government in the United States, then you'd be partially correct as the United States Government is controlled by

        • I agree with you - the corporation part of government can (and often does) control more of the economy than the elected part of government. At that point, it technically wields more power.

          Theoretically, legislatures could draft legislation that would liquify the assets of all corporations and return them to the stockholders. Realistically, that would never happen.

        • without government, corporations could not exist

          Sorry, but that's just wrong. A rather pedantic example would be Belgium which in fact had no government for about two years. They still had (and have) a working administration, public services etc. but they were without government and legislation 2010/11. Same -in a much more drastic way- applies to Spain during the 1930s, half of Eurpe around WW2. More than a few corporations have been permanently in business since 18something, nevertheless.

      • There are various forms of corruption. There is the obvious south European method where every action requires a financial payment. This is obvious and the reason those countries are in such trouble from Greece to Mexico. But right in that same area, you got another kind. The corruption of the Catholic church that until quite recently claimed the Mafia was an invention of the communist to discredit the government. That was not just about rather generous kickbacks, it was a corruption of spirit. The Catholic

        • But you can't run a party election system with that. How can you run a campaign with "I will do whatever the country requires at a particular point even if it hurts a group that can hurt me bad".

          My deepest wish is for a "pragmatism party" - I'd actually like to work on such a project if I could think of a way to make it feasible.

          Actually, I'd like to work on a discussion system that encourages civil discourse. Start small :)

    • Re:Japan: (Score:5, Informative)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Sunday July 22, 2012 @10:24AM (#40729593) Homepage Journal

      Have you actually read one of these magazines? I have a few of them here and they are quite incredible from a westerner's point of view.

      I have a couple that are all about downloading, one focused on BitTorrent and the other on Share and Winny. They have huge lists of web sites that index warez, films, TV shows and porn, each one rated for you. They explain how to download and set up emulators, how to burn Playstation 2 games to DVD and chip your console, how to use a Nintendo DS flash card and so forth. On the first page there is a tiny warning about not breaking copyright laws, then 90 pages of how to break copyright laws.

      That is the real story here. The fact that the police picked this particular bit of software as their way of prosecuting these guys is just an aside. Personally I love those mags but I can understand why the police were under pressure to find a way of taking action.

    • Japan's government doesn't bow to corporations. By definition one can't bow to itself.

  • Journalists? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @08:44AM (#40729219)

    Two warnings were issued to Sansai Books by three industry organizations, including the Japan Video Software Association, protesting the sale of the guidebook, but the publisher continued to offer the product.

    There are ways to dispute a law you disagree with. Disobeying it is usually not a good way.

    • Obey. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by neoshroom ( 324937 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @09:15AM (#40729321)

      There are ways to dispute a law you disagree with. Disobeying it is usually not a good way.

      The bus driver said to Rosa Parks.

      • by tomhath ( 637240 )
        That's why I qualified it with "usually". There are extreme situations.
        • Exactly.

          Imagine if the bus driver didn't like driving on the right hand side of the road and all the sudden started driving on the left. It may not have matter where Ms Parks sat.

        • Usually, laws are just. This is the extreme situation.
      • Re:Obey. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @11:03AM (#40729775) Journal
        She didn't just disobey it. She flagrantly disobeyed it, in full knowledge that the NAACP branch she was secretary of would support her. This is one of those exceptions where disobeying is a good idea.

        If these guys have decided to disobey the law in order to challenge it in the courts then that's cool, and I look forward to seeing their well prepared legal battle.
      • The bus driver said to Rosa Parks.

        Rosa Parks accepted the risks and the consequences of being arrested.

        She did not know nor could she have known that the NAACP would chose her as their test case. There were other candidates.

        Think about that for a moment. The ones who were left on their own.

        Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job as a seamstress in a local department store. Eventually, she moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she briefly found similar work.

        Rosa Parks []

        • You do know that Rosa Parks was a secretary for the NAACP at the time she pulled her move on the bus right? Saying "She did not know nor could she have known" is kind of a stretch.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        There are ways to dispute a law you disagree with. Disobeying it is usually not a good way.


        Both Socrates and Cicero(both ancient roman statesmen if didn't pay attention) believed that disobeying the law were effective ways to fight against laws you disagreed with. And believed that the more people that did it, the stronger the message you would send by using such a message to the courts, and to the government itself. There was a very long history of doing this in the republics, it died out of fashion at the end of the Roman empire it didn't really come back around until the enlightenment era

    • Re:Journalists? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @09:30AM (#40729363)

      There are ways to dispute a law you disagree with. Disobeying it is usually not a good way.

      I disagree. Civil disobedience, historically speaking, is a very effective method to bring about political change. The founding of the U.S. itself is steeped in civil disobedience. []

      The simple fact is, most people don't give a shit about injustice until it effects them personally. Civil disobedience brings it to their doorstep and forces them to acknowledge it. It took people occupying segregated lunch counters in the South before civil rights were really addressed 50 years ago, just as it took people occupying lower Manhattan to get wealth inequality really addressed today. Whether you agree with the protesters or not is irrelevant (and I'm really not interested in a bunch of ranting responses about the Occupy movement one way or the other, honestly); it forced those issues into the limelight. Mission: Accomplished.

      • Whilst this used to be the case, Occupy seems to have done very little to address the wealth inequality. Frank Dodd for example has been gutted, and completely ineffective. Why? Because it's all about the money. Civil rights 50 years ago wasn't about money, it was (and racism is still) about irrational and unfounded hate.

        • civil rights was not about money. in the US, it had a chance of winning (and over years, it did win).

          'occupy' is about money.

          in the US, this won't be resolved. it *will* need a revolution, likely a violent one, to fix this.

          I do not wish this but I see it as something that will come down the pike.

          what's clear is that what we have now is not sustainable and once the shit finally hits the fan (bad enough), pitchforks and fires will be the norm.

          again, its not what I want to see but I see no other way to gut t

        • by Shark ( 78448 )

          I assure you that it was no less about the money back then too. The major difference between then and now is people's willingness to stand for what they believe and lack of fear for the consequences of doing so. Most have it way too easy nowadays to consider the kind of rebelion and associated consequences required to change things. Plus, for the most part, principles are lacking to make an eventual rebelion more than an angry mob. All that established power needs to do to quell any genuine uprising is

      • by LocalH ( 28506 )

        "wealth inequality"

        So nobody should ever have more money than anyone else?

        • the point is, those without money should still get quality education, healthcare, and a chance at advancing themselves

          but current tax laws in the USA and American social policies advanced by the right are stratifying society, permanently

          meaning, if you are poor or middle class, you get inferior education, healthcare, and no chance to advance socioeconomically

          the point of life should be to better yourself. not to slave your entire life for someone who already has a lot of money, always will have a lot of money, never suffers for their crimes in the same way as the poor, and lives in a system rigged so that they, their children, and their grandchildren, can never possibly be poor. while those are poor, their children, and their grandchildren, are in such a rigged system they can never possibly be rich

          that's wealth inequality. a class society. that's where the USA is headed with the right wing republican political agenda

          the USA should be a MERITOCRACY. this is not what we have. what we have are country club boys complaining that the poor don't understand hard work, while they get a cushy job where they hardly exert any effort, just for chumming with the dad of their friend. meanwhile, the poor and middle class bust their ass, sometimes in two jobs, and live paycheck to paycheck, where the smallest of accidents or healthcare emergencies can ruin their entire lives

          THAT'S wealth inequality, and it is not a free society

          • by Shark ( 78448 )

            I used to think exactly like you, but then I started pondering this: Who's going to be the grand equalizer? What sort of incorruptible angel is going to come in and make everything fair again? Who is going to decide how much money this guy deserves versus this guy?

            There are only two approaches, either you make becoming wealthy illegal and completely ignore the consequences of that (who's going to bother going the extra mile if that doesn't mean more for them?) or you appoint some sort of super-human comm

            • what is wrong is that being poor or middle class dooms you to poor education, poor healthcare, and no chance to become rich. i want people to work for their dream. i don't want people to work from some rich guy who can never become poor, and the workers can never become rich. then what's the motivation to work? if you have no chance at your dream, why get out of bed in the morning? but the republicans in the usa advance social policies that pretty much lock the poor into poverty, the middle class into lower

              • There are simply too many examples of people going from nothing to something and becoming rich to make your view remotely valid. Some people's capacity isn't much more then working for someone else and some people's desire doesn't extend past that. There is where you are making your first mistake.

                The raw truth of the matter is that people mess their lives up well before they can get a job. This is especially true in poorer areas where parents tend to lack parenting skills or even parents and the child gets

                • so you are willing to accept that a smart kid, who, given the chance, will become a great person, should be denied, simply because they are born poor?

                  then what you are willing to accept, but don't understand yet, is that the french revolution, the russian revolution, or the arab spring, is coming to the USA

                  do you want that? no?

                  then simply make some simple government policies to ensure society gives everyone a fair chance. or the people get fed up and destroy society. because it is unfair

                  that's your choice

                  • A smart kid will become a great person in spite of being poor. That happens quite often. There are literally hundreds of thousands of scholarships looking for the one smart poor kid just to say their organization was part of making that great person. That is of course unless he ruins his chances first by joining a gang or by committing some offensive crime or wasting his education opportunities.

                    If you think the Arab Spring is coming to the US, the outcome will not be as you want. In the US, we are allowed t

        • Re:Journalists? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Cwix ( 1671282 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @10:40AM (#40729653)

          No, people shouldn't be allowed to have many, many orders of magnitude more then the average person.

          When the CEO makes 200 million and the employees make minimum wage, then something is wrong. When someone can watch people who live on the streets suffer from menatl and physical ailments and they feel nothing, then something is wrong. When someone makes more money the the GDP for some small countries, then something is very very wrong. Then when you grant personhood to a corp, something is so wrong its not even comical anymore.

          Just having more does not make wealth inequality except in the strictest of definitions. Its when you have more money then a very large swath of the population put together that you get wealth inequality.

          • by donaldm ( 919619 )

            When the CEO makes 200 million and the employees make minimum wage, then something is wrong.

            You are ideally right. However the CEO of a company is more interested in having the company he/she represents make money since most companies are responsible to their shareholders and shareholders like to see a return on their investment otherwise they will invest elsewhere. Yes this may not be nice for the employees particularly those on a minimum wage when the CEO is making a huge amount of money in salary, shares and other benefits but that is how capitalism works.

            You could go the other way and have

          • by Kjella ( 173770 )

            Just having more does not make wealth inequality except in the strictest of definitions.

            Actually in the most common definitions, that's exactly what it does. There's absolute poverty which has been in sharp decline, then there's relative relative poverty which is defined by earning under a certain percentage of the average - usually 50 or 60%. So all other things being equal, if your neighbor can afford another bottle of Dom Perignon then the average goes up and the number of "poor" people increase, even though they're actually no worse off. Talking to my parents or other old people on the con

        • 600:1 ratio?

          no, that's never healthy. and yes, I used the extreme word 'never'. its NEVER good to have that imbalance. you think otherwise?? ceo's really deserve that kind of pay-level? and the lower classes should continue to 'just pray; you'll get your heaven when its time, little man!' ??

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          > "wealth inequality"
          > So nobody should ever have more money than anyone else?

          Not so much that it causes the French Revolution. Some things are a bad idea just as a matter of public policy. The idea that there should not be too much imbalance of wealth is an idea that the likes of Jefferson would have very much agreed with.

          It's not that he was some sort of anarchist or communist. He just acknowledged what that kind of imbalance tends to lead to.

        • In an ideal world, everyone would have everything that they want. That's not possible at our current level of social and technological development, so some form of rationing is required. We use tokens known as money to implement the rationing system, with the basic idea that people who create things or offer services that are perceived to have value should be able to get these tokens in return. If someone does something that is very valuable, or moderately valuable to a lot of people, then they get more

        • by Nyder ( 754090 )

          "wealth inequality"

          So nobody should ever have more money than anyone else?

          No one should have to live like an animal while other people have more wealth then they need.

          If the USA actually took care of it's people, it would find that a lot of the lesser crimes would stop, as people wouldn't feel the need to steal or do crimes to feed their family. Instead, the USA spends in money in useless crap like wars and terrorizing it's people (like at the airports via the TSA), and making laws that give that 1% more money and power.

          "We the people" ya, right. "Home of the Free" not an

          • If the USA actually took care of it's people, it would find that a lot of the lesser crimes would stop, as people wouldn't feel the need to steal or do crimes to feed their family. Instead, the USA spends in money in useless crap like wars

            The US crime rate started dropping about the same time we got into the first Gulf War, after a decade of increase during a decade of peace.

            And unless "taking care" of people includes providing them with all the opiates, meth, cocaine, booze, and cigarettes they can consume

      • by tomhath ( 637240 )

        There are examples of civil disobedience bringing about change. Women's suffrage and civil rights are good examples. But many, many more changes have been brought about by working within the system than by working against it.

        Compare the Tea Party movement to Occupy. I'm not saying one movement is good and the other is evil, just that they both raised awareness of their adherents' respective positions.

        • by Troed ( 102527 )

          There are examples of civil disobedience bringing about change. Women's suffrage and civil rights are good examples. But many, many more changes have been brought about by working within the system than by working against it.

          Have you actually verified that? The only way to progress a society is to break existing laws. If no one ever does, the society becomes static. Behavior changes first, laws describing the changed behavior comes afterwards.

      • Re:Journalists? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Sunday July 22, 2012 @10:31AM (#40729617) Homepage Journal

        The simple fact is, most people don't give a shit about injustice until it effects them personally.

        Not true. 2 million people protested against invading Iraq in the UK. The problem is that they are powerless. We invaded Iraq anyway. Come election time when we could have thrown the government out we also had to consider things like the economy and the fact that the other lot were tossers and would probably have done the same.

    • Right, because I forgot about how much change has happened against unjust laws by people following them and just writing letters to their congressman. I forgot all the monumental change that has happened because of that.

      Oh wait, that never happened and it will never happen. I remember back during the early days of the DMCA I wrote in a letter to my congressman urging him to oppose it. A few days later I get a letter back assuring me that he was -supporting- it.

      Civil disobedience is really the only w
    • by Seumas ( 6865 )

      Not only a good way, but perhaps the best. Disobeying a law often results in the government responding in clearly disproportionate and unfair ways that the public can then see (especially if you garner any press), which then draws public support to something they weren't too concerned about before or may not even have been aware of, before. It is the cornerstone of civil disobedience and civil rights movements of all kinds. Kindly obeying and quietly petitioning for change will almost never accomplish what

    • There are ways to dispute a law you disagree with. Disobeying it is usually not a good way.

      Disobeying it is usually the ONLY way. It's about the only way you can even get a reaction from the behemoth usually called "society", even if it's the wrong reaction. Complaining while obeying simply gets you ignored, because "society" has what it wants.

  • Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ausrob ( 864993 ) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @08:45AM (#40729221)
    It's a wonder that the publishing company (Sansai Books) weren't issued some kind of ceast and desist letter first, considering the company did not break the law when the magazine was published *last year* (presumably well before the law was ammended). It sounds like they were probably selling back issues and may not have fully appreciated the situation.
  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Sunday July 22, 2012 @08:47AM (#40729231)

    Unfair Competition Prevention Law

    Most people would think that this law is designed to prevent unfair competition. What it really means is it's an unfair law to prevent competition.

    Also, getting governments to step on other people for you is apparently NOT unfair competition...

    • Yep, but that's how it is with most laws. Consider the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, reading the title you think it would require the bank to obtain less personal information, not to disclose its information and generally be more privacy friendly. Nope, instead it does the opposite, creating less bank secrecy and whole heck of a lot less privacy.

      All laws are newspeak.
  • If the news is true, then it should end all doubt that the Japanese authorities are somehow tolerant of the unlicensed distribution of media, including Japan's number one entertainment export, anime. Even if it might be argued that Japanese copyright law doesn't apply outside Japan (or that Japan wouldn't dare to conduct a Megaupload-style enforcement action), this does raise the question of how anime can be fansubbed at all if the episodes can't be recorded and shared [] with the "outside world."
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Microlith ( 54737 )

      this does raise the question of how anime can be fansubbed at all if the episodes can't be recorded and shared with the "outside world.

      No it doesn't. That question has been answered for ages: fansubs are copyright violations, period, and only exist because it wasn't worth the time or effort to pursue those doing it. Once upon a time fansubbers had respect for the studios in Japan and the US and would stop doing releases once it was licensed, then the warez kiddies came in and took over.

  • Some guys got arrested for dealing in counterfeit phone cards- they figured out how to duplicate them and started doing so en masse, selling them on the streets and train platforms around Tokyo. Ultimately a judge ruled that it was not a violation of law to duplicate or even sell the cards. It was only illegal to use them. Shortly thereafter you could see guys standing in front of police boxes, selling the cards to anyone walking by. Shortly after that NTT got rid of the phones that used those cards.


    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Japan is a weird place. On one hand it is very much into collectivism. On the other hand, it also has a strong amount of individualism in its culture due to the influence of the west. So often you see the two basic philosophies clash.
      • the whole East is based on NOT showing individualism! are we both on the same planet, here??

        asia is about following rules, don't question authority, don't make waves. or, am I the one on the 'other earth', here?

        • That's kinda what I thought too before writing my masters paper on a subject related to privacy here in Japan.

          Basically it isn't really as much individualism as we understand it, rather it is about being invisible to the government so that they can't spot what they think is a nail that sticks out.
        • Depends on where you are. China is about following the rules and not getting caught and thrown into the government's secret concentration camps, as such it is very much based on not showing individualism. I'd imagine the case would be the same in North Korea.

          In Kong Kong and Singapore, things are much more individualistic. The focus in work is about climbing the company ladder and being the best for yourself. Japan is a mix between the two, on one hand they don't want to be the "squeaky wheel" on the ot
    • by Tukz ( 664339 )

      Someone once told me, and I don't know if it is true, that Japanese laws don't say what you can't do, they say what you can do. If there isn't a law specifically allowing something, then you can't legally do whatever it is.

      Would make sense if the amout of stuff you CAN'T do, is higher than the amount of stuff you CAN do.
      Shortest path and all that.

  • so loading linux can get you to jail in japan? even more so if it's a new pc with UEFI? or even loading windows 7 on a system with windows 8?

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle