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Software as Crime: Japan, the United States and Contributory Copyright Infringement

Salil K. Mehra

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Tulane Law Review, December 2004

This article sets forth two main points. First, it tries to explain why peer-to-peer (P2P) networks have led Japan and may lead the United States to choose criminal enforcement against contributory copyright infringement. While criminal enforcement existed in both societies prior to the popularization of P2P networks, it was rare and largely directed at direct infringers. Second, the article predicts that, while Japan and the United States may similarly bring to bear criminal law resources and norms to face the same challenge - contributory copyright infringement using P2P and related technologies - the results will likely to be significantly different. The social and legal contexts suggest that in the U.S. criminalization may buttress and perhaps complement and encourage more civil enforcement. But in Japan, administrative pronouncements and judicial decisions have diminished the usefulness of civil enforcement to rightsholders. As a result, Japanese criminalization may substitute for the development of an effective system of civil remedies to protect intellectual property.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 66

Keywords: Copyright, peer-to-peer, Japan, criminal, remedies

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Date posted: October 10, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Mehra, Salil K., Software as Crime: Japan, the United States and Contributory Copyright Infringement. Tulane Law Review, December 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=600622 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.600622

Contact Information

Salil K. Mehra (Contact Author)
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-7113 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)
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