Software as Crime: Japan, the United States and Contributory Copyright Infringement
66 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 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.
Keywords: Copyright, peer-to-peer, Japan, criminal, remedies
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