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Music Sales In Japan Raise Questions About Copyright Laws

TOKYO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A year after Japan introduced tough anti-piracy laws, music sales in the island nation show no signs of improving, according to a report by the NHK.

On October 1st, 2012, Japan introduced stiff penalties that included up to two years in prison for those caught downloading copyrighted material without permission in a series of measures meant to protect music sales. However, while the use of P2P networks in the country have sharply declined, music sales have continued to slump and are down by 7% overall for the year with a precipitous decline of 24% in digital sales since the law was introduced.

While it is impossible to directly connect the continued decline of Japanese music sales and the new law, this new data does appear to suggest that the link between piracy and music sales is not as linear as some trade associations have suggested.

The London School of Economics and Political Science released a new policy brief this week that urges the UK government to look at objective data instead of the claims of lobbyists when considering rules for copyright protection. The report suggests that instead of protecting music sales, overly strict copyright laws hinder innovation and creation.

“Contrary to the industry claims, the music industry is not in terminal decline, but still holding ground and showing healthy profits. Revenues from digital sales, subscription services, streaming and live performances compensate for the decline in revenues from the sale of CDs or records,” says Bart Cammaerts, one of the report’s authors and a senior lecturer at the London School of Economics. – Staff Writers