Japan to Ban P2P Piracy

Net Neutrality folks like to tout Japan as the model of a fine and healthy Internet access ecosystem, despite the VoIP blocking. They’re going to have a major fit when they learn P2P piracy is about to be banned in Japan:

The nation’s four Internet provider organizations have agreed to forcibly cut the Internet connection of users found to repeatedly use Winny and other file-sharing programs to illegally copy gaming software and music, it was learned Friday.

The move aims to deal with the rise in illegal copying of music, gaming software and images that has resulted in huge infringements on the rights of copyright holders.

Resorting to cutting off the Internet connection of copyright violators has been considered before but never resorted to over fears the practice might involve violations of privacy rights and the freedom of use of telecommunications.

The Internet provider organizations have, however, judged it possible to disconnect specific users from the Internet or cancel provider contracts with them if they are identified as particularly flagrant transgressors in cooperation with copyright-related organizations, according to sources.

How can they do that, you ask? Well, it’s pretty easy. We can’t ban piracy in the US because critics can say “just upgrade the pipes like they’ve done in Japan and it’s not a problem.” That dodge obviously doesn’t fly over there.

Japan has a 100 Mb/s connection to the home that’s over 95% occupied at the busiest times of the time, a completely unacceptable situation. So they’re taking sensible action in the absence of a technical solution to bandwidth-hogging.

They’re not stupid, you see.

UPDATE: Count Sweden in as well:

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Swedish courts will soon be able to force the country’s Internet providers to produce information on suspected file-sharers in a move to crackdown on piracy, the culture and justice ministers said Friday.

File-sharing can be traced by tracking the IP addresses of the computers that download or distribute a file.

…along with France and the UK. I’m sensing a trend here, where Kevin Martin is the only opposition.

UPDATE 2: George Ou comments on the story.

2 thoughts on “Japan to Ban P2P Piracy”

  1. The quoted section of your article doesn’t support your thesis. The article implies that they are cutting access to P2P in order to thwart piracy while you draw the conclusion that it is to reduce network usage.

  2. It turns out that anything you do for the one goal advances the other as well. The miracle of P2P is that it has made allies of two interests that should be opposed to each other: carriers and content producers.

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