A Japanese YouTuber has been sentenced after being arrested for streaming the video game STEINS;GATE among other pieces of media.
Shinobu Yoshida has been sentenced to 2 years in prison (suspended for 5 years) and fined 1 million Japanese Yen (approximately $6800 USD).
Yoshida seemed to know what they were doing is illegal and allegedly said as much during his arrest.
Yoshida’s channel was what’s considered a “fast content” channel. These channels post clips of media along with narration in order to give curious watchers the experience of having consumed that media in only a fraction of the time.
These types of channels are seemingly covered under Fair Use in America and are growing in popularity here. You can find an example of this type of “fast content” here.
The Content Overseas Distribution Agency (CODA) in Japan made a press release regarding the sentencing which you can find here.
A male defendant, who was arrested and subsequently charged by the Miyagi Prefectural Police Headquarters and Minamisanriku Police Station for violating the Copyright Law by uploading game-playing videos and animations through YouTube without permission from the rights holder, was sentenced to two years in prison, five years suspended, and fined 1 million yen at his second trial held on September 7 at Sendai District Court in Miyagi Prefecture. 1 million yen.
At the first trial held on August 2, the man admitted the charges against him. He said that he knew he was infringing copyrights, but he continued to post his works for financial gain.
In 2022, the man uploaded to YouTube a video clip (about an hour long, including the ending) of a game “Steins;Gate: Hibi no Koiri no Darin,” a game copyrighted by Nitroplus Inc. and others and forbidden by the guidelines. In addition, videos of “Steins;Gate”, an anime copyrighted by KADOKAWA, Inc. and others, and “SPY×FAMILY”, an anime copyrighted by TOHO, Inc. and others, were edited and uploaded on YouTube with subtitles and narrations added without the permission of their right holders. (1) The copyright holder was not notified by the copyright holder. In both cases, the videos containing contents and endings (spoilers) were posted without the permission of the rights holders, attracting a large number of hits on the basis of copyright infringement and unfairly generating advertising revenue.
CODA believes that this ruling is a further indication that the posting of “gameplay videos” in violation of the guidelines, which have recently become a problem, is not only a violation of the copyrights of the copyright owners, but is also a violation of the copyrights of the users. CODA views this decision as a major achievement in preventing the further spread of damage caused by the posting of “gameplay videos” in violation of the guidelines, which have recently become a problem. Similarly, the unauthorized use of “fast contents” of animated cartoons, for which creators have invested time, effort, and money, to earn unjustified advertising revenue, must not be tolerated. In addition, the posting of content that contains spoilers exposes the core of a storytelling work, and the damage and impact on rights holders can be enormous.
CODA will continue its efforts to clean up the unauthorized use of Japanese content and promote the sound and legitimate distribution of content that is properly protected.
As previously reported, Yoshida’s arrest was largely driven by his streaming of STEINS;GATE but his channel also included protected works from the anime SPY x FAMILY among others.