Published on September 8th,2009 at 10:52 AM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

Japanese Mobile Operators to Stop Illegal Music Downloads

Japan is not like other countries, and again we have a proof of that today… While the rest of the world uses their PCs to download illegal material like music, young Japanese, computer illiterate (most teenagers use a phone instead of a computer and can’t even start average word processing software on a regular PC or Mac), use their phone as a unique DAP, TV and computer device for their everyday life…

And of course, the first thing teens or young adults want is music, a lot of music and as cheap as possible… So as you may have guessed, in Japan there are a lot of mobile websites that allow Japanese to download free music that they would normally pay for.

This is why the Japanese RIAA equivalent, the RIAJ (Recording Industry Association of Japan) is working with mobile phone carriers to start from 2010 a huge operation to stop the download of music from certain websites that give it for free, while a user would normally pay for that.

Yomiuri Online reports that every year 70 million songs are download via official channels, while they estimate that 400 million songs are downloaded illegally and as you would guess, the “Recording Industry Association of Japan” is not happy about that. After all, they have a way of life to maintain.

The mechanism involved seems to be pretty simple. If one user downloads a song, it first goes to a mobile phone operator and be checked. If the song is from a legit source, everything is fine. Otherwise users recieve a warning letting informing them that their killing the Japanese music industry… If the user continues to download illegal files, the operator will render these files impossible to be played on a handset.

Now few things comes to my mind… First Japanese people paying WAY to much for music downloads, the confirmed average is about 300 Yen per song (€2.25) on a typical mobile download music server. For example, Koda Kumi’s latest album is sold 200 Yen per track on iTunes (€1.5), and you can even get Jimi Hendrix All Along the Watchtower for 150 Yen (€1.13)…

Seriously, I understand why people are willing to take the risk and download songs for free, official channels are ripping them off!

Secondly, the Japanese mobile phone industry is the worst thing I’ve seen in my life. You have NO control whatsoever over your phone. You can’t unlock it, even if you fully paid for it, and now, like Amazon Kindle, they have the power to control what you listen to on your phone… If you download a song from a legal channel… Fine, but let’s imagine that you downloaded a song from an Indy group… What happens?

I’m fed-up with the bullshit I read reading every day, whether it’s in the USA, Europe, or here in Japan. I really hope things change soon and people start to react…

Via Yomiuri
Category Networking
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  • BoeserMann

    Thanks for the strong and abolutely true words.
    The best things consumers can do is not to buy products of companies which rip off their customers.
    I know that this will hardly work in Japan which is all about cosumerism.

  • Ogy002

    Even after 10 years in japan im still surprised at how computer illiterate people are.

    Even young kids dont know how to use a PC!

    I suggest teaching them how to get illegal downloads via PCs. That way they can just copy those MP3s to their phones

    I also think that the grip mobile/cell phones in japan have over the people is absurd.

    And likewise the carriers like docomo who rip people off all the time.

    My friend just got a phone bill for 30.000 yen (300 bucks) when according to him he hardly uses his phone!

  • BoeserMann

    “I also think that the grip mobile/cell phones in japan have over the people is absurd.”

    Sometimes it seems like a junkie-dealer relationship.

    I might be wrong, but I never heard of an organistaion which fights for consumer rights in Japan. But that would provoke trouble and that is the least we want here. Right?

  • G. Curt Fiedler

    Have you seen CD prices here in Japan? Ridiculous! And iTunes content seems to be twice as expensive.

    Ridiculous is an understatement.

  • Daimaou

    G. Curt Fiedler> And what about movies… from 6 to 9000 Yen for a Freaking DVD or Blu-Ray Movie ! Personally I purchase everything in the US, shipping cost sometimes is even free !



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