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…