YouTuber Arrested For Anime and Video Game Piracy
by Danica Davidson
May 19, 2023
A YouTuber in Nagoya, Japan is in hot water for allegedly putting up footage of video games and anime on YouTube and profiting off these, as he’s not involved in the creation or distribution of the content he shared. In fact, all of this has led to his arrest, which is history-making.
52-year-old Shinobu Yoshida put up Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace gameplay videos (including giving away the ending) as well as significant footage from the anime series Steins;Gate and SPY x FAMILY. He never put up full episodes, but allegedly he’s been uploading various anime since 2019. Thanks to ad revenue on YouTube, his videos were making him money, which the actual companies behind the content do not look upon favorably. He also specifically got nailed for a “Jikkyō Play” video containing nearly an hour’s worth of footage that didn’t belong to him. This violated guidelines put up by content creators Nitroplus and Kadokawa.
Because of all this, he is suspected of violating the Copyright Act. Japan updated its copyright laws in 2020 to go after people who knowingly upload some else’s materials, like manga. The new version of the law went into effect not long after.
Yoshida has been forthcoming, confessing he did what he’s accused of doing. He’s reported as saying, “I knew it was illegal, even as I was doing it.”
Some video game companies have guidelines on how much you’re allowed to share online, and some video game companies are not very specific.
The Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) is very serious about cracking down on piracy, and said this was the first time someone in Japan has been arrested for illegally uploading video games. Members of CODA include Studio Ghibli, Shueisha, Shogakukan, Toei Animation, and Bandai Namco Arts. With piracy costing the anime and manga business millions, the companies are stepping up their responses.
Source: ANN, SoraNews24
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.