Since Japan passed it’s insane anti-piracy laws back in June, the music industry there has seen a steep drop in sales.
The laws made it illegal in Japan to make copies of any films or games, upload the data, download the data, sell off copies of the data or sell a device that enables playback of the copied data. Japanese attorneys stated that even watching a YouTube video could be grounds for arrest under the ultra-strict laws if the viewer was aware that downloading the material was illegal.
Not only that but under the law ISP’s would have to pay to allow the music industry to spy on their users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The cost was of course passed on to the very same consumer that are being spied on.
And the result?
Consumers stopped spending as much on music than they did before the laws came into play. Apparently, the government has made the people so fearful of being arrested they won’t even download content from legitimate sources out of fear that it may be tainted anyway. The laws did technically achieve the effect desired, since users are not inclined to click the download button as much as before, but the loss for the music industry has been substantial.
A recent consumer survey showed that more that 68% of those polled spent exactly zero yen on music, which is the highest the percentage has been in nearly 10 years.
According to a recent statistical survey, however, since the law was passed, sales of music in Japan have continued to fall and consumers are actually showing less interest in music than ever before.
Some are postulating as a result that perhaps the decline in music sales had nothing to do with illegal downloading, but more to do with culture changing as a whole. People just don’t feel the need to fill silence as much as they used to and would rather sit and listen to music because they enjoy it.
Because who wouldn’t want to listen to the follow up track to Rebecca Black’s Friday?
Do you think that illegal downloading is the reason that sales have declined for the music industry? or is it just that people’s tastes have changed to the point that what’s on the radio is not as relevant as it was before? Let us know what you think in the comments below!