No Piracy, No Sales?
A new law went into effect in Japan that would punish people who knowingly download copyrighted materials illegally with up to two years in jail and a 2 million yen ($250,000) fine.
Since the law went into effect Oct. 1, record company and talent agency websites have sent strongly worded warnings to anyone who visits them. The media has said the move seems to have been effective in that illegal downloading has slowed noticeably.
However, while the law may be curbing piracy, it apparently hasn’t spurred anyone to spend more money on legal downloads or CDs. Quite the contrary, in fact.
The Livedoor News service reported Nov. 4 the results of a survey conducted in October that showed 68.6 percent of respondents spent nothing on music in “an average month,” the highest percentage in almost 10 years.
Though the survey has no component that can determine if the new law had any effect, some of the comments on the survey seem to indicate as much.
Many respondents say that the price of CDs is just too high and they would never pay that much money for an album or a single. An even more shocking trend seems to show that many young people see music as having no value except as background noise, so why pay for it?
Some actually seem to have it in for the Japanese music industry. A few who do say they buy music say they tend to buy foreign tracks and albums.
In general, the survey indicates that music, or, at least, Japanese pop music, is irrelevant to many younger Japanese Internet users.