Asia: One OK Rock To Open For Ed Sheeran

Scott Legato /
– Takahiro “Taka” Moriuchi of One Ok Rock
The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Mich.

One OK Rock To Open For Sheeran
The Japanese hard rock band One OK Rock has been chosen to open for Ed Sheeran on all dates of his upcoming Asia tour.
Led by Takahiro Moriuchi, the son of not one, but two of Japan’s most beloved “enka” (traditional Japanese ballad) singers, Shinichi Mori and Masako Mori (now divorced), the band was formed in 2005 after Moriuchi left the powerful boy band talent agency, Johnny’s Entertainment, where he was a member of NEWS from 2003 to 2004. 
One OK Rock didn’t hit it big until 2012, when their song “The Beginning” was featured in the box office smash, “Rurouni Kenshi,” a live action adaptation of a popular comic. 
Since then, One OK Rock has grown to an arena-level act in Japan. Moriuchi, who speaks fluent English, has also cultivated the band’s brand overseas, where they’ve collaborated with acts like Simple Plan, Against the Current and Sum 41. 
They were once signed to Warner Brothers and have released English-language versions of their songs. Currently they record for Fueled By Ramen for American releases. At one point, One OK Rock toured with Linkin Park, with whom they’ve always had a close relationship.
Stricter Anti-Piracy Punishment
This year, the Japanese government plans to reinforce its antipiracy laws to make punishments stricter for people who illegally download copyrighted content. The laws against downloading music and video content illegally are already among the most stringent in the world, and this year the government aims to do the same for print content, in particular comics.
According to the Jiji Press, the trade ministry is also creating a “music content distribution system” that will utilize artificial intelligence to enable profit distribution automatically in relation to the “level of contribution” by various creators, including secondary works produced from original music. The main reason for this development is that in recent years many videos uploaded online contain arranged versions of original songs, and in many cases the persons who upload the videos do not gain the necessary permission from the music copyright holder and thus may be subject to penalties.
The ministry wants to make it easier for these arranged works to be released on the internet with approval from the creators of the original music works and then ensure that any profits are distributed properly to the interested parties, including producers and publishers. The specific rules of usage will be stipulated in the contracts that users conclude when they use related apps. 
The difficulty is in determining the levels of contributions to sales made by eash of the creators involved. Artificial Intelligence will be used to analyze users’ purchase records and other factors, and profit distribution rates will be calculated based on the analysis.
Shoo Charged With ‘Habitual Gambling’
Though foreigners can gamble at casinos in South Korea, Koreans themselves are prohibited. In fact, South Korean nationals are prohibited from gambling anywhere in the world, as a former K-pop star found out Feb. 18.
Yoo Soo-young, more popularly known by the nickname Shoo from her time as part of girl group S.E.S., was sentenced by the Seoul Eastern District Court to six months in prison, suspended for two years, for “habitual gambling,” according to Yonhap news agency. In addition, the court ordered Yoo to perform 80 hours of community service.
Shoo, 37, was charged with gambling “in foreign countries,” including several times in Macau last summer. She reportedly bet a total of 790 million won ($702,000). Yoo was also accused by two acquaintances of borrowing some 600 million won from them for gambling, but prosecutors decided not to press charges despite reports that Yoo did not pay the money back.
S.E.S. was one of the biggest K-pop acts in the late ’90s and early ’00s. In 2010, some years after the group broke up, Yoo married a basketball star and later gave birth to three children.