A Tokyo district court on Thursday ordered a man and woman to pay 500 million yen ($3.6 million) in damages to 13 major movie production companies for uploading minute-long, edited versions of their films, known as “fast films,” to video-sharing sites. without permission.
The court awarded the plaintiffs, including Toho Company, Shochiku Company and Toei Company, the full amount sought in Japan’s first court ruling for damages for the unauthorized uploading of such edited films.
The defendants, both in their 20s, pleaded guilty to violating copyright laws in November last year and did not contest the legality of their actions in the civil case.
According to the lawsuit, the two edited and posted the videos from early 2020 until October of that year and earned at least 7 million yen from advertising. A ruling by the Sendai District Court in November 2021 stated that the films, usually about 10 minutes long, contained the plots of the films.
The plaintiffs claim that more than 50 movies, including “Shin Godzilla,” the Oscar-winning drama “Departures” and the horror movie “Cold Fish,” were edited and illegally uploaded by the defendants and have been viewed more than 10 million times.
The companies determined the amount based on the price viewers would pay to watch the edited film, and set the monetary value at ¥200 per view. The total damage was about 2 billion yen in their estimation, but they claimed only a fraction.
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