Tokyo court orders ‘Fast Movie’ uploaders to pay damages | Jobi Cool

A Tokyo District Court on Thursday ordered a couple who pleaded guilty to uploading so-called ‘fast films’ to YouTube without permission to pay JPY 500 million ($3.5 million) to 13 film production companies. The winning plaintiffs include major manufacturers and distributors Toho, Toei and Shochiku.

The fine was the first for this type of crime. Two defendants, an unidentified man and a woman, received suspended sentences for copyright infringement earlier this month.

The film companies filed a lawsuit against the pair in May, alleging that they, along with another man who was not named in the lawsuit, made 10-minute versions of copyrighted films without permission and uploaded them to YouTube since October 2020. A total of around 50 ‘quick movies’ were uploaded in this way, with the uploaders earning a reported JPY7 million in advertising revenue from around 10 million views.

Abridged titles uploaded include the 2016 blockbuster “Shin Godzilla,” the 2008-produced Oscar-winner “Departures” and the 2010 horror title “Cold Fish.”

Film companies have complained about the loss of income when short films are made available online for free.

The plaintiffs claimed damages of JPY200 ($1.43) per view as the basis of their complaint. The court agreed and demanded full compensation from them.

At a press event announcing the ruling, Goto Takero, representative director of the Content Overseas Distribution Association, an industry organization whose members include the plaintiffs, told reporters: “The decision is a major deterrent to copyright infringement … It shows a firm attitude. ‘We will not tolerate profiteering anymore.’ The message from those in the film industry.

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