Copyright Infringement Uploader of “gameplay videos” found guilty of violating guidelines

A man who was arrested and subsequently charged by the Miyagi Prefectural Police Headquarters and Minamisanriku Police Station for violating the Copyright Law by uploading “gameplay videos” and animations through YouTube without permission from the rights holder was sentenced to two years in prison, a five-year stay of execution, and a fine of 1 million yen at the second trial held on September 7 at Sendai District Court in Miyagi Prefecture.

At his first trial on August 2, the man admitted to the charges against him. He knew he was infringing copyrights, but he continued to post for monetary purposes.

In 2022, a man uploaded to YouTube a video of a game play (about an hour long, including the ending), which is prohibited by the guidelines of the game “STEINS;GATE: Hiyaku Renri no Darin” copyrighted by Nitroplus Inc. and others, and earned advertising revenue. The man also uploaded so-called “fast contents” that were edited, subtitled, and narrated without the permission of the copyright holders of “Steins;Gate”, an anime copyrighted by KADOKAWA CORPORATION and others, and “SPY x FAMILY”, an anime copyrighted by TOHO CO., LTD. and others without the permission of the right holders. Both of these cases can be said to be malicious cases in which videos containing content or endings (spoilers) were posted without permission from the rights holders, attracting many hits on the basis of copyright infringement and unfairly obtaining advertising revenue.

In March of this year, the Agency for Cultural Affairs hosted the first “Seminar on Copyrights Related to Live Video Games and Game Distribution” to raise awareness of rules related to live video games and game distribution, which are becoming increasingly popular in the government. CODA views this decision as a major achievement in preventing further damage from the recent problem of “gameplay videos” posted in violation of the guidelines. Similarly, as for “fast contents” of animated cartoons, unauthorized use of works created by creators with time, effort, and money to earn unjustified advertising revenue is not acceptable. In addition, the posting of content containing spoilers is an important core revelation for narrative works, and the damage and impact on rights holders is enormous.

CODA will continue its efforts to clean up the illegal use of Japanese content and promote the sound and legitimate distribution of content that is properly protected.

■Reference:Uploader of “gameplay videos” arrested for violating guidelines

(translated by automatic translation system)

About CODA
CODA (Content Overseas Distribution Association) was established in 2002 at the call of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Agency for Cultural Affairs to promote the overseas development of Japanese content and take anti-piracy measures. Japan’s proud content, including music, movies, anime, broadcast programs, video games, and publishing, plays an important role in enhancing the nation’s international presence and economic growth. As digital technology becomes more widespread, it is even more significant to protect Japan’s content from increasingly artful copyright infringement and promote the content industry’s development. CODA contributes to the deterrence and detection of online and other piracy, by sharing knowledge with relevant government agencies, organizations, and companies in Japan and abroad, to engage in direct and indirect anti-piracy measures, as well as public relations activities. Visit for more information on CODA’s projects.

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