back to article Anonymous turns ire on Japan after anti-piracy law passes

It was only a matter of time – hacktivist group Anonymous has taken aim at the web sites of political parties and government departments in Japan in retaliation for a tough new anti-piracy bill passed last week. The update to the Copyright Law was brought about after heavy lobbying by a content industry dismayed that illegal …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do the Anonymous attacks ever make any difference?

    Or are they seen as a passing irritation?

    1. h4rm0ny

      DDoS attacks really achieve little more than publicity, though in some cases that can be useful such as drawing attention to Bharain's human rights records.

      The much rarer leaks of information have more lasting impact, but these are rarer and I think mostly matters of opportunity rather than targetting.

    2. the-it-slayer

      Most probably make no difference at all. They generate a few headlines then disappear into the little bedrooms they once come from.

      Only if they continously attacked public sites that provide essential services might it become an issue. However, all this dossing is dead duck territory.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Like all peaceful protest they are just a passing irritation.

    4. Sandtitz Silver badge

      I consider them as influential as On-line Petitions. (i.e. no difference)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

    I wish Anonymous would focus more on things like censorship and human rights abuses, than piracy. Direct Action has its place and in Today's world, that means online as often as not. Sure, increasing the sentences and fines for piracy in Japan is not going to do much good beyond a certain point (if six months inside doesn't stop the average Freetard, they're probably already thinking they wont get caught meaning two years wont discourage them any more. And as a punishment it is too severe for any non-commercial pirate). But that doesn't mean its worthy of DDoS attacks. Focus on the important things. Just because the Pirate Bay likes to leap in on any popular movement and try to present itself as being all about Freedom (not making money from advertising and getting pissed off when others use their material to divert that revenue stream), doesn't mean piracy has much to do with real issues of Freedom, Human Rights and Censorship.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

      Part of the new copyright law states that the Japanese government is trying to give itself extra-territorial powers to prosecute its citizens anywhere in the world. So, if Saito-san watches an "infringing" youtube clip while on vacation in another country, he can still be prosecuted, facing a 2 million yen fine and ten years in jail.

      I'm no expert on law, but doesn't that seem to go beyond piracy and perhaps stray into a rights issue?

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

        "I'm no expert on law, but doesn't that seem to go beyond piracy and perhaps stray into a rights issue?"

        If it's that extreme then yes. Any extreme enforcement actually does. I'd like to see what is actually in it (and I don't read Japanese so it's difficult) as criminalizing someone watching an infringing YouTube clip in a foreign country sounds pretty crazy. Are any laws about activity outside of Japan simply to deal with people who offshore the behaviour... for example hosting the torrent server in China or something as an easy dodge? Without details, everyone just brings their own preconceptions to the debate - you, me, all of us.

  3. Bob Boblowski

    A maximum jail sentence of ten years...

    So let me get this, in Japan, uploading illegal content is just as serious a crime as say manslaughter.

    This world is seriously fucked up...

    1. Graham Wilson

      @Bob Boblowski - - Re: A maximum jail sentence of ten years...

      Right, never a day seems to go by without a breach-of-copyright story. Even now, El Reg has similar story only five items newer than this one: "69,000 sign petition to save TV-linker O'Dwyer from US extradition."

      I'm beginning to think it's got to explode anytime. Copyright holders have been getting compliant governments to tighten the screws for so long something's got to give soon. Online connectivity, file-sharing etc. is now the norm, thus simply by exposure and not by intent, sooner or later, just about everyone will be in at least technical breach of copyright law.

      The law's already a farce no matter what country one's in.

  4. wowfood

    More realistic punishment

    When they catch these people they should just make them do community service for 6 months, and pay for whatever it turns out they stole tripled.

    Make the time fit the crime for god sakes. You don't even get 10 years for murder half the time.

  5. Zombie Womble

    The recording association of Japan aren't satisfied with ten years in jail, they are now calling for Phorm type monitoring and blocking by ISPs. It's about time governments realised that the only reason these organisations exist is to lobby for more control and if they ever admit the laws are enough then they will all be out of work. This makes their ridiculous demands far more to do with keeping their jobs than achieving reasonable measures to fight piracy.

  6. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Fixed it for you.

    Anonymous announced TantrumJapan.....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While Anonymous may be reacting in its usual knee-jerk fashion, there is a very real and serious problem with copyright in Japan that is strangling content producers at a number of levels. Rights holders are extremely powerful, and the circulation of images and sounds is highly restricted by the existing copyright code. Many Japanese don't believe that the concept of fair use exists, they will tell you it doesn't exist in Japan, and they will self-censor out of fear that their organizations *might* be sued.

    Consumers, of course, do not care. They will just change the channel and listen to K-Pop.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Copyright is little more than a diseased remnant of an earlier age. Piracy is now ubiquitous, you can find stories of copyright groups themselves committing it (BREIN in the Netherlands is one that I remember, though don't quote me on that).

    It's simply not possible to protect one's "intellectual property" on the internet, at least not using the out-dated and moronic methods that copyright groups are applying. Whether this is ethically right or wrong or whatever shouldn't even be a discussion any more, we had that years ago, and regardless of the outcome, this has happened, and the clock can't be turned back.

    Instead, we should be having a serious discussion on why their model of profit hasn't changed, and whether law enforcement should continue to act as bounty hunters for copyright groups (in any country) instead of solving actual real crimes wot with violence and that.

    Anonymous might be ineffectual and often plain stupid, but props to them for actually DOING something; they, at least, don't enjoy being shafted by corporations anywhere.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've seen enough piracy

    to know where this is going.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous and George Michael

    As far as I can see, Anonymous' actions produce about the same result as a public George Michael w*nk:

    It serves no purpose other than briefly helping to sell newspapers, it annoys the police, it can potentially leave a mess behind and both may result in RSI..

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOIC? I don't think so

    The author seems unaware of some history. Anonymous deprecated the Low Orbit Ion Cannon ages ago. I doubt anyone seriously involved with the collective still uses it. Google for High Orbit Ion Cannon and you'll find out why.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They ain't so anonymous anymore

    As they ship off to jail they seem to have lost their anonymity and cockiness.

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