Music Sales Drop Despite Penalties For Illegal Downloads

Despite bringing in harsh new laws against people who download music and movies illegally, sales of CDs and DVDs has not increased in Japan.

Netizens seem to have expected this to occur, and have taken to Twitter to express their frustration with this law.

From NHK:

After Year Of Applying Criminal Penalties, Sales Are Not Recovering

On the first day of next month it will have been one year since criminal punishment has been imposed on people who download music and movies that are posted illegally on the internet.

A consistent decrease in users of file sharing software is being seen. It is understood that there is has not been a connection between the decrease of file sharing software, and CD and music distribution sales recovering.

Since ‘Revised Copyright Act’ was enforced on the 1st of October last year, people who knowingly download pirated copies of music and movies on the internet are penalised.

The police have not yet uncovered an example of this, but according to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, use of file sharing software programs “Winny” and “Share”, which are used to exchange illegal files, has decreased by almost 40%. This can be seen as an effect of the revised law.

On the other hand, from when the system changed last October until June this year, in the same time period in previous years there was a 5% increase in losses in CD and DVD sales because of illegal downloading. But, from January this year until August last month, the latest data shows that from last year losses have been decreasing by 7%.

In regards to additional music distribution, from October last year until June there has been a steep decrease of 24% compared to the previous year. It is understood that there is no connection between music distribution and a recovery in sales. The Recording Industry Association of Japan’s Managing Director Kenji Takasugi said “the legal reforms have had the effect of increasing rental use, but there still isn’t a connection between the legal reforms and an increase in people forking out money to buy music and movies. We will continue public awareness actions about illegal downloading, and we want to continue the recovery in sales by making good music and improving the ease of support systems”.

Comments from Twitter:


You can’t sell things that won’t sell


There are only a few songs that I am willing to pay for (´・ω・`)


Yeah, we know this. J-POP CDs are not selling because they are simply boring. It ended since we called Arashi and AKB artists.


Without shifting responsibility, wouldn’t it be good to soon start thinking seriously “why can’t we sell CDs and DVDs?”


This law is meaningless.


It’s not just CD sales, but music distribution is also decreasing. This is a harsh reality, isn’t it.

杏樹亭 幽麗 (Rei):

・File sharing software use has decreased 40%.
・Music software sales has decreased 7%.
In other words, this is proof that illegal distribution is not the cause of a decline in CDs。

 キユーヴ⚡:


[email protected]月の試験は落とせない:

This has been said countless times, but those idiots on the management board at RIAJ just don’t get it.


This has backfired as expected. Lack of interest in music worsened w


There surely can’t be any idiots who seriously thought that this will recover sales? Surely?


How about you regulate TV, radio and the internet next?^^


Everyone knew this. Even I knew this.


Opportunities to buy CDs has decreased… ripping physical copies of music, I really don’t understand where does the legality end and the illegality begin.


How do you feel now, JASRAC? (゚∀゚)

Kazuhiro Nishimasa:

This article is implying this, but I think it’s naïve to think that the cause of the slump in the music industry’s sales is mainly illegal downloading. As a consumer.

Dai Tamada:

Oh no, this says that that CD sales are not growing…

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