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Japan introduces harsh punishments for music file-sharing

Both uploaders and downloaders could face fines and prison time

After Japan’s music downloading market took a nosedive, shrinking by 16 percent in 2011, the country has decided to take drastic measures. As of Monday, it has instituted a law that punishes not only music uploaders, but downloaders as well with hefty fines and even prison time.

Illegal uploading of copyrighted music could cost the perpetrator 10 million yen, or $127,959, with a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. The price for downloading is not as steep, but still more than enough to give one pause before stealing the latest Taylor Swift single: $25,700 fines or up to two years in prison.

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