Japanese man arrested for uploading Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace gameplay
If only he could go back in time...
If you want to see a case where copyright infringement is being taken to the extreme, look no further than Japan.
Japan Today has reported that a 52-year-old from Nagoya, Japan has been arrested for uploading gameplay from Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace to YouTube. This uploaded footage included the game’s ending and was monetized. The Miyagi Prefectural Police made the arrest based on the suspicion of copyright infringement.
This is the very first arrest made in Japan made in relation to uploading gameplay from a videogame. Japan’s Content Overseas Distribution Association, along with Steins;Gate rights holder KADOKAWA, have been working together on this arrest. KADOKAWA previously set guidelines on what could be shown in videos, and the 52-year-old broke those rules. Apparently the suspect has since stated that he admitted to uploading the videos and also knew it was illegal.
It remains to be seen just what kind of sentence the suspect will receive, but we’ll certainly keep a close eye on the situation and bring you any subsequent details.
Is there something special about Steins;Gate? Or is it just that the rights holder is just especially litigious?
This is an abuse of copyright given that the world over has a consensus of gameplay footage being fair game to upload and monetize online. But this tracks with KADOKAWA.
Japan has been pro-copyright and have increased copyright maximalism in that they try to impose their will outside Japan. This is why so many Japanese companies have strict guidelines for what players can do while everyone else in Japan has a blanket-ban on content.
Even Nintendo tried to dictate how players should record from their games and that was overturned with pushback, but Nintendo will still strike videos that have "unlawful" emulated games, homebrew/hacks, adult content of Nintendo IP, or contains leaked content.