January 4, 2003  ·  Lessig

The Nikkei is reporting today that the government will propose a law to “enhance copyright holder protection.” You can’t read the story without buying a trial subscription (aka, that’s bad enough). But worse is the substance of what the Nikkei reports. The story reports what has been reported often before: That the legislation will increase copyright terms for movies and games from 50 to 70 years (again invoking the bogus harmonization argument). But the most amazing proposed change is this:

“Plaintiffs in lawsuits defending their copyrights often have difficulty submitting evidence that offenders have infringed upon their rights. So the government aims to shift the burden of proof to the defendants, requiring them to prove that they have produced and marketed their products without violating the plaintiffs’ rights.”

That’s a quote from the story, and as the story has a bunch of factual mistakes in it, I can’t be sure it is accurate. But if true, it means that in Japan, you’re guilty until proven innocent.

I’ll be reviewing the draft law as soon as I can, and reporting more. But the bottom line is the same: IP extremism continues unabated. There’s so much to praise in this amazing country. It is sad to see them following the extremists.

December 12, 2002  ·  Lessig


So the price war for broadband continues here in Japan. This snippet, shot from Jiro Kokuryo’s phone, tells it all. NTT now offers 12 mbs for about $20/month. And 100 mbs (fiber) for $46/month. According to LowerMyBills.com, I can get 1.5 mbs for $50/month in San Francisco. Where is war when you need it?