The story of a Japanese man who was recently arrested for monetizing gaming videos on YouTube continued – the Sendai District Court (Judge Koichi Nakamura) sentenced 53-year-old Let’s Play player Shinobi Yoshidi to 5 years of suspended imprisonment and an additional fine of ¥1 million. (about $6,785), reports The Verge and IGN with reference to the Japanese site Asahi Shimbun.
The story itself is notable primarily for the fact that this is the first case in the country when a court pronounced a guilty verdict for such an offense. Moreover, the prosecution previously insisted on a more severe punishment for the elderly YouTuber – 2 years of real imprisonment instead of a suspended sentence.
The Japanese man received a lawsuit for publishing gaming videos on YouTube for the purpose of further monetization and earnings, namely, he uploaded gameplay videos of the visual novel Steins; Gate: My Darling’s Embrace and videos with condensed translations of Steins anime episodes; Gate and Spy x Family. It is the monetization of these videos for the purpose of making money that falls under Japanese copyright law. At least this is the position of the Japanese anti-piracy association CODA (Japanese Copyright Association). In addition to copyright infringement, CODA accused the Japanese let’s player of “illegally” publishing spoilers.
This was “a case of maliciously publishing videos containing content and endings (spoilers) without the permission of the copyright holders,” CODA said, “and illegally generating advertising revenue through copyright infringement.” In court, Yoshida fully admitted his guilt, adding that he only wanted to “draw the attention of users to his hobby.”
It is noted that the prosecution called Yoshida’s actions “a malicious act that interferes with the creation of content,” since it spoils the consumer experience and reflects any desire to buy the game or anime.