Are there any criminal penalties for copyright infringement in Japan?

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Most owners of copyrights will be interested in the civil penalties associated with unjust enrichment based upon their work.  However, Japanese law also authorizes criminal penalties in certain circumstances of copyright infringement.

If a Japanese national commits copyright infringement he or she may be subject to a fine of up to 10 million yen or up to 10 years in prison.  However, intent is an important part of proving criminal liability so not all cases of copyright infringement can lead to criminal punishment.

If you have a question about copyrights in Japan or in a foreign country, please contact our office for a legal consultation.