A total of 13 Movie companies and TV stations including Toho, Toei, Kadokawa, Nikkatsu, Nippon Television, and others have sought damages on May 19, 2022, against three defendants who were arrested and charged for illegally uploading 10-minute summary versions of their films called “fast movies” (“fast eiga”).
They also filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court against YouTube channel operators such as “Pocket Theater” and “[Movie Introduction] Pamphlet Movie” for violating the copyright law.
The number of damages was calculated by looking at the number of internet views for “fast movies” from 54 films that premiered in Japan, including Shin Godzilla. Each view was valued at 200 yen (about $2) by the studios. Over 2.65 million people have watched some of the “fast movies.”
According to Comic Natalie, the total number of views was 10,274,711, and the advertising revenue was at least 7 million yen.
The Sendai District Court convicted them, pointing out that it could destroy the profit structure of movies and hinder the development of movie culture.
Last year in June, the Miyagi Prefectural Police arrested the three people on suspicion of violating the copyright law, and they were all found guilty of a suspended sentence. This was the first case in the country to recognize a criminal liability for fast movies.
In a Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) press conference held on the same day after the proceedings, Attorney Hiroyuki Nakajima a member of the organization said, “People who are not struggling to create can not make money by riding for free. I want to show that there is a serious penalty and lead to deterrence.“
Kenro Goto, CODA’s representative director, said, “It is undeniable that many people watched it easily and promoted crime. I want consumers to reaffirm copyright protection.“
Toho commented, “We will continue to take decisive action against infringing acts in order to protect the copyright of important movies and, by extension, to protect the future of the movie industry.“