The government of Japan has made a few new amendments in its copyright laws. According to the new amendments, illegal downloading is now punishable with jail terms for the first time.

People who are found with the possession of pirated material like music, DVDs or Blue ray discs will have to pay fine of up to 2 million yen and sentences of up to two years in prison. The changes have been brought by Japan which are in line with that of the US where downloading illegal material is already an offence and the punishments are even more severe.

The US penalties can run up to 5 years in prison or a fine of $250,000, which is ten times higher than Japan. The move has brought some relief for the music figures in the industry but has brought concerns among the legal experts.

The government explained that the move has been introduced so as to protect those who make music. Keiichi Ishizaka, the Warner Music Japan CEO said that he would like to see all illegal downloading eradicated. This is for the first time illegal downloading has been made truly punishable. Earlier the downloading of illegal matter was illegal in Japan but as a civil matter and not a criminal one.