Japanese YouTuber Handed Handed Prison Sentence For Game Videos

shinobu prison

It was recently revealed that a YouTuber in Japan has been sentenced to two years in prison (with a five-year suspended sentence) for posting gameplay videos and anime content online. In an article posted by AnimeCorner.me, it was stated that the 53-year-old YouTuber – Shinobu Yoshida – was also handed a one-million yen fine (approx. $7,000).

Reportedly, Yoshida was convicted for sharing Steins;Gate gameplay online and for also broadcasting edited anime content. This conviction marks a milestone in copyright infringement law, as Yoshida apparently became the first person to be convicted under this specific act by distributing gameplay videos.

Crime Doesn’t Pay

It might seem shocking, but Yoshida was brought to the courts for sharing just three videos on YouTube between late 2019 and early 2022 – and they were of gameplay from a title released in 2011.

From the prosecution’s side of the case, it was argued that Yoshida had crossed a line because his videos revealed too much about the game – namely the ending. It was stressed that as this ‘game’ was a virtual novel, people could just watch Yoshida’s video rather than buying and playing the game, thus having a financial impact on the game’s developer.

In a statement, the protection against Yoshida stated:

This was a malicious act that trampled on the effort of content creation

Yoshida was also condemned for his sharing of deliberately edited anime content. His five-year suspended sentence means that as long as he doesn’t re-offend in that window, he won’t see any time in prison as part of that two-year sentence.

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