Japanese YouTuber Shinobu Yoshida has been arrested and charged for uploading game clips and edited anime videos in Japan. He’s been sentenced to two years in prison and five years suspended sentence, as well as received a one million yen fine. This is the first time that the court found someone guilty of uploading gaming videos. [Thanks, Asahi!]
The video game videos that Yoshida got in trouble over are let’s play videos of Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace. These videos contained spoilers for the whole game, as well as the ending. He also posted edited videos of the anime Spy x Family. Yoshida uploaded these videos onto YouTube and monetized them between September 2019 and May 2022. According to Yoshida, his “motive” for making the videos was that they are his hobby and he wanted someone to watch his work.
The copyright holders and the prosecution, however, claimed that Yoshida was negatively impacting their sales. Not only did he get money by streaming a copyrighted game, but he also took away potential sales. Because viewers already know what will happen, they might not want to actually purchase the game. The original article did not state how much monetization affected the copyright holders’ decision to sue.
Watching other people play video games is a thriving industry on websites like YouTube and Twitch. Viewers watched over 100 billion hours of gaming videos in 2020 (granted, that was during the lockdown). Even back in 2017, over 200 million people watched gaming content on YouTube daily. The outcome of this trial may set a precedent for other companies to follow that may affect the gaming community’s output on YouTube.
Japanese YouTuber Shinobu Yoshida has been arrested and sentenced to 2 years of prison/5 years suspension, as well as has to pay a 1 million JPY fine, for uploading monetized Let’s Play and edited anime videos onto YouTube.