Internet users in Japan who illegally download copyright content will face new penalties after a change to the law. They will now face up to two years in jail or up fines to two million yen (US$25,700).
Such activity has been illegal since 2010, but until now had not invoked any penalities, according to a report Sunday by BBC News.
The news agency pointed out this followed a lobbying campaign by the Recording Industry Association of Japan, which had suggested illegal media downloads outnumbered legal ones by about a factor of 10.
Currently, uploaders of copyright infringing music and videos face a maximum penalty of a 10-year prison sentence and a 10 million yen fine (US$128, 318), said BBC news.
Japan's move is the latest in a wider international crackdown on online piracy, following enforcement action such as the and the .