Japan high court overturns ruling on streaming service

Nagano Shoten accused of breaking copyright law

Tokyo — Japan’s Supreme Court has nixed a computer company’s claim that its overseas streaming service is legit.

Pubcaster NHK and five Tokyo-based commercial networks filed suited against Nagano Shoten, saying that its service, which streams their content mostly to Japanese expats, violates their copyrights.

Lower courts sided with the defendant but the Supreme Court reversed their ruling on Tuesday and sent the case to the Intellectual Property High Court to assess damages.

The service uses the customers’ own transmission devices to beam signals to Nagano Shoten antennas, which then transfer the signals to the Internet and streams them.

The company claims it is merely assisting customers by renting spaces for their devices and is not pirating signals.

The plaintiffs argued the service would destroy the value of their copyrights by beaming their content without payments to rights holders.

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