Copyright Infringement leads to BIG trouble in Japan.
Fraud leads to BIG trouble in Japan.
Someone should have told this to music producer Tetsuya Komuro, who was not only able to combine these two evils together but magnify them to an enormous scale.
For those of you who do not know (probably all of you), Mr. Komuro is a former billionaire who made his riches from creating corny J-Pop songs that were popular in the 80's and 90's. However, the music scene changed and by 1998 his songs that used to sell millions of copies would only sell several thousands. He tried to expand his empire overseas to Paris, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong, but lost a lot of money on these enterprises, and by the mid-'00s he was so deep in debt that in order to borrow funds to maintain his operations and lavish lifestyle he had to put up with 60 percent interest rates.
Two years ago, his second wife was threatening legal action because of his failure to pay alimony and child support so he came up with the scheme to sell his music catalog to an investor. Although he wrote most of the songs he did not actually own them. This however did not stop him from trying to sell the rights to the songs (about 800) to an investor for 1 billion yen (about 10 million USD). The investor paid him up front 500 million yen (about 5 million USD) when he realized that Mr. Komuro didn't actually own the copyrights. They went to court and the judge ordered Mr. Komuro to repay the 500 million yen plus an extra 100 million yen.
Komuro must be completely out of his mind because to pay off that money he not so cleverly decided to pull another scam.... which was actually the exact same scam just on a different person!
Needless to say, that didn't work out so well.
Now he faces 5 years in prison for his actions.
If any of you are thinking about doing something similar to this I would recommend that you cease your actions immediately! Not only could you end up spending 5 years of of your life in prison but you will probably start looking like this from all of your stress....
For those that want to read more about the juicy details, you can check out the fine articles at the Japan Times here.