Three Video Game Bars Shut Down In Japan Over Copyright Claims

Illustration for article titled Three Video Game Bars Shut Down In Japan Over Copyright Claims
Screenshot: 1Up

This week, three Osaka video game bars announced that they were closing. The reason, it seems, was copyright violation.

According to IT Media, the three game bars—1Up, Catena and Clan—will cease operation on July 29 when their lease ends. 1Up opened in 2013, while Catena and Clan both opened in 2016.

The bars allowed customers to play games for free, while charging them for drinks. The Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS) pointed out that not getting permission from the creators violated copyright. In 2011, ACCS called on game bars across Japan to adhere to copyright law.


An ACCS spokesperson told IT Media that it had warned these the management of these three game bars. The management ultimately decided to shutter the three bars when their leases end this summer.

It’s unclear how this will impact other game bars across Japan.

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Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that bars and restaurants that play music in the background pay a flat copyright fee for that. Can’t something similar be done for video game bars?