In an attempt to counter Japan's growing problem of mobile-based music piracy, local labels body the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan (RIAJ) plans to introduce an official "seal of legitimacy" for legitimately distributed digital music.

An RIAJ spokesperson says the system will be launched sometime this fall.

In Japan, mobile devices account for about 90% of all digital-music downloads. The RIAJ estimates that in 2006 nearly 290 million full-length songs and master ringtones were downloaded to mobile phones from sites to which music had been illegally uploaded, compared with 344.1 million legal files sold.

The RIAJ, which will register the "seal" as a trademark, is reportedly lobbying for revision to Japan's Copyright Law to make it an offence to knowingly download songs from illegal sites.

In related news, the RIAJ says that it and other Japanese right-holders' organizations are planning to introduce a "Content Japan" sticker to distinguish legitimate Japanese product sold overseas such as music, DVDs and video games from pirate goods.

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