A couple of weeks ago, Japanese blogosphere boiled up with the unusually harsh comment that Apple Japan inc. made on the issue of "personal recording tax" and copyrights policy in general to Agency of Cultural Affairs, a part of Japanese government, basically telling them to "go to hxxx".
The comment attacks this tax applied to digital recording devices sold in Japan to compensate for possible damages done by users recording and copying contents illegally since 1992. It is not applied to iPod, but is currently discussed to be applied and naturally Apple is firmly opposing it, and attacking the rights holder organizations who are pushing it. That part is quite understandable, but the point here is that the tone of the comment is unheard of in official documents in Japan.
It goes like "the criticism against the digital devices (as the source of all the bad things) is totally groundless," "the rights holder organizations are self-contradicting and arrogant," then go on to say "the Agency knowingly appointed two scholars in the personal recording issue committee who wrongly claim that other major countries have similar tax and those (with specific names) who appointed them should not escape the responsibility". And at the end, they dare to say "Agency of Cultural Affairs has shut out Apple from the committees and deciding thing in absent trial ... Agency is closed minded and not capable of managing the copyrights issues, therefore we strongly hope that the issue will be transferred to another governmental agency."
Since it was known on the Net on June 2, as you might expect, Japanese bloggers hailed this Apple statement, and added zillions of even harsher comments against the Agency and JASRAC, Japanese version of RIAA.
However, the tone in the original Japanese document is so agitating that many people started to doubt if it really came from Apple Inc., a major corporation in the world and certainly in Japan as well. The document itself is on Prime Minister's Office webpage and is definitely legit, but Engadget Japan puts up some questionable points on June 7.
It says that the Agency received this comment from someone who claims to be from Apple Japan, but they did not take any further confirmation action, and that Apple has not made any official statement whether it is truly from Apple or not.
As of today, I have not read any follow up info, and the source of the agitating comment is still a mystery.
Did Apple actually did this, or was this the act of a ninja, again??