However extreme Japan can be sometimes, I think they have it right when it comes to their copyright law. I think most people in the UK have used dodgey websites to get their music for free, watch films without buying them or found a way to turn demos of games and software into a long term way of keeping it. To be honest I don't know many people who haven't, and I admit that I have downloaded a few sneaky songs when low on funds, but there is no comparison to how much better the quality is when you buy these things properly. To stop illegal downloading Japan has put in place a rather dramatic law where you get thrown in jail if caught. For more on their law look at this article http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-10/02/japan-strict-copyright-law I think that this however is a really good initiative to help support creatives and hopefully allow people to see the importance of the media and entertainment industry, and these people need to be paid like any other person. I think what is even better is the 70% increase in music sales since this law in Japan, which I think just goes to show.
What I think is good about this subject matter is that in the USA the box-office sales for cinema viewings of the latest releases have not dropped since torrent websites have been in use. Even when pirated versions come out people still choose to pay money towards seeing the latest blockbuster up on the big screen. This article goes into this a bit further http://www.geekosystem.com/bittorrent-box-office-study/
As I am looking to work in the animation company, I am fundamentally looking to freelance and submit my work into animation and film festivals (which are becoming more and more popular each year) and earn money through that. But I will be posting my work online to view for free also. One issue I do think I may have is if I go into printed format, as people may steal my images and print them off themselves rather than buying a copy from my shop. One way I could solve this is to water mark my images, but I feel that this shows a lack of trust and can often put people off your work.