August 30, 2003

Japanese Copyright Law Reform

A law changing the Japanese copyright law has been enacted in June. Now a detailed explanation of the main points of this reform has been published on the site of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunkacho). That information is in Japanese, however. (Link credit: Kiichi Okaguchi).

The main points are:

1. The term of protection has been prolonged from 50 to 70 years for movies, from the date of publication.

2. The fair use limitation for educational purposes (Articles 33 to 36 Japanese copyright law) is extended in several ways: Students in computer classes can make copies themselves. In distance learning classes copies can be forwarded to students. In admission examinations held over the Internet, questions may be forwarded to participants. Copies of textbooks with larger fonts may be made for students with bad eyesight.

3. The plaintiff's burden of proof when suing for damages is alleviated in two ways: The defendant can't just deny allegations by the plaintiff any more without any further comment, but is required to give a detailed version of what happened from his point of view. And the plaintiff can calculate damages with the formula "number of illegal copies multiplied with profit from one legal copy".

Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at August 30, 2003 03:13 PM | TrackBack