Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fair Use in Japan?

From The Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association's NSK Bulletin Online No. 104 June 2010:

Copyright Holders Warn About ‘Fair Use’ Rule

NSK and 13 other copyright holders’ groups on May 21 called for the government to exercise caution in introducing a much-disputed “fair use” rule as a part of Japanese copyright law.

The rights holders submitted their demand to the Council for Cultural Affairs’ copyrights section, as well as to the section’s Subcommittee on Legislative Affairs. The advisory council is part of the Cultural Affairs Agency, which is considering introducing a Japanese version of the U.S. “fair use” rule.

“Fair use” is a concept under which copyrighted material may be used in a limited way without requiring the permission of the rights holder, on the understanding that the use of the material shall not have the intent or effect of impairing the interests of the rights holders.

The rights holders’ written demand openly criticized the Subcommittee on Legislative Affairs for attempting to prod deliberations in favor of the introduction of a fair-use rule without thoroughly debating whether the absence of a fair-use rule in Japan is causing “a problem for society.”

The right holders’ groups argued that the council should conduct hearings with stakeholders once again to determine what problems, if any, are resulting from the absence of a fair-use rule in Japan.

The 14 organizations called on the council to further examine whether such a rule is actually needed in Japan, as well as assessing the possible repercussions of such a rule on various stakeholders.

Under Japan’s Copyright Act, any limitation of the rights of copyright holders must be a specific stipulation, rather than being covered by any general rule.

The mighty have spoken again... I wonder what kind of problem they think is not out there in Japanese society? I wonder if they even know what the internet is? Fair use certainly falls under collaboration and good communication. If done correctly, fair use would be like an academic bibliography; one who uses a portion of copyrighted work would cite it. Anyway, for a brief background on the Japan situation, click here.

For more on fair use, see the Center for Social Media web page:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I dont completely understand, because Japan already has provisions to allow critisism and limited reproduction of work for educational purposes. How is this different from fair use? It seems to already exist there.