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Gov’t to enforce copyright law even without victim’s complaint to conform with TPP accord

  • 2016-02-24 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: February 24, 2016 – p. 39)


 The government has decided to implement legal amendments to authorize enforcement of copyright law even without litigation by the victim, such as authors of pirated manga, to conform with the TPP agreement’s designation of copyright violation as a crime not requiring legal action by the victim. However, this will basically not cover fan fiction based on original work in private magazines. However, there are many borderline cases, so creators are still anxious.


 Publication of fan fiction using existing work as motif in private magazines is widespread in Japan. Such creative work often serves as gateway to becoming a professional creator. There is concern that such activities may now be considered violation of copyright.


 On the other hand, with rampant pirating and illegal copying of manga, films, and music on the Internet, it is also deemed necessary for investigators to be able to enforce copyright laws based on their own judgment. Therefore, an agreement was reached in the TPP negotiations to designate copyright violation as a crime not requiring the victim’s complaint to investigate.


 To address the creators’ concern, the TPP agreement also has a caveat that “acts not having any commercial effect on copyright are not considered a crime to be investigated even without a complaint.”


 The great variety of works by Japanese creators are also very popular internationally. A subcommittee of the copyright council of the Agency for Cultural Affairs is discussing limiting law enforcement to acts such as “copying of original works for profit.” Private magazines will not be affected, in principle.


 The government plans to submit amendments to the copyright law to the Diet in March. (Abridged)

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