(Yomiuri: March 8, 2016 – p. 7)
On Mar. 7, eight organizations that manage copyrights for publications, music, and art announced measures to facilitate the use of “orphan works,” copyrighted material whose author or owner is unknown. The copyright protection period will be extended under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, and this may increase the number of orphan works and hinder their use.
The announcement was jointly made by eight organizations, including the Japan Writers’ Association, the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, and Publishers (JASRAC), and the Japan Cartoonists Association.
The organizations have proposed that they handle procedures required for the use of copyrighted material in the case that the author or owner of the rights cannot be found. It is hoped that this will ease the burden on users. The proposal will be submitted this month to the Agency for Cultural Affairs for trial implementation. (Abridged)