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Opened on
March.1.2018

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In the background of the HARAKENZO trademark is a global map wherein countries/regions are sized according to the number of patents registered there in 1991.

Privacy policy


Copyright Support Station
Copyright systems of other countries
Solution for Trouble

Various Copyright


Since authors express their thoughts, sentiments, etc. in their works, these works should be treated with careful attention to the moral interests of the authors. Meanwhile, since the copyright-related industry is called “the contents industry”, each work is also regarded as an asset of the author.

In Japan, various rights are provided so as to protect the moral interests of authors and the asset values of their works. These rights naturally arise upon creation of works, without any registration procedure or the like (Article 17 of the Japanese Copyright Act).



Moral Rights of Authors

The moral rights of authors are personal rights, and therefore it is not possible to transfer a moral right from the author to another person.


Right to Make Work Public (Article 18 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right forbids publication of a work without its author’s consent.



Right of Attribution (Article 19 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a work to decide whether to indicate the name (true name or pseudonym) of the author on the work itself or in connection with the work at the time it is presented to the public.



Right to Integrity (Article 20 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a work to preserve the integrity of that work and its title, and the author is not to be made to suffer any alteration, cut, or other modification to the work and/or to its title that is contrary to the author’s intention.




Copyrights

Copyrights are property rights, and therefore an author can (i) transfer a copyright of its work to another person and (ii) establish the right of pledge.

The author of a work exclusively possesses the following so-called subdivided rights related to exploitation of the work. In other words, third parties shall not perform the actions specified by the subdivided rights without the consent of the author (mere appreciation of the work is not regarded as such an action).


  Target Copyrights (with Concrete Examples)
(*The Japanese Copyright Act provides no limitation on the rights other than the recitation right, the exhibition right, the distribution right, the right of transfer, and the right to rent out.)
Right of Reproduction Not limited
*Stage Performance Right Not limited (performance such as theatrical play, dancing, pantomime, and the like except for musical performance (including singing))
*Musical Performance Right Not limited (musical performance using instrument, singing, and the like)
*Right of On-screen Presentation Not limited (cinema film, book, photograph, and the like)
Right to Transmit to the Public Not limited
*Recitation Right Speech (poetry reading)
Exhibition Right Art (pictorial art, sculpture, and the like), unpublished photograph
Distribution Right Cinema film
Right of Transfer Except for cinema film
Right to Rent Out Except for cinema film
Translation Right, Adaptation Right, etc. All
Right of Original Author in Connection with Exploitation of Derivative Work All

*Rights listed in boldface fall under intangible reproduction (see "Restrictive Regulations and Lawful Quotation")



Right of Reproduction (Article 21 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a work to reproduce the work.
The "reproduction" as used herein refers to reproduction of a work in a physical (tangible) form through printing, photograph, or replication, by recording its sound or visuals, or in any other way (Article 2 (1)(xv) of the Japanese Copyright Act). Non-tangible reproduction is specified by other subdivided rights.

  • Q: What does "tangible" mean?
    A: "Tangible" means fixation to a recording medium and the like. For example, musical performance and broadcasting are intangible because they do not remain in a physical form unless they are recorded.
  • Q: Is decrypting of a cryptogram regarded as reproduction or translation?
    A: Since there is no substantial difference (i.e., difference in creativity) between a cryptogram and the content decrypted therefrom, decrypting is regarded as reproduction. The same applies to, for example, documentation of a lecture, conversion of a song into a musical notation, and mere compiling of a source program into an object program.
  • Q: I've heard that a partial excerpt is permitted.
    A: That depends on the case. Even if it is a mere partial excerpt of a work, reproduction of the work without the consent of the author constitutes infringement of the work as long as that part of the work is admitted to involve creativity. However, restrictions are sometimes imposed on the copyright (e.g., "quotation") (Article 32 of the Japanese Copyright Act). (see Restrictive Regulations and Lawful Quotation)


Stage Performance Right (Article 22 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a work to give stage performance of the work for the purpose of having it seen directly by the public.

  • Q: Who is "the public"?
    A: Though the public generally refers to a number of unspecified people, under the Japanese Copyright Act, the public also refers to a number of specified people. For example, in the case of members constituting a seminar in a college, they are not "unspecified" but still fall under "the public" if there are a number of members in the seminar.


Musical Performance Right (Article 22 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a work to give musical performance of the work for the purpose of having it heard directly by the public.
The "stage performance" and "musical performance" as used herein refer not only to live performance and the like but also to playback of music from CDs and the like.



Right of On-screen Presentation (Article 22-2 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a work to publicly present the work via an on-screen presentation.

  • Q: This applies only to cinema films, doesn't it?
    A: Not only to cinema films. The right covers all kinds of presentation that is made through on-screen presentation, such as presentation of slides and projection of photographs on a building.


Right to Transmit to the Public (Article 23 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a work to (i) transmit the work to the public and (ii) publicly communicate the work through a receiver.
In a case where the work is to be transmitted to the public via automatic public transmission (such as internet), the author of the work is also entitled to make the work available for transmission.
Sending a work to a specific person via an E-mail does not fall under this provision since it is not transmission to "the public".



Recitation Right (Article 24 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a literary work to recite that work publicly.
This right also covers playback of recorded recitation and transmission of such recitation via a telecommunication facility.



Exhibition Right (Article 25 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of an artistic work or of an unpublished photographic work to publicly exhibit the original work.



Distribution Right (Article 26 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a cinematographic work to distribute copies of that cinematographic work (i.e., to transfer or lend out the copies to the public). Since this provision is based on the distribution system of copies (films), distribution of the original film is excluded from this provision.
In a case where a cinematographic work includes another work (music etc.), the author is also entitled to distribute that work (music etc.) in copies of the cinematographic work.

This right is so strong as to allow control of distribution of used items.

  • Q: I think the action of uploading a cinema film on the internet so that anybody can watch it does not fall under this provision because it is not distribution of "physical copies" (see Right of Reproduction). Let me know your opinion.
    A: Such an action is indeed not distribution of physical copies and therefore does not constitute infringement of the distribution right. However, it will instead constitute infringement ofthe right to transmit to the public.Please note that, in a case where you download a cinema film from the internet while knowing that the cinema film is illegally uploaded, your action will be regarded as infringement of the right to transmit to the public (Article 30(1)(iii) of the Japanese Copyright Act).


Right of Transfer (Article 26-2 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a work (except a cinematographic work) to make that work available to the public through transfer of the original work or transfer of a copy of the work.

  • Q: I am planning to purchase and resell T-shirts on which a graphic is printed. Does this constitute infringement of the right of transfer of the graphic?
    A: If the company which originally sells the T-shirts is transferring those T-shirts to the public with the consent of the author of the graphic, your action of further transferring those T-shirts will not constitute infringement of the right of transfer of the graphic (Article 26-2(2)(i) of the Japanese Copyright Act). This is called "exhaustion".
  • Q: Well, I don't know whether that company is legally transferring those T-shirts.
    A: Even if the right of transfer has not been exhausted, your action of reselling those T-shirts will not be regarded as constituting infringement of the right of transfer of the graphic as long as (i) you did not know, at the time of transfer, the fact that the right of transfer has not been exhausted and (ii) you committed no negligence on the fact that the right of transfer has not been exhausted (Article 113(2)).


Right to Rent Out (Article 26-3 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
This right entitles the author of a work (except a cinematographic work) to offer that work to the public by renting out copies of the work.



Translation Right, Adaptation Right, etc. (Article 27 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
These rights entitle the author of a work to translate that work, compose a musical arrangement of it, reformulate it, dramatize it, make a film adaptation of it, or otherwise adapt the work.


Right of Original Author in Connection with Exploitation of Derivative Work (Article 28 of the Japanese Copyright Act)
A derivative work is a work created by translating a work, composing a musical arrangement of it, reformulating it, dramatizing it, making a film adaption of it, or otherwise adapting the work. The author of the original work underlying a derivative work holds rights in the same categories as the rights which the author of the derivative work holds (however, such rights are generally deemed to be limited to the scope which the rights of the original work can cover).

  • Q: Miss. A sent me an e-mail with her fan-art of the comic I drew! Can I just put the fan-art on my website without her consent?
    A: No, you cannot (see Right to Make Work Public and Right of Reproduction). If you wish to exploit a derivative work, you need to acquire the consent of the author of that derivative work even though you are the author of the original work.
  • Q: Oh! I found that Miss. B, who has no relation to my comic and the fan art, is selling copies of the fan-art without the consent of Miss. A! Can I, the author of the original work, take some kind of measures against Miss. B?
    A: Yes. In regard to the reproducing and selling the fan art which is the work of Miss. A, you can argue that Miss. B is infringing your right of reproduction and your right of transfer on the basis of Article 28 of the Japanese Copyright Act.



Print Rights

The "print right" generally refers to the following two types of rights:

  • 1. The right which entitles the author or the like to make the author's work public based on, for example, the Right of Reproduction and the Right of Transfer; and
  • 2. The right which entitles a third party, who is given the consent of the author or the like, to reproduce the author's work for the purpose of distribution (Article 79 and subsequent articles of the Japanese Copyright Act).

Under the Japanese Copyright Act, the latter is regarded as one of the print rights. For more details, please see "Contract".




Neighboring Rights

Not only a person who created a work receives the copyrights of the work. Those who perform the work, broadcast the work, or produce a phonogram of the work also serve to introduce the work to the public. If no right is given to those people, those people will not introduce the work the public because they cannot make any profit from it. In view of the circumstances, the Japanese Copyright Act provides the following rights for those who introduce a work.

  Right of Performer Right of Producer of Phonogram Rights of Broadcaster and Cablecaster
Right of Attribution
Right of Integrity
Right of Reproduction
Sound Recording Right and Visual Recording Right
Broadcasting and Cablecasting Rights ○*
Right to Make Work Available for Transmission
Right to Communicate Television Broadcast
Right to Receive Royalty from Secondary Use of Commercial Phonograms
Right of Transfer
Right to Rent Out etc.
Term of Protection 50 years from the date on which the performance was conducted. 50 years from the date on which the sound source was published. 50 years from the date on which the broadcast or the cablecast was conducted.

* Broadcasters are given rebroadcasting rights and cablecasting rights, whereas cablecasters are given broadcasting rights and re-cablecasting rights.





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