Last week, the Japanese Ministry of Culture announced plans for an amendment of the copyright law, in order to introduce a system of fees for the lending of books, in the same way as for CD and video rental. An article over at Sankei Web cites the 貸与権連絡協議会, which is in favor of the amendment:
This means as much as:
As the ways of using publications have undergone a lot of changes, a royalty-only system is unfair. We want book lending compensations for manga authors and novelists. The new system will increase the price of publications sold to rental shops with 200 or 300%, a change that will be reflected in the price book borrowers will have to pay.
And it won’t stop here; the same article quotes the Ministry of Culture stating that after the introduction of this amendment (which has rental shops as its primary target), the discussion about asking fees for library materials is open.
It is sad to see that, while there are ongoing efforts to widen the Japanese commons, the Japanese Ministry of Culture seems to move in the direction of copyright extremism and a curtailment of the availability of culture.
To be continued.