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Towards a stricter regime for book lending

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:

出版物の利用形態が変化しており、発行印税だけでは不公平。貸本でも対価が漫画家、作家に入るようにしてほしい

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.

貸与権が認められれば、次は図書館の本にも著者が著作権料を請求できる公共物貸与権の導入について議論が始まるだろう

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.

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  1. Book Lending in Japan
    The Japanese Ministry of Culture wants to change the copyright law to raise fees charged to rental shops for books,…

    » LibraryPlanet.com on November 11th, 2003 at 21:13