On January 1st, 2005, both the controversial right of import for recordings and the right of rental for books and magazines came into effect. As noted on Copy & Copyright Diary, the changes are not reflected yet on the CRIC website, meaning that there is no English translation available for now.
So far, the scope or the right of import for recordings is unclear—2005 will show how far it reaches. As for the right of rental for books and magazines, the first results are in: about a month ago, Benli blog reported that the yet to be launched (?) Rental Right Management Center (貸与権管理センター) that serves as an intermediary between the rental shops and the authors and publishers, will not allow any rentals during a period of three weeks after publication and thereafter charge book rental shops a fee of 280 Yen per volume. The author gets 80 Yen, the rest goes to the Center itself, the publisher, etc. In a reaction to this development, Book-Off, one of Japan’s biggest retailers of second-hand books, CDs and videos, decided to close its book rental business, thereby affecting more than 200 shops throughout Japan.
By the way, that’s not all: the Sankei Web article mentioned above quotes a member of the Mystery Writers of Japan group, who wants the right of rental to be expanded to public libraries. (I wrote about this before.)
Unfortunate developments, to say the least.
(Via Copy & Copyright Diary)