Some recent copyright news from the Bunkachō, Japan’s Agency of Cultural Affairs:
Two weeks ago, I went to the 文化審議会著作権分科会法制問題小委員会（第４回）, which roughly translates as “the 4th session (of 2005) of the legislative problems copyright committee of the Agency of Cultural Affairs”: the topic was a revision of the current set of limitations on rights. The official transcript is not yet available, but zfyl provides extensive notes on his blog.
When browsing through the proposed revisions, it seems like many of them are rather redundant, feeling like a symbolic geste of some kind. For instance, have a look at point 3-B of the library related revisions: the new rule would stipulate that, in a research context, it is allowed to print out information you find on the internet using the library computer. (!!) Or take point 4-D, which says it should be allowed that a third person makes an adapted copy of a work (recording, etc.) for a handicapped person, as the latter is often not able to make the copy himself. Hmm.
- Last week then, I went to the 文化審議会著作権分科会国際小委員会（第２回） or “the 2nd session (of 2005) of the international copyright committee of the Agency of Cultural Affairs”, with file sharing as the main theme. Nothing spectacular to mention: ITmedia has some coverage, and zfyl posted another extensive transcript.
- And to finish, a pointer to a rather embarrassing incident involving a recently launched Bunkachō website about Japan’s copyright system: the site design (made by an external web agency) included a Mac OS X icon, which was used without permission. Not surprisingly, this stirred up a flood of reactions throughout the Japanese blogosphere, prompting the Bunkachō to take the site offline.