This one’s just in… and currently only available in Yomiuri flavor (Japanese version): a group of influential arts and cultural organizations (including JASRAC) is pushing for an 20-year extension of the posthumous protection the current copyright law grants — from 50 to 70 years, that is. Apparently, they’re serious about it, as there are plans to “submit a joint statement about the issue to the Cultural Affairs Agency by the end of September.” The Cultural Affairs Agency then will “seek opinions in fiscal 2007 from an advisory panel to the director general of the agency with the aim of revising the Copyright Law.”
Observers have pointed out the government needs to extend the copyright protection period for intellectual property to include such items because literature and photographs as the government has advocated Japan be a nation strong in intellectual property rights.
To the Japanese government: see what happens when you promote pompous terms as 「知的財産立国」 (a nation built on intellectual property)? Indeed, it opens the door for even more restrictions and regulations. Thank you very much.
Another said it was disgraceful that the duration of copyright protection for works that are protected for 70 years in the United States and Europe is still 50 years in Japan.
Playing the emo-card, hmm.
Writer Masahiro Mita, vice director of the Japan Writers’ Association, said Japanese literature could be translated in other languages in Japan without the author’s permission if the copyright protection period for the works is 50 years in Japan, even though the duration is valid for 70 years in the United States and the European Union.
Obviously, he forgets to say that it also works the other way around: foreign works can be translated into Japanese without the author’s (or better: his heirs’) permission after 50 years. How can this be a bad thing for Japan?
[Masahiro Mita] added the nation might appear to have fallen behind on the copyright issue.
And as the words “Japan” and “fallen behind” cannot possibly be used in the same sentence…