A dangerous deal: compulsory registration for broadcasts + longer protection

There’s quite a bit going on in the Japanese TV broadcasting landscape lately — I already covered the (still ongoing) push for less a less restrictive broadcast flag, but there is more: according to the Daily Yomiuri, “[t]he Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry is considering introducing a system to facilitate the online distribution of previously aired television programs by simplifying copyright license procedures.” The idea is to “establish a new system requiring people to register themselves for copyrights and allow distributors to carry out the online distribution of past programming without having to obtain permission from those who do not register.” Sounds like a good idea and an improvement over the current situation, where permission from all parties involved is required in order to make a program available on the net — an unnecessarily strict rule that prevents any broadcasted content from being featured online legally, as it’s usually impossible to contact everybody involved.

I’m not sure what sparked the interest in changing the current system — one answer might be “YouTube,” which is very popular in Japan and shows the clear interest in quick-n-dirty online TV content (this in contrast to the relatively low interest in DTV, by the way). Another answer however is possible too: according to the same Yomiuri article, the committee in charge, “a panel tasked with studying how to develop universal Internet access in Japan,” also “proposes extending the period of copyright protection from the current 50 years after the death of rights’ holders to 80 years.” Needless to say, there is probably some “balance” talk involved here — you can already hear the broadcasters say something along the lines of: “if you make registration compulsory, that’s fine, but then we want longer protection.” So, worst case scenario: the broadcasters register all their copyrights, refuse to license it to any web-based TV distributors, and Japan is stuck with a protection term of 80 years for all works (after first broadcast / after the author’s death / etc.). Also note that “80 years” is more than the “70 years” review previously called for.

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  1. […] year extension of the current life+50y protection term of copyrighted works (previous coverage: 1, 2, 3). In September, the Daily Yomiuri reported that a committee of the Internal Affairs and […]

    » chosaq » JASRAC & co. link copyright management consolidation plans to term extension on February 2nd, 2007 at 18:34