Thursday, May 19, 2005

Japanese Copyright Law & Symbol System

The Copyright Division of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (ACA) provides an nice overview of the 2003 and 2004 Law for the Amendment of Japan's Copyright Law [PDF - thru Chosaq]. The overview also mentions the copyright policy for building a "Nation Based on Intellectual Property". To this end the ACA strives to popularize something which is reminiscent of a (limited) Creative Commons system: the Free Use Marks system, "which enables copyright holders to predetermine the scope in which their copyrighted works can be used without advance approval."

These are the symbols copyrightholders can attach to their works:



From left to right:
1. Copy OK: Permission for printing, duplication, and free distribution
2. Use by Disabled OK: Permission for non-profit use for the benefit of the disabled
3. School education OK: Permission for non-profit use for school education

I've got no idea how widely this system is used, but one would think that at least the third option (School education OK) might be covered by the permissible scope of “exceptional unapproved use”. Anybody to fill me in?
- - -
Update: Andreas Bovens of the mentioned Chosaq fills me in:
The poorly crafted Free Use Label (also discussed on Joi Ito's Web, a long time ago) is absolutely not a success - as far as I know, the only place it is used is the site of the Agency of Cultural Affairs.
Leaves the question how far the scope of "exeptional unapproved use" goes in Japan, or if he Free Use Label provides the suggestion of (school) exclusion, where it alrady is a given. Have to dive in and catch up on Japanese Copyright Law, Im running behind. In the meantime, Creative Commons is working on International Commons and there's a Japanese license, of course.

Update II: Karl Lenz discusses the system here and writes:
The Japanese copyright law does have an exception for educational use in Article 35.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Andreas Bovens said...

The poorly crafted Free Use Label (also discussed on Joi Ito's Web, a long time ago) is absolutely not a success - as far as I know, the only place it is used is the site of the Agency of Cultural Affairs. It would be nice if they just ditched the whole thing and started supporting Creative Commons instead, but that's probably wishful thinking.

19/5/05 21:03  
Anonymous Karl-Friedrich Lenz said...

I have discussed this on my blog two years ago here:

The Japanese copyright law does have an exception for educational use in Article 35.

20/5/05 16:43  

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