Copyright—Japan—Q&A guide

The following IP practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Copyright—Japan—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the relevant legislation?
  • 2. Who enforces it?
  • 3. Are there any specific provisions of your copyright laws that address the digital exploitation of works? Are there separate statutory provisions that do so?
  • 4. Do your copyright laws have extraterritorial application to deal with foreign-owned or foreign-operated websites that infringe copyright?
  • 5. Is there a centralised copyright agency? What does this agency do?
  • 6. What types of works may be protected by copyright?
  • 7. What types of rights are covered by copyright?
  • 8. What may not be protected by copyright?
  • 9. Do the doctrines of ‘fair use’ or ‘fair dealing’ exist, and, if so, what are the standards used in determining whether a particular use is fair?
  • More...

Copyright—Japan—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to copyright in Japan published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2021).

Authors: Anderson Mōri & Tomotsune—Takashi Nakazaki

1. What is the relevant legislation?

Relevant legislation includes:

  1. the Copyright Act (Act No. 48 of 1970);

  2. the Act on Registration of Program Works (Act No. 65 of 1986);

  3. the Act on Management Business of Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (Act No. 131 of 2000);

  4. the Intellectual Property Basic Act (Act No. 122 of 2002);

  5. the Act for Improvement of Creation, Protection and Utilisation of Contents (Act No. 81 of 2004);

  6. the National Diet Library Act (Act No. 5 of 1948); and

  7. relevant regulations relating to these statutes.

2. Who enforces it?

Copyright-related legislation is enforced by the district courts, the Intellectual Property High Court (for civil cases), other high courts (for criminal cases and civil cases having jurisdiction other than the Tokyo High Court), and the Supreme Court of Japan. The Intellectual Property High Court was established on 1 April 2005 as a special branch of the Tokyo High Court that exclusively hears intellectual property cases.

3. Are there any specific provisions of your copyright laws that address the digital exploitation of works? Are there separate statutory provisions that do so?

Yes. There are some specific provisions addressing the digital exploitation of works under

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