Copyright and Licensing in Japan

Japan has been a member country of the Berne Convention since 1899, when it adopted its first modern copyright act. Japan is also a member state of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).

Japan enacted its current Copyright Act in 1970 and has amended it many times since in order to keep up with developments in technology and global expectations for the protection of intellectual property.

Copyright Office of Japan

Japan’s Copyright Office is responsible for administration of the country’s copyright affairs and coordinates the work of the copyright subdivision of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, an affiliate of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The Agency for Cultural Affairs conducts research on copyright topics and manages supervision of collective management organizations, among other things. It also administers several copyright registers, where authors record their real names (in connection with pseudonymous works) and authors, publishers and others can record their interests in copyrighted works.

Collective Licensing in Japan

The Japan Academic Association for Copyright Clearance (JAC), the Japan Reproduction Rights Center (JRRC), and the Japan Publishers Copyright Association (JCOPY) are the primary collective management organizations for text-based materials.