[Agency for Cultural Affairs] ”Interim Summary on Digitalization of Copyright Act”

On December 4th, 2020, the “Interim Summary on the Review of Library-Related Rights Restrictions in the Copyright Act (Digital Network Support)" was published by the Copyright Subcommittee, Council for Cultural Affairs. It has been pointed out that some of the restrictions on libraries stipulated by the Article No. 31 of Copyright Act are incompatible with digitization and networked computers. The need for access to library materials via the Internet has become more apparent due to the closure of libraries during the outbreak of COVID-19. In response to this, the government clearly stated in its “Intellectual Property Strategic Program 2020” that library-related rights restrictions should be compatible with digitalization and networked computers, and that this is an urgent issue to be addressed.
 The subcommittee has been intensively discussing the following two issues after hearing from a wide range of stakeholders (library-related personnel, researchers (library users), right holders).

1. Simplification of the procedures for accessing library materials that are rarely available through normal channels (Article No. 31, Paragraph 3)

2. Starting a Library Material Transmission Service (Article No. 31, Paragraph 1)

The results of the discussion are as follows.

The National Diet Library is given the authority to directly send data to users via the Internet, with the condition that the manner of doing so and the conditions of use do not unduly harm the interests of the copyright holder. Furthermore, it is permissible to send a copy of library materials to users by fax, e-mail, etc., on the premise strict requirements are set and that copyright holders are granted the right to claim compensation in case of need, from the viewpoint of protecting their rights. The summary reports were available for public comments from 4th to 21st December 2020.

For further information, please visit the following link (Japanese Only):https://www.bunka.go.jp/koho_hodo_oshirase/hodohappyo/92686401.html