Copyright Law of Japan

    1. COPYRIGHT LAW


    (Law No. 48, promulgated on May 6, 1970)
    (As amended by : Law No.49, of May 18, 1978,
    Law No.45, of May 19, 1981,
    Law No.78, of December 2, 1983,
    Law No.23, of May 1, 1984,
    Law No.46, of May 25, 1984,
    Law No.62, of June 14, 1985,
    Law No.64, of May 23, 1986,
    Law No.65, of May 23, 1986,
    Law No.87, of November 1, 1988,
    Law No.43, of June 28, 1989,
    Law No.63, of May 2, 1991,
    Law No.106, of December 16, 1992,
    Law No.89, of November 12, 1993,
    Law No.112, of December 14, 1994,
    Law No.91, of May 12, 1995,
    Law No.117, of December 26, 1996,
    Law No.86, of June 18, 1997,
    Law No.101, of June 12, 1998,
    Law No.43, of May 14, 1999,
    Law No.77, of June 15, 1999,
    Law No.160, of December 22, 1999,
    Law No.220, of December 22, 1999,
    Law No.56, of May 8, 2000,
    Law No.131, of November 29, 2000,
    Law No.140, of December 5, 2001,
    Law No.72, of June 29, 2002,
    Law No.61, of May 30, 2003,
    Law No.85, of June 18, 2003,
    Law No.119, of July 2, 2003,
    Law No.84, of June 9, 2004,
    Law No.92, of June 9, 2004,
    Law No.120, of June 18, 2004,
    Law No.147, of December 1, 2004,
    Law No.75, of June 29, 2005,
    Law No.50, of June 29, 2006,
    Law No.121, of December 22, 2006,
    Law No.81, of June 18, 2008,
    Law No.53, of June 19, 2009,
    Law No.73, of July 10, 2009,
    Law No.65, of December 3, 2010,
    Law No.32, of June 22, 2012, and
    Law No.43, of June 27, 2012,

    Law No.35, of May 14, 2014)




    Chapter I General Provisions

    Section 1 General Rules

    (Purpose)
    Article 1.
    The purpose of this Law is, by providing for the rights of authors and the rights neighboring thereon with respect to works as well as performances, phonograms, broadcasts and wire diffusions, to secure the protection of the rights of authors, etc., having regard to a just and fair exploitation of these cultural products, and thereby to contribute to the development of culture.

    (Definitions)
    Article 2. (1) In this Law, the following terms shall have the meaning hereby assigned to them respectively:
    (i) "work" means a production in which thoughts or sentiments are expressed in a creative way and which falls within the literary, scientific, artistic or musical domain;
    (ii) "author" means a person who creates a work;
    (iii) "performance" means the acting on stage, dancing, musical playing, singing, delivering, declaiming or performing in other ways of a work, and includes similar acts not involving the performance of a work which have the nature of public entertainment;
    (iv) "performers" means actors, dancers, musicians, singers and other persons who give a performance as well as those who conduct or direct a performance;
    (v) "phonograms" means fixations of sounds on phonographic discs, recording-tapes and other material forms, excluding those intended for use exclusively with images;
    (vi) "producers of phonograms" means those who first fix the sounds contained in phonograms;
    (vii) "commercial phonograms" means copies of phonograms made for commercial purposes;
    (viibis) "public transmission" means the transmission of radio communication or wire-telecommunication intended for direct reception by the public, excluding the transmission (other than that of program works) by telecommunication installations one part of which is located on the same premises where the other part is located or, if the premises are occupied by two or more persons, both parts of which are located within the area therein occupied by one person;
    (viii) "broadcasting" means the public transmission of radio communication intended for simultaneous reception by the public of the transmission having the same contents;
    (ix) "broadcasting organizations" means those who engage in the broadcasting business;
    (ixbis) "wire diffusion" means the public transmission of wire-telecommunication intended for simultaneous reception by the public of the transmission having the same contents;
    (ixter) "wire diffusion organizations" means those who engage in the wire diffusion business;
    (ixquater) "interactive transmission" means the public transmission made automatically in response to a request from the public, excluding the public transmission falling within the term "broadcasting" or "wire-diffusion";
    (ixquinquies) "making transmittable" means the putting in such a state that the interactive transmission can be made by either of the following acts:
    (a) to record information on public transmission memory of an interactive transmission server already connected with telecommunication networks for public use ("interactive transmission server" means a device which, when connected with telecommunication networks for public use, has a function of making the interactive transmission of information which is either recorded on such a part of its memory as used for the interactive transmission (hereinafter in this item referred to as "public transmission memory") or inputted to such device; the same shall apply hereinafter), to add a memory recording information as a public transmission memory of such an interactive transmission server, to convert such a memory recording information into a public transmission memory of such an interactive transmission server, or to input information to such an interactive transmission server;
    (b) to connect with telecommunication networks for public use an interactive transmission server which records information on its public transmission memory or which inputs information to itself. In this case, where a connection is made through a series of acts such as wiring, starting of an interactive transmission server or putting into operation of programs for transmission or reception, the last occurring one of these acts shall be considered to constitute the connection;
    (x) "makers of cinematographic works" means those who take the initiative in, and the responsibility for, the making of a cinematographic work;
    (xbis) "program" means an expression of combined instructions given to a computer so as to make it function and obtain a certain result;
    (xter) "databases" means an aggregate of information such as articles, numericals or diagrams, which is systematically constructed so that such information can be retrieved with the aid of a computer;
    (xi) "derivative work" means a work created by translating, arranging musically, transforming, or dramatizing, cinematizing or otherwise adapting a pre-existing work;
    (xii) "joint work" means a work created by two or more persons in which the contribution of each person cannot be separately exploited;
    (xiii) "sound recording" means the fixation of sounds on some material forms and the multiplication of such fixation;
    (xiv) "visual recording" means the fixation of a sequence of images on some material forms and the multiplication of such fixation;
    (xv) "reproduction" means the reproduction in a tangible form by means of printing, photography, reprography, sound or visual recording or otherwise; and
    (a) in the case of dramas and other similar dramatic works, it includes sound and visual recording of the actings, broadcasts or wire diffusions of these works; and
    (b) in the case of architectural works, it includes the construction of an architectural work according to its plan;
    (xvi) "acting" means the performance of works by means other than musical playing ("musical playing" includes singing; the same shall apply hereinafter);
    (xvii) "presentation" means the projection of a work (other than that transmitted publicly) on the screen or other material forms, and includes such an intangible reproduction of sounds fixed in a cinematographic work as made in company with its projection;
    (xviii)"recitation"means the oral communication by means of reading or otherwise, not falling within the term "performance";
    (xix) "distribution" means the transfer of ownership and lending of copies of a work to the public, whether with or without payment, and in the case of a cinematographic work or a work reproduced therein, it includes the transfer of ownership and lending of copies of such work for the purpose of making a cinematographic work available to the public;
    (xx) "technological protection measures" means measures to prevent or deter such acts as constitute infringements on moral rights of authors or copyright mentioned in Article 17, paragraph (1) or moral rights of performers mentioned in Articles 89, paragraph (1) or neighboring rights mentioned in Article 89, paragraph (6) (hereinafter in this item ..., Article 30, paragraph(1), item (ii) and Article 120bis, item (i)... referred to as "copyright, etc.") ("deter" means to deter such acts as constitute infringements on copyright, etc. by causing considerable obstruction to the results of such acts; the same shall apply in Article 30, paragraph (1), item (ii)) by electronic or magnetic means or by other means not perceivable by human perception (in next item referred to as "electro-magnetic means"), excluding such measures as used not at the will of the owner of copyright, etc., which adopt means of recording on a memory or transmitting such signals as having specific effects on machines used for the exploitation of works, performances, phonograms, broadcasts or wire diffusions (in next item referred to as "works, etc.") ("exploitation" includes acts which would constitute infringements on moral rights of authors of performers if done without the consent of the author or the performer), together with works, performances, phonograms, or sounds or images of broadcasts or wire diffusions, ..., or which adopt means of recording on a memory or transmitting such works, performances, phonograms, or sounds or images of broadcasts or wire diffusions as converted in accordance with a specific conversion required by those machines;
    (xxi) "rights management information" means information concerning moral rights or copyright mentioned in Article 17, paragraph (1) or rights mentioned in Article 89, paragraphs (1) to (4) (hereinafter in this item referred to as "copyright, etc.") which falls within any of the following (a), (b) and (c) and which is recorded on a memory or transmitted by electromagnetic means together with works, performances, phonograms, or sounds or images of broadcasts or wire diffusions, excluding such information as not used for knowing how works, etc. are exploited, for conducting business relating to the authorization to exploit works, etc. and for other management of copyright, etc. by computer:
    (a) information which specifies works, etc., owners of copyright, etc. and other matters specified by Cabinet Order;
    (b) information relating to manners and conditions of the exploitation in case where the exploitation of works, etc. is authorized;
    (c) information which enables to specify matters mentioned in (a) or (b) above in comparison with other information;
    (xxii) "this country" means the jurisdiction within which this Law is effective;
    (xxiii) "outside this country" means outside the jurisdiction within which this Law is effective.
    (2) As used in this Law, "artistic work" includes a work of artistic craftsmanship.
    (3) As used in this Law, "cinematographic work" includes a work expressed by a process producing visual or audio-visual effects analogous to those of cinematography and fixed in some material form.
    (4) As used in this Law, "photographic work" includes a work expressed by a process analogous to photography.
    (5) As used in this Law, "the public" includes a large number of specific persons.
    (6) As used in this Law, "legal person" includes non-juridical associations or foundations having representatives or administrators.
    (7) In this Law, "performance" and "recitation" include the performance or recitation of a work by means of sound or visual recordings, not falling within the term "public transmission" or "presentation" and the communication by means of telecommunication installations of performances or recitations of works, not falling within the term "public transmission".
    (8) In this Law, "lending" includes any kind of similar acts of making acquire an authority to use, whatever may be their purpose or means.
    (9) In this Law, the meanings assigned to the terms defined in paragraph (1), items (viibis), (viii), (ixbis), (ixquater), (ixquinquies) and (xiii) to (xix) and the preceding two paragraphs shall also apply to their variant forms, as the case may be.

    (Publishing of works)
    Article 3. (1) A work has been "published" when copies of the work have been reproduced and distributed by a person who has the right mentioned in Article 21 or with the authorization of such person ("authorization" means the authorization to exploit a work under the provisions of Article 63, paragraph (1); the same shall apply hereinafter in this and next Chapters, except this paragraph, next Article, paragraph (1), Article 4bis and Article 63) or by a person in favour of whom the right of publication mentioned in Article 79 has been established or with the authorization of such person to reproduce a work ("authorization to reproduce a work" means the authorization to reproduce a work under the provisions of Article 80, paragraph (3); the same shall apply in the proviso to Article 37, paragraph (3) and in proviso to Article 37bis), in such sufficient quantities as satisfy the reasonable requirements of the public, having regard to the nature of the work (without prejudice to the right of a person who has the right mentioned in Article 26 or Article 26bis, paragraph (1) or Article 26ter).
    (2) A work shall be considered as having been "published" when copies of its translation have been reproduced and distributed, in such quantities as provided for in the preceding paragraph, by a person who has the same right as that mentioned in Article 21 in accordance with the provisions of Article 28 or with the authorization of such person (without prejudice to the right of a person who has the same right as that mentioned in Article 26, Article 26bis, paragraph (1) or Article 26ter in accordance with the provision of Article 28).
    (3) A person who would have the right mentioned in any of the preceding two paragraphs if his work were protected under this Law or a person who obtained the authorization to exploit the work from such person shall be considered to be a person who has such right or a person who obtained the authorization from such person, and the provisions of these paragraphs shall apply with respect to those persons.

    (Making public of works)
    Article 4. (1) A work has been "made public" when it has been published, or when it has been made available to the public, by a person who has the rights mentioned in Articles 22 to 25 or with the authorization of such person ("authorization" means the authorization to exploit a work under the provisions of Article 63, paragraph (1)) or by a person in favour of whom the right of publication mentioned in Article 79 has been established or with the authorization of such person to transmit a work publicly ("authorization to transmit a work publicly" means the authorization to transmit a work publicly under the provisions of Article 80, paragraph (3); the same shall apply in next paragraph, in the proviso to Article 37, paragraph (3) and it the proviso to Article 37bis), by means of performance, presentation, public transmission, recitation or exhibition. In the case of architectural works, a work also has been "made public" when it has been constructed by a person who has the right mentioned in Article 21 or with the authorization of such person. ("authorization" means the authorization to exploit a work under the provisions of Article 63, paragraph (1))
    (2) A work shall be considered as having been "made public" when it has been put, by a person having the rights mentioned in Article 23, paragraph(1) or with the authorization of such person or by a person in favour of whom the right of publication mentioned in Article 79 has been established or with the authorization of such person to transmit a work publicly, in such a state that it can be made transmittable.
    (3) A work shall be considered as having been "made public" when its translation has been made available to the public, by a person who has the same rights as those mentioned in Articles 22 to 24 in accordance with the provision of Article 28 or with the authorization of such person, by means of performance, public transmission or recitation, or when such translation has been made transmittable by a person who has the same rights as those mentioned in Article 23, paragraph(1) in accordance with the provision of Article 28 or with the authorization of such person.
    (4) An artistic work or a photographic work shall be considered as having been "made public" when it has been exhibited, by such a person as mentioned in Article 45, paragraph (1), in such a manner as provided for in that paragraph.
    (5) A person who would have the rights mentioned in paragraphs (1) to (3) of this Article if his work were protected under this Law or a person who obtained the authorization to exploit the work from such person shall be considered to be a person who has such rights or a person who obtained the authorization from such person, and the provisions of these paragraphs shall apply with respect to those persons.

    (Publishing of phonograms)
    Article 4bis. A phonogram has been "published" when copies of the phonogram have been reproduced and distributed by a person who has the right mentioned in Article 96 or with the authorization of such person ("authorization" means the authorization to exploit a phonogram under the provision of Article 63, paragraph (1) which shall apply mutatis mutandis in Article 103; the same shall apply in Chapter IV, Sections 2 and 3), in such sufficient quantities as satisfy the reasonable requirements of the public, having regard to the nature of the phonogram (without prejudice to the right of a person who has the right mentioned in Article 97bis, paragraph (1) or Article 97ter, paragraph (1)).

    (Priority of international treaty)
    Article 5. If an international treaty provides otherwise with respect to the rights of authors and the rights neighboring thereon, the provisions thereof shall prevail.

    Section 2 Scope of Application

    (Protected works)
    Article 6. The following shall be granted protection under this Law:
    (i) works of Japanese nationals ("Japanese nationals" includes legal persons established under the Japanese law and those who have their principal offices in this country; the same shall apply hereinafter);
    (ii) works first published in this country, including those first published outside this country and published in this country within thirty days of that first publication;
    (iii) works not falling within those mentioned in the preceding two items, to which Japan has the obligation to grant protection under an international treaty.

    (Protected performances)
    Article 7.
    The following shall be granted protection under this Law:
    (i) performances which take place in this country;
    (ii) performances fixed in the phonograms mentioned in item (i) or (ii) of the next Article;
    (iii) performances transmitted through the broadcasts mentioned in Article 9, item (i) or (ii), excluding those incorporated in sound or visual recordings before the transmission with the authorization of the performers concerned;
    (iv) performances transmitted through the wire diffusions mentioned in each item of Article 9bis, excluding those incorporated in sound or visual recordings before the transmission with the authorization of the performers concerned;
    (v) any of the following performances not falling within those mentioned in the preceding four items:
    (a) performances which take place in a Contracting State of the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention for the Protection of Performers, etc.");
    (b) performances fixed in the phonograms mentioned in item (iii) of the next Article;
    (c) performances transmitted through the broadcasts mentioned in Article 9, item (iii), excluding those incorporated in sound or visual recordings before the transmission with the authorization of the performers concerned;
    (vi) any of the following performances not falling within those mentioned in the preceding five items:
    (a) performances which take place in a Contracting Party to the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (hereinafter referred to as "the WPPT");
    (b) performances fixed in the phonograms mentioned in item (iv) of the next Article;
    (vii) any of the following performances not falling within those mentioned in the preceding six items:
    (a) performances which take place in a member of the World Trade Organization;
    (b) performances fixed in the phonograms mentioned in item (v) of the next Article;
    (c) performances transmitted through the broadcasts mentioned in Article 9, item (iv), excluding those incorporated in sound or visual recordings before the transmission with the authorization of the performers concerned.
    (viii) performances, not falling within those mentioned in the preceding seven items, given by performers who are nationals of any of the Contracting Parties to the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances or who have their habitual residence in any of such Contracting Parties.

    (Protected phonograms)
    Article 8. The following shall be granted protection under this Law:
    (i) phonograms the producers of which are Japanese nationals;
    (ii) phonograms composed of the sounds which were first fixed in this country;
    (iii) any of the following phonograms not falling within those mentioned in the preceding two items:
    (a) phonograms the producers of which are nationals of any of the Contracting States of the Convention for the Protection of Performers, etc. ("nationals" includes legal persons established under the law of such State and those who have their principal offices in such State; the same shall apply hereinafter.);
    (b) phonograms composed of the sounds which were first fixed in any of the Contracting States of the Convention for the Protection of Performers, etc.;
    (iv) any of the following phonograms not falling within those mentioned in the preceding three items:
    (a) phonograms the producers of which are nationals of any of the Contracting Parties to the WPPT ("nationals" includes legal persons established under the law of such Contracting Party and those who have their principal offices in such Contracting Party; the same shall apply hereinafter);
    (b) phonograms composed of the sounds which were first fixed in any of the Contracting Parties to the WPPT;
    (v) any of the following phonograms not falling within those mentioned in the preceding four items:
    (a) phonograms the producers of which are nationals of any of the members of the World Trade Organization ("nationals" includes legal persons established under the law of such member and those who have their principal offices in such member; the same shall apply hereinafter.);
    (b) phonograms composed of the sounds which were first fixed in any of the members of the World Trade Organization;
    (vi) phonograms not falling within those mentioned in the preceding five items, to which Japan has the obligation to grant protection under the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms (in Article 121bis, item (ii), referred to as "the Phonograms Convention").

    (Protected broadcasts)
    Article 9.
    The following shall be granted protection under this Law:
    (i) broadcasts transmitted by broadcasting organizations of Japanese nationality;
    (ii) broadcasts transmitted from transmitters situated in this country;
    (iii) any of the following broadcasts not falling within those mentioned in the preceding two items:
    (a) broadcasts transmitted by broadcasting organizations who are nationals of any of the Contracting States of the Convention for the Protection of Performers, etc.;
    (b) broadcasts transmitted from transmitters situated in any of the Contracting States of the Convention for the Protection of Performers, etc.;
    (iv) any of the following broadcasts not falling within those mentioned in the preceding three items:
    (a) broadcasts transmitted by broadcasting organizations who are nationals of any of the members of the World Trade Organization;
    (b) broadcasts transmitted from transmitters situated in any of the members of the World Trade Organization.

    (Protected wire diffusions)
    Article 9bis.
    The following shall be granted protection under this Law:
    (i) wire diffusions transmitted by wire diffusion organizations of Japanese nationality (excluding those made upon receiving broadcasts; the same shall apply in the next item);
    (ii) wire diffusions transmitted from wire transmitters situated in this country.

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