The Japanese government is looking into creating legislation that would extend copyright terms on legal works to protect songwriters, composers and music publishers who own the rights to lyrics and musical scores. The current law for copyright in Japan is the author’s life plus 50 years after their death.
The proposals they are looking at now, according to music business site McClure is to extend the current copyright law to 70 years, which will bring it up to par with the same laws in the United States and the European Union. The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) has been lobbying for such a move for some time now. But, it seems the primary reason for the government considering this is because Japan is now preparing to enter negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement. The US, who is leading the TPP agreement, has been pressuring the participating countries to strengthen their Intellectual Property laws.
If the other countries would also agree to extend copyright terms, this could lead to more stable IP rights in the Asia-Pacific region. But this would benefit Japan the most because of the sheer size of their music market. In terms of copyright terms for recordings, Japan’s currently at 50 years after release, while the US has 95 and the EU has 70.
[ via CMU ]