Sun reflecting on RPC building.

Copyright rules in Japan

Published on 23 January 2018

Get to grips with the framework of copyright law in Japan with the 2018 TerraLex Cross-Border Copyright Guide.

What are the main sources of copyright law in Japan?

Copyright law in Japan is governed by the Copyright Act (Act No. 48 of 6 May 1979 as amended). In 1899, Japan joined the Berne Convention. The Copyright Act (Act No. 39 of 1899) [the Old Copyright Act] was enacted.

After the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is ratified, will the criminal penalty be stricter than before due to the non-private complaint requirement? Under the current criminal penalty of the Copyright Act, the burden is on a private complainant to start a criminal prosecution.

Derivative works of digital content on the internet are currently illegal. This issue is currently under discussion by the governmental council.

To find out more about subsistence of copyright, ownership, infringement, remedies, enforcement and copyright reform in Japan, download the 2018 TerraLex Cross-Border Copyright Guide.