By >Akihabara News Team
JACA Considers Expanding Copyright Law to DVDs, Can’t Learn from Others’ Mistakes
The Agency for Cultural Affairs intends to submit suggested changes to Japanese copyright law next year, to expand criminal copy protection law to DVDs and BDs.
Current copyright law restricts circumvention of non-encryption copy-protection locks (such as anti-copy signals) on digital copyrighted material such as audio CDs, but doesn’t cover encryption-based protection schemes such as those found on DVDs and video games, and the Agency working group suggests expanding the law to criminalize circumventing those methods as well. Simple possession of software or hardware capable of circumventing copy-protection measures will remain legal under the suggested changes, as will circumvention of copy protection of material that isn’t copyrighted, either, the working group claims.
However, current copyright law in Japan has no provisions for non-commercial personal use for consumers of copyrighted material, such as making copies for personal backup or converting digital media into another format. Consumers of copyrighted material still have a ray of hope, though; a November meeting of the working group put together another suggested change to copyright law that is colloquially termed “Japanese fair use”, to be submitted to the regular Diet session next year.