Are copyrights transferable?
Yes. Copyrights may be transferred in whole or in part.
A copyright owner means an actor to whom the copyrights belong. Copyrights, in principle, vest initially in the natural person who creates a work. Under the Copyright Act of Japan, however, all or part of copyrights may be transferred by contract or inheritance and there is also a certain case** where copyrights of a cinematographic work are transferred by the operation of the law.
It should be noted that the transfer of a copyright other than that by inheritance may not be asserted against a third party unless its fact is registered with the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
**In a case where an author of a cinematographic work has promised a producer of the cinematographic work that he/she (the author) will participate in its making, the copyrights of the cinematographic work belong to the producer of the cinematographic work (Art.29(1)).
The moral rights of an author, being personal to the author, are inalienable.