FAQ about Copyright System of Japan

How can copyrights be obtained?  Are any special registrations, etc. required?

No. The Berne Convention provides as follows:

The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to any formality.

And also, the Copyright Act of Japan provides as follows:

Enjoyment of the moral rights of an author and copyrights shall not be subject to any formality.

Behind modern copyright systems, there is a very important rationale, which is accepted almost universally; the principle that the copyright protection (i.e. the author’s right) stems from the act of creation of a work automatically and consequently does not depend on any formality.  In this respect, the author’s right differs considerably from other forms of intellectual property right such as patent right and trademark right, which are subject to an official registration for valid protection.

[Q] So why should I register my work with the Agency for Cultural Affairs in some cases?
[A] Registration is recommended in some cases for some reasons.  Copyright registration is useful especially in a case where an author and/or a copyright owner want(s) to have particular effects on their copyrights by registering some facts in the official record, and identifying the author, the copyright owner and the subject matter of their works.  Entries in the Copyright Registry can give prima facie evidence or a presumption of the existence of vested rights and other facts in a legal dispute relating to copyright infringement, etc.  In addition, the transfer of copyright(s) other than that by inheritance, unless registered, may not be asserted against a third party.  This is of crucial importance when ‘double transfer’ occurs.
For more information, click here; Copyright Registration 

     Kaneda Copyright Agency
     For proper copyright management in Japan

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