An ‘author’ under the Copyright Act of Japan means a person who creates a work. Copyrights (including moral rights), in principle, vest initially in the author of a work.
The person who creates a work is a human being and so the author of a work
is by nature a natural person. Consequently, ownership of copyrights is attributable to the natural person initially. This is the principle of copyright protection.
[Note] With respect to the authorship of a cinematographic work, under the copyright Act of Japan, the author of a cinematographic work is, in principle,theperson(s)who, by taking charge of itsproduction, direction, filming, art direction, etc., has(have) creatively contributed to the creation of such a cinematographic work as a whole.
On the other hand, there is a crucial exception to the above-mentioned principle of initial ownership of copyrights. That is about the authorship of a work made by an employee.Copyright laws of some countries provide that an employer should own copyright from the outset in cases where an employee creates a work as part of his/her job. Here in Japan, in the case where all of the following requirements(①~③)
are met, the authorship of a work is attributed to a juridical person,
etc. unless otherwise stipulated by contract, work regulations or the like
at the time of the making of the said work: ① a work being made by an employee in the course of the performance of his/her duties in connection with the juridical person, etc.'s business ② a work being made on the initiative of the juridical person, etc. ③ a work being made public by such juridical person, etc. under its own name
[Note] The above-mentioned ③ is not required with respect to a computer program work.
Kaneda Copyright Agency
For proper copyright management in Japan