FAQ about Copyright System of Japan

How can the copyright owner exercise his/her copyrights?

The copyright owner can exercise his/her work in the form of licensing for the exploitation of the copyrighted work.
The Copyright Act of Japan provides that,
whoever is the initial owner of rights to a work, all or part of the copyrights may be assigned by contract, etc.  If all copyrights are assigned, the assignee, or the person to whom the rights were assigned has become the owner of the copyrights.
Moral rights, being personal and exclusive to the author, can never be assigned.

Copyright reflects two kinds of interests of the author of a work that are generally referred to as economic rights and moral rights.  The economic rights (i.e. copyrights) of the author enable him/her to make a living from his/her work.  Therefore, the copyright law grants the author of a work the exclusive right to authorize others to use his/her work under agreed terms and conditions, and to take legal action against unauthorized uses.  Economic rights  cover almost all relevant commercial activities using a copyrighted work, from the tangible (physical) reproduction of the work to the transmission of the work on the Internet.
Licensing means that an owner of certain copyrights remains the owner but/and authorizes someone else to exploit the copyrighted work in some forms of acts covered by the economic rights, generally for a specific period of time.  For example, an author (copyright owner) of a novel may grant a license to a publisher to make and distribute copies of the novel, and, at the same time, he/she may grant a license to a film producer to make a film based on the novel.  Licenses may be exclusive, which means that the owner of the copyrights agrees not to authorize any other person to carry out the licensed acts, or non-exclusive, which means that the copyright owner may authorize others to carry out the same acts.
As for
jointly owned copyrights, under the Copyright Act of Japan, such joint copyrights may not be exercised without the unanimous agreement of all the co-owners.

     Kaneda Copyright Agency
     For proper copyright management in Japan

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