Recent Copyright Activism in Japan


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A part of Japan country report at Digital Rights Camp, Auckland U. Law School, Auckland, New Zealand, Dec 1-2, 2012.

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Recent Copyright Activism in Japan

  1. 1. Recent copyright activism in Japan Tomoaki Watanabe - Associate Prof./ Sen. Research Fellow, GLOCOM, International U. of Japan - Executive Director, Creative Commons Japan - Founding Member, Open Knowledge Foundation Japan Group Dec 1-2, 2012, NZ Digital Rights Camp, Auckland U. Law School, Auckland 1
  2. 2. My affiliations, etc.GLOCOM: Research institute specialized in social side of ICTs; a part of private non-profit university (7 full-time, 100+ fellows worldwide)CC Japan: Copyright license NPO; strong in arts& culture (70+ volunteers)OKF Japan Group: A group for the promotion of open data in Japan. (20+ volunteers)Also: a not-so-active WikipedianMy day job: GLOCOM - academicPass time: volunteer at all others* Copyright advocacy/ activism is not the primary mission of any of those entities.* All the views and opinions are mine, not these organizations’. 2
  3. 3. Participants from JapanMasayuki Hatta: - a hacker (Debian, Free Software Foundation, Slashdot Japan) - academic (economics, business, hacktivism, privacy) - MIAU (board member) - GLOCOM (visiting res. fellow), OKFJG (member) - on Katsuki: - MIAU Director of Operations - Internet policy issues (privacy, electioneering, content-filtering, etc.) - knows about lobbying - on Twitter, Facebook, via emailReirui Ri: - Copyright lead, Google Japan - Management consulting background - Key Focus Areas: Fair use, Intermediary liability, related rights for publishers and performers - on Twitter, Facebook, via emailTomoaki Watanabe - academic (ICT policies, information society issues) at GLOCOM, a research institute of a universeity - license-related work at CC Japan - founding member of Open Knowledge Foundation Japan Group - on LinkedIn, Facebook, via email 3
  4. 4. Overview of Activities1. Copyright Term Extension (ThinkC/ Think TPP IP)2. Fair Use (CCJP, MIAU)3. Criminalization of unauthorized downloading (MIAU)4. Anti-ACTA activism (MIAU, some CCJP)5. Open Data (GLOCOM, OKFJG) 4
  5. 5. Copyright Term ExtensionBasic Issue: Life +50 years -> Life +70 yearsRound 1: 2006-2009“Think Copyright” Forum intervened effectively.( )Context: Government committee discussing the copyright amendmentStrategy: Hold open discussions outside the committee, with key figures (ThinkC). CCJP helped ThinkC& testified before the committee.Result: Decision was postponed. (opponent won) 5
  6. 6. Copyright Term ExtensionRound 2: 2011-Basic Issue:TPP brings term extension, statutory damages, and others.Context: Secret international negotiationStrategy: ThinkC, MIAU, CCJP, and others held online video symposiums. Founded (not yet clear) 6
  7. 7. Fair UseBasic Issue: Introduce general limitation to copyright to foster innovation (National Intellectual Property Headquarters, 2009)Context: Government Committee discussing copyright amendmentStrategy: CCJP: online survey; public symposiums; public comment; expert testimonyResult: no fair use; three narrowly defined copyright limitations introduced (2012).“General” limitation turned out to be very difficult to gain support. Amendment needs “specific” problems. 7
  8. 8. Unauthorized DownloadingRound one: Criminalization, 2008-10Basic Issue: Some rights holders wanted to criminalize unauthorized downloading; it had been okay b/c as long as it is for “private use”.Context: Gov’t committee discussionStrategy: MIAU was formed to address this threat.Result: limited in scope (video and audio); no penalty. (partial win for opponent) 8
  9. 9. Unauthorized DownloadingRound two: Introduction of Penalties, 2011-12Context: (not an ordinary routed to copyright amendment)- Lobbying to diet members using a celebrity;- Last-minute amendment to the bill in the Diet;- Backdoor negotiation among political parties involving multiple policy agendasStrategy: Counter-lobbying to politicians- public symposiums (online and off) to raise public awarenessResult: proponents won 9
  10. 10. Unauthorized DownloadingRound three?: 2012-Context: Right holders pursuing expansion?- Publishers seeking to gain a neighboring right,by introducing a bill- Other potential movesStrategy: MIAU, CCJP held public symposiums 10
  11. 11. ACTABasic Issue: Illegalization of access control circumvention; other provisions were not new to Japanese lawContext: Secret negotiation, not open to public inputStrategy: Contacted government agencies (MIAU);Attended informal NGO-negotiator meeting in Tokyo Round (CCJP, others);Translated leaked draft agreementResults: Not effective; Thanks to global uproar, digital chapter became weakened enough by JP standard. 11
  12. 12. An interesting evolution of Japanese popular activismAnti-nuclear power: mistrust to gov’t& mainstream media; trust to the InternetAnti-ACTA: opposing restrictions on Internet’s free flow of information (a bit misguided, not effective)Anti-TPP: IP-awareness led to concerns on TPP’s IP chapter; esp. critical of seed-patent (anti-Monsanto) 12
  13. 13. Open DataBasic Issue: To release data sets held by the government under an open license for reuse.Context: Government committees and agencies discussing strategies, policies, guidelines, etc.Strategy: Help government through informal and formal channels (CCJP, GLOCOM, OKFJG or their members as individuals); Hosted hack-a-thons and other networking& awareness-raising events (GLOCOM; OKFJG)Result: National Open Data Strategy set July, 2012. (our contributions were somewhat influential) 13
  14. 14. General Tips/ LessonsBuilding a case- Collect examples showing your cause (why fair use is needed; how wonderful the effect of the open data could be; etc.)- If you can quantify damages/ benefits, do.- Come up with a good copy (phrase)Different players- Politics : public attention and buzz counts; not highly literate about the Internet- Bureaucracy : reasoning and expertise counts- Non-expert activism: not familiar to us yet. (MIAU is ahead of others)Current Challenges- Non-expert activists not well-connected to the decision-makers- Swift action, but not necessarily well-informed- Conspiracy theories having greater influence among them- Younger generations may not be interested in policy/ activism? 14
  15. 15. URLsCC Japan: (don’t omit www)@iuj_glocomMIAU: Copyright: thinkcopyright.orgOKFJG: 15
  16. 16. Thank You! 16
  17. 17. License for this WorkTitle of the Work: Recent copyright activism in JapanAuthor’s name: Tomoaki WatanabeNotice Referring to the License: These slides are under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. ( )Copyright notice: noneNotice referring to warranty disclaimer: noneURL specified to be associated with the work: none 17