Copyright protection first became an issue overseas in the 15th century with the invention of Gutenberg's letterpress machine. In Japan, a Bakufu (shogunate) system of exercising strict control on "Juhan" (pirated copies) seems to have started in the Edo period (1683 - 1868), but the adoption of a Publication Ordinance as a law in 1869 is said to formally mark the beginning of the Japanese copyright system. Later in 1899, the Copyright Law was enacted, combining the separate laws that had thus far been established to govern newspapers, photos, music, and books. This was a result of the Berne Convention, an international copyright treaty. The current copyright law was enacted in 1970.
The Intellectual Property Basic Law was enacted in 2002, advocating the adoption of national policies aimed at promoting international protection in the intellectual property field and strengthening competitiveness.
"The purpose of this Law is ... to secure the protection of the rights of authors, etc., having regard to a just and fair use of these cultural products, and thereby to contribute to the development of culture."
This is the opening statement of Article 1 of the Copyright Law. The law states that it is intended to secure "the just and fair use" and "protection" of copyrighted works, as well as to "contribute to the development of culture." Today's copyrights do not only apply to certain authors or companies that provide works to the world. This is an age in which all 100 million Japanese people are creators and users." On a worldwide scale, one might say it is an age of 6.5 billion creators and users.
The Japan Copyright Education Association (JCEA) was established to promote the just and fair use of copyrighted works in the educational arena while ensuring copyright protection.
A copyright belongs to the copyright holder of a copyrighted work. To use a copyrighted work, one must obtain the permission of the copyright holder who owns the rights to the work. The rights holder can be contacted relatively easily when it is a domestic corporation, or even an individual when they are working with a management organization. However, it can be difficult to find the appropriate contact information in situations where the rights belong to an individual who is not working with a management organization, or where the copyright holder is deceased and their rights have been passed on to another party. Even more work is involved for a co-authored or collective works. And the process becomes even more difficult if a rights holder is an individual who lives overseas. Finding a copyright holder can be a very challenging process.
JCEA has made it possible to contact rights holders promptly through its database and network of copyright holders. We can quickly search for a rights holder and negotiate for permission to use a work on behalf of a user.
JCEA is not a management organization. We are not a management company that represents the copyright holder, but instead try to serve as a bridge between the parties involved. We are therefore equipped to negotiate with all management organizations, corporations, and individuals.