Having officially made agreement with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) last month, Japan’s Cultural Affairs Agency is considering revising the country’s copyright laws; after discussing how they will impact the populace.
To describe it in a nutshell, the TPPA includes enforcing the protection of trademarks, copyrights and patents; on top of copyright protection extension after the author’s death being extended to 70 years instead of the 50 it currently is.
The TPPA also allows unilateral enforcement, which gives the authorities to investigate infringements of intellectual property and charge potential offenders; even without complaint from the original IP holder. Currently in Japan, copyright infringement is currently a shinkokuzai a crime that’s only prosecuted if the victim takes it to court. Rights holders can also seek damages for infringement.
As a whole, the TPPA will already be affecting events like Comiket and those who produce doujinshi derivative and parody work. Comiket is currently in a gray zone because; while doujinshi is technically illegal, most creators are more than happy for the extra publicity and encourage the production of such work.
Considering that doujins are considered fan works and not outright plagiarisms that require a plagiarism checker, we figure they’re still safe.
The Japanese government has stated however, that if legal revisions are to be made, that they will be done in a way that won’t seriously impact people’s hobbies.
But ultimately, the TPPA is still going to screw over the average geek and otaku, we just don’t quite know how hard its going to hit once everything is legalised.