80% Opposed to Outlawing Download, Public Comment on Private Recording

Nov 30, 2007
Takeyoshi Yamada, Nikkei Electronics
The 14th meeting of the Private Music and Video Recording Subcommittee
The 14th meeting of the Private Music and Video Recording Subcommittee
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The 14th meeting of the Private Music and Video Recording Subcommittee was held Nov 28, 2007. The subcommittee is affiliated with the Copyright Committee of the Cultural Council, an advisory organization to Japan's minister of education and science.

In this meeting, duty officers of the Agency for Cultural Affairs announced the overview of the public comment on the interim report of the subcommittee. The public comment was sought from Oct 16 through Nov 15, 2007.

The number of comments is about 7,500. And 80% of them are related to "the reexamination of the coverage of Article 30 of the copyright law" and are against the opinion in the interim report, which advocates for excluding downloads from illegal Web sites and file-sharing programs from "private copying" and making them illegal.

However, of the 80% of the comments, about 70% are "copies made by using a template on the Internet," said Makoto Kawase, general manager of the Copyrighted Work Circulation Promotion Department, the Copyright Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

Prior to this meeting, the duty officers of the Agency for Cultural Affairs looked through all the comments, sorted them by type of opinion and put together a 39-page reference material by citing those comments. And the copies of this material were distributed to the commission members.

Also, for discussion, each member was given a 80-page reference material consisting of the full-text of the comments submitted by 23 organizations and the excerpts of the comments from individuals.

The full texts of the public comment will be released in the second half of December 2007 after the officers organize them by, for example, applying the same format to all the comments.