May 26, 2022

A Revision to Japan’s Copyright Law Re: Digital Books Goes Info Effect

The English language Japan Times has published an editorial that shares info about a revision to Japan’s copyright law that just went into effect.

From the Article:

As digital technology and its use made rapid progress in recent years, Japan’s Copyright Law has become obsolete. A revision of the law meant to address the new situation took effect at the beginning of this year.


Under the revision, not only publishers of printed books but also publishers of digital books will be able to obtain the right to publish works from writers who have the copyright and the right to prevent illegitimate copying of their works. This will greatly contribute to protecting the rights of publishers of electronic books.


From April 25, 2014 (via The Japan Times):

Before the amendment, the law recognized publishing rights only for the printed versions.

The revised law stipulates that the periods of the publishing rights for the electronic versions of books and other publications, and related obligations on the side of holders of the rights, are the same as those for printed publications.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.