Tatsuhiro Ueno – “An Introduction to New Developments in Japanese Copyright Law”

Friday 9th September 2022, 11:00 (BST), Room F108, Talbot Campus


The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the new developments in Japanese copyright law focusing on the existing (quite broad) copyright exception for text-and-data mining (TDM) and the ongoing discussion at the Japanese Government for the planned amendment of the Japanese Copyright Act in 2023 to introduce the “Japanese-style” ECL (Extended Collective Licensing) system.

Firstly, copyright exception for TDM has recently been gathering global attentions, since it plays a significant role to facilitate the innovation and foster the development of new products and new services by allowing machine learning of data containing copyrighted works or protected subject-matter. Compared with the TDM exceptions under the CDPA (Section 29A) in the UK (introduced in 2014) and under the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (Articles 3 and 4) (2019), the Japanese one (introduced in 2009 and extended in 2018) allowing even commercial TDM is quite broad. Because it is helpful and advantageous for machine learning and AI businesses, Japan can be called as “paradise for machine learning”.

Secondly, the Japanese Government will submit a bill in the ordinally Diet session in 2023 to amend the Japanese Copyright Act to introduce the “Japanese-style” ECL system. This system will be not the same as ECL, but could (hopefully) work effectively by establishing a one-stop institution, consolidating the comprehensive databases of rights information and reforming the existing compulsory license system for orphan works in Japan.

Professor Tatsuhiro Ueno is Professor of Law at Waseda University (Tokyo) and Deputy Director of the Research Centre for the Legal System of Intellectual Property (RCLIP) of Waseda University. After working as a lecturer at Seijo University and as Associate Professor at Rikkyo University, he has been Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Waseda University since 2013. He specializes in copyright law and is the author of the Japan part of the “Copyright Throughout the World” edited by Silke von Lewinski (Thomson/West) and “International Copyright Law and Practice” edited by Lionel Bently (Matthew Bender). He has been Visiting Scholar at Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law in Munich from 2010 to 2011 and Visiting Scholar at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich from 2019 to 2020.

Prof. Ueno is Board Member of the Copyright Law Association in Japan, the ALAI Japan Group, the Japan Association of Industrial Property Law and the Law and Computers Association of Japan; an advisory board member for numerous committees including the Committee on Copyright of the Council for Cultural Affairs and the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters of Cabinet Secretariat of Japan.