Japanese gov't panel recommends electronic copyright for publishers

A Japanese government advisory panel on Thursday adopted an interim report recommending creation of electronic publication copyrights for publishers to help deter pirated electronic books, government officials said.

After the report is finalized within this year, the Agency for Cultural Affairs will submit legislation next year to create the new copyright by revising the copyright law, they said.

The current law gives publishers copyright for printed books under contracts with their authors, allowing them to file for injunctions against pirated print copies.

But the law covers only printed matter and does not allow publishers to file for injunctions against pirated e-books. It allows only individual authors to file such injunctions through troublesome procedures, failing to effectively deter electronic piracy.

The interim report also proposes establishing copyrights for e-book publishers and for publishers of printed and electronic magazines carrying works by multiple authors.