Q&A Regarding Copyright

The purpose of this document is to furnish certain guidelines for quotations not described in the Copyright Policy.

Article 32. (Quotations) of Copyright Law of Japan (the “Law”) reads as follows:

“It shall be permissible to quote from a work already made public, provided that such quotations are compatible with fair practice and their extent does not exceed that justified by the purposes such as news reporting, criticism or research.”

Questions

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Q&A

  • Q1:For the requirements for permitted quotations, the Copyright Law of Japan exemplifies two permissible conditions: “to be compatible with fair practice” and “the extent does not exceed that justified by the purposes”. What is meant by terms “fair practice” and “the extent does not exceed that justified by the purposes”?
  • A1:“Quotations” refer, for example, to quote from others’ works already made public and to use them in one’s own article by referencing or reproducing for the purpose of supporting or corroborating one’s own proposition. Such quotations are allowed without the authorization from the author if they satisfy certain requirements prescribed in the Copyright Law of Japan (see, Article 32 of the Law).

    Although the Law only refers to the requirements for permissible quotations such as “to be compatible with fair practice” or “the extent does not exceed that justified by the purposes”, more practical and widely-accepted criteria are enunciated in case law, including a leading case deliberated before the Supreme Court, “Modification of a Photograph in a Parody ‘Montage’” (Supreme Court Judgment at First Appeal on March 28, 1980). More specifically, [1] dominant-and-collateral presence factor: the quoted part shall be collateral to the work in question while material using the quotations shall be dominant in terms of amount and substantiality as a whole; [2] clear delineation factor: the quoted passage and quoted original work shall be clearly delineated; and [3] necessity factor: there should be a necessary condition justifying
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  • Q2:How can I specify the source in the quotations?
  • A2:“Quotations” refer, for example, to quote a work of others already made public by referencing or reproducing such work and using it in one’s own article for the purpose of supporting or corroborating one’s own proposition, and such quotations are allowed without the authorization from the author if they satisfy certain requirements specified in the Copyright Law of Japan (Article 32). One of the requirements prescribed in the Law includes the requirement that the quoted source of the work shall be indicated (i.e., a clear indication of source). (In case the quotations are made in a form other than physical reproduction [e.g. orally quoting and introducing the work of others in a lecture], when standard practice so requires.) (Article 48) It is understood that the quotations may be used “in the manner and to the extent deemed reasonable on a case-by-case basis.” When quoting an existing work, the source shall be clearly indicated and, at the same time, the title, name, and other attributes of the author of the quoted work shall be made clear to readers or audiences.
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  • Q3:Is there any caveat to moral rights while quoting?
  • A3:Quotations are usually made by reproducing the work of others as appears in the original work, so it is inconceivable that moral rights (right of maintaining the integrity) might be infringed. However, if one indulges in an inappropriate manner of quotations (e.g., committing errors in translation or using fragmentary passage in the manner misleading audience by conveying argument contradictory to those made by the original author), he may be considered to have infringed the right of maintaining the integrity or, more generally, the moral rights (Article 113, Paragraph 5) by injuring the reputation or honor of the original author.
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  • Q4:Is it necessary to obtain the authorization from the copyright holder if I display materials and other data including works created by others on a projection screen in my presentation during a lecture?
  • A4:If such displays may be deemed to fall within the “quotations”, which means to quote or reproduce the work of others for the purpose of supporting or corroborating one’s own proposition (Article 32) or the performance of a work for noncommercial purposes, without charge and without compensation (including the projection of still pictures on the screen (Article 38, paragraph 1), they can be made without the permission of the original author, but otherwise it is necessary to obtain the permission of the author as a general rule.

    In the case of lectures, it is anticipated that the lecturer usually displays such materials for supporting or corroborative purposes, so it can be considered as “quotations” in many cases. To fulfill the requirements of a “quotations”, the following conditions shall be met: [1] a work is already made public; [2] such display is made in compliance with fair practices; [3] such display is made to the extent not exceeding that justified by the purposes, such as in the news reporting, criticism, or research; and [4] the source is clearly indicated (in the case other than physical reproduction, when standard practice so requires) (Article 32, Paragraph 1). With respect to factors [2] and [3], it is at least required that one’s own work shall be clearly delineated from the quoted work of others, the need for the quotations is justifiable in one way or another, the presence of one’s own work is dominant while the presence of the quoted work is collateral. It is usually anticipated that the focus of a lecture should be the lecturer’s oral presentation and the quoted work of others must be usually used for supporting or corroborating purposes, it can be considered as a “quotations” in many cases.
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  • Q5:To what extent can I quote works created by others?
  • A5:“Quotations” refer, for example, to quote a work of others already made public by referencing or reproducing such work and using it in one’s own article for the purpose of supporting or corroborating one’s own proposition, and such quotations are allowed without the authorization of the author if certain requirements specified in the Copyright Law of Japan are met (Article 32). The requirements are as follows: [1] a work is already made public; [2] such quotations is made in accordance with fair practices; [3] such quotations is made to the extent not exceeding that justified by the purposes, such as in the news reporting, criticism, or research; and [4] the source is clearly indicated (in the case other than reproduction, when standard practice so requires). With respect to factors [2] and [3], it is at least required that one’s own work shall be clearly delineated from the quoted work of others, the need for the quotations is justifiable in one way or another, the presence of one’s own work is dominant while the presence of the quoted work is collateral. If these requirements are met, the permission of the original author may not be needed.
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  • Q6:Is it permissible to abstract articles authored by others in my article?
  • A6:“Quotations” shall be usually made by reproducing the work of others as appears in the original work, so that if such abstraction is deemed to fall within the adaptation, such use is not permitted.

    “Quotations” refer, for example, to quote a work of others already made public by referencing or reproducing such work and using it in one’s own article for the purpose of supporting or corroborating one’s own proposition, and such quotations are allowed without the authorization of the author if certain requirements specified in the Copyright Law of Japan are met (Article 32). At the same time, it is understood that abstraction refers to summarizing the original work in order to enable the audience to overview the contents of the original work, so that such act shall be deemed to be an act subject to the Adaptation Right (Article 27) and may not be performed without the permission of the original author. However, it is considered that the author’s authorization is not necessarily required if the produced text is only intended to provide a brief summary for the convenience of the audience. In addition, since the translation is characterized as the same kind of right (Article 27), once the requirements for quotations are met, translation may be freely permitted (Article 43, Item 2).
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  • Q7:I am currently writing a research paper and would like to quote a paragraph from an article of a researcher who holds different views from mine and try to criticize his position. Are there any problems under the Copyright Law if I quote an article authored by others in such a manner?
  • A7:“Quotations” refer, for example, to quote a work of others already made public by referencing or reproducing such work and using it in one’s own article for the purpose of supporting one’s own proposition or challenging others’ opinions and assumptions, and such quotations is allowed without the authorization of the author if certain requirements specified in the Copyright Law of Japan are met (Article 32).

    The requirements are as follows (Article 32, Paragraph 1): [1] a work is already made public; [2] such quotations is made in compliance with fair practices; [3] such quotations is made to the extent not exceeding that justified by the purposes, such as in the news reporting, criticism, or research; [4] dominant-and-collateral presence between the quoted part and the material using the quotations is clear; [5] one’s own work is clearly delineated from the quoted work of others by parenthesis or otherwise; [6] there is a justifiable need for the quotations; and [7] the source is clearly indicated (in the case other than reproduction, when standard practice so requires) (Article 48). With respect to factors [2] and [3], it is clearly enunciated in case law that one’s own work shall be clearly delineated from the quoted work of others (clear indication requirement of quoted passage), the presence of one’s own work is dominant while the presence of the quoted work is collateral (dominant-and collateral presence requirement), and of the need for the quotations is justifiable in one way or another (necessity requirement) and other factors.
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  • Q8:Is it mandatory to clearly indicate the title and/or name of author of original article while quoting passages in my article?
  • A8:If one wants to quote an existing work of others, it is mandatory to clearly indicate the source (i.e. specifying the title and the name of the author of such article). For the avoidance of doubt, even if the source is indicated, quotations may not be freely permitted under the rubric of “quotations” but it might be condemned as an unauthorized use. The “quotations” is only permitted, under the Copyright Law of Japan, if such quotations are made in compliance with fair practice and within the legitimate extent in light of the permitted purpose of the quotations prescribed by Law.
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  • Q9:“It shall be permissible for a user to reproduce by himself a work forming the subject of copyright (hereinafter in this Subsection referred to as a "work") for the purpose of his personal use, family use or other similar uses within a limited circle (hereinafter referred to as "private use"):” (Article 30). What exactly does “family use or other similar uses within a limited circle” cover?
  • A9:There seems to be no necessity to explain the term “family”. “A limited circle” refers to “consisting of four to five people, and they have a family-like intimate and close relationship (Report of the Sub-committee of the Copyright Council, 1981), i.e., a specific small circle of intimate friends or a small group of researchers.
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  • Q10:Is it permissible to download or print out the text, illustrations from the website for one’s own personal study without the authorization of the copyright holder?
  • A10:In general, you are allowed to download and print out all text and illustrations without authorization of the author.
    The behaviors such as downloading from the Internet or printing the downloaded works of others on a printer fall within the right of reproduction (Article 2, Paragraph 1 and Clause 15). In this case, copyright holders hold the right of reproduction, and the users cannot usually reproduce the works of others without the authorization of the copyright holders. If, however, you use the works created by others for your personal use, the right of reproduction of copyright holders is invalid (Article21, Article 30 of the Law).

    (Excerpt from “FAQs Regarding Copyright” on the website of the Agency for Cultural Affairs)