Sixteen copyright-related organizations on Friday (Sept. 22) presented a joint petition to the Japanese government's Cultural Affairs Agency asking that posthumous copyright protection in Japan be ext

Sixteen copyright-related organizations on Friday (Sept. 22) presented a joint petition to the Japanese government’s Cultural Affairs Agency asking that posthumous copyright protection in Japan be extended from the current 50 years to 70 years.

The plans to present this petition gained music industry momentum in July when local labels group the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan joined other entertainment and arts organizations to lobby for the extension of copyright protection (Billboard.biz July 25, 2006).

“We want the situation in Japan to be line with the global norm,” said Masahiro Mita, deputy secretary-general of the Japan Writers Assn., one of the groups comprising the Joint Committee of Creators Studying the Copyright Problem, at a Tokyo press conference.

The Recording Industry Assn. of Japan, authors’ society JASRAC and the Music Publishers Assn. of Japan (MPAJ) are among the organizations urging the change to Japan’s 1971 Copyright Law.

The petition also asks that neighboring-rights protection in Japan be extended from 50 to 70 years.

Mita noted that the current discrepancy between Japan and other countries creates the risk of CDs and other copyrighted goods being manufactured legally in Japan when they enter the public domain for the purpose of being sold illegally in territories with longer copyright-protection periods.

“People from overseas ask me when Japan will get in line with the rest of the world,” said MPAJ chairman Ichiro Asatsuma, who is also chairman of Tokyo-based music publisher Fujipacific Music, at the press conference.