The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers today (May 17) reported copyright fee collections for the year ending March 31 rose 2.6% year-on-year to ¥113.6 billion ($1.03 bil

The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers today (May 17) reported copyright fee collections for the year ending March 31 rose 2.6% year-on-year to ¥113.6 billion ($1.03 billion).

Performance right royalties collections by JASRAC were up 7.2% to ¥48.3 billion ($438.7 million).

Mechanical fee collections rose just 0.2% to ¥44.3 billion ($402.2 million), reflecting an upswing in CD sales in the January-March quarter, and marking the first time in seven years that mechanicals collections have risen.

JASRAC's collections for the year also included a 5.1% decline in fees from print media to ¥1.5 billion ($14 million); a 3.7% decline in fees from rental of CDs and videos to ¥3.7 billion ($33.3 million) as Japan's CD-rental sector continued to contract; and a 1.7% decrease in "compound-use" income from online karaoke service operators and "interactive" media such as ringtones, master ringtones and full-song downloads to ¥15 billion ($135.7 million).

The main reason for the decline, according to JASRAC, was a 21.5% drop in ringtone collections to ¥6.2 billion ($56.1 million).

The results in the interactive category would have been higher, however, if royalties from the Japanese version of the popular iTunes Music Store, launched in August 2005, were included. A JASRAC spokesman explains that these royalties have yet to be calculated due to difficulties in synchronizing the iTunes and JASRAC databases.

And JASRAC recorded a 7.3% decline to ¥742.1 million ($6.7 million) in payments from SARAH, the society set up to administer home-copying compensation fees from makers of digital recording hardware and software such as DATs and mini discs.

A JASRAC-supported proposal to introduce a levy on sales of portable flash-memory devices such as the iPod was rejected by the Japanese government last year, meaning collections by SARAH are likely to continue to fall in future.