In Japan, artists, illustrators, and doujinshi creators are worried about the new Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, or TPP, which is an agreement among 12 countries in the Pacific Rim, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. However, in a a meeting of the Committee on Intellectual Property, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzou Abe, has said that doujinshi will be safe under the agreement.
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Many were afraid that the agreement would deem doujinshi as non-shinkokuzai, which could mean thet “creators could be prosecuted without the consent of the holders of the copyrights they have violated.” However, in a statement during the meeting, Abe said that
“Doujinshi don’t compete in the market with the original works and don’t damage the original creators’ profits, so they are shinkokuzai,”
and added that
“So that fan-made work like parodies don’t wither away, we’re limiting [non-shinkokuzai] to things that earn profits, wholly appropriate the original work, and inappropriately damage the rights holders’ rights — they must fulfill all of these conditions.”
There, straight from the Prime Minister’s mouth, doujins are safe. His statements may alleviate the fears of a lot of people, and this means that Japan’s bi-annual doujinshi fair, the Comiket, is still safe.
The Committee on Intellectual Property meeting where Abe talked about doujinshi also tackled other intellectual rights violations, such as video hosting sites. They are “considering the disclosure of the identities of illegal website managers, the shutdown of their websites, and their removal from search engine listings.”
Video hosting sites currently exist in a gray zone, since they “derive their revenue from ads rather than selling illegally obtained materials”, but it is important to note that most of their videos are illegally downloaded. The committee identifies illegal websites as “those who link to a large quantity of illegal copies for purposes of profit,” and “those who continue hosting illegal copies despite being warned” will face the new disciplinary measures.”
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