Home > Reports > August 2018 Archives > “The Age of Seventy-Year Copyright Term” and the Utilization of Broadcast Archives [Part I]

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August 2018

“The Age of Seventy-Year Copyright Term” and the Utilization of Broadcast Archives [Part I]

Growing Concern over “Orphan Works”

Takashi Otaka

The issue of “orphan works”is a huge barrier in widely releasing and utilizing broadcast archives. Each broadcast program is comprised of a large number of copyrighted works, but there are many cases where broadcasters have to give up the reuse of works as they cannot process the copyrights due to uncontactable right holders. In the modern age, with a massive amount of information being distributed thanks to the spread of digital network technology, orphan works have long been a headache for those wanting to utilize copyrighted works, which is common to all genres, not just limited to broadcast archives. Under these circumstances, as the Diet passed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) bills in spring 2018, which will extend the copyright protection term from 50 to 70 years after the death of the author, there are mounting concerns that the problem of orphan works may be protracted and aggravated.

This series discusses and explores solutions for orphan works from the standpoint of promoting broadcast archives utilization. The first part of the series reports the gist of the Copyright Act amendment, international trends, and the current status of right processing for broadcast archives.

The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research


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