"Film quote" loses

Aaron Gerow gerow
Sun Nov 11 23:58:33 EST 2001

>I think we all really appreciate your updates on copyright law, Aaron, and
>I'm wondering if---someday---you could write up some kind of summary of the
>state of copyright law vs. actual practice for Japanese film. 

I'd like to, and then I'd dread it.  The main problem with the issue of 
film copyright and scholarship in Japan is that there are few precedents, 
primarily because film scholarship is so insignificant in Japan.  For the 
list, I've tried to make people aware of other precedents and court cases 
that might be relevant in the case of film scholarship, but the assertion 
of relevance is merely from my layman's perspective.  Further, with the 
lack of precedents and an assertive film scholarship world, there is more 
subjective interpretation out there than real legally based procedure.  
Thus the fees charged for public domain material, or the ignoring of fair 
use privileges.

I can write up something, but I fear the following conversation:

KineJapan Member A: Why do I need permission for this?
Big Company B: Because its copyright material.
KineJapan Member A: But Aaron Gerow said it's legally in the public 
Big Company B: Who?
KineJapan Member A: Aaron Gerow of KineJapan.
Big Company B: Kine-what?
KineJapan Member A: He's a recognized film scholar.
Big Company B: Well, if he's no Japanese judge, he's a nobody.

Still, we do need to pool our information at some time and begin 
asserting our rights.  I've seen too many film/manga conferences where 
copyright is discussed only from the perspective of the creator, not the 

Aaron Gerow
Associate Professor
International Student Center
Yokohama National University
79-1 Tokiwadai
Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama 240-8501
E-mail: gerow at ynu.ac.jp
Phone: 81-45-339-3170
Fax: 81-45-339-3171

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