Copyright case (E+J)

Aaron Gerow gerowaaron at
Sat Jul 15 19:01:49 EDT 2006


I'm not a lawyer, but I think these two cases revolve around the 
definition of author. Especially the Japanese version of Article 53 
seems to refer only to cases where the legal person owns the name of 
the author of the work, but where authorship still resides in the 

Hôjin sonota no dantai ga chosaku no meigi o yusuru chosakubutsu no 
chosakusha de aru kojin

The majority of cases in Article 15 can't apply here because that 
article is all about attributing authorship only to the legal 
person--the individual working for the company is never referred to as 
an author. I think paragraph 2 in Article 53 only refers to those 
people cited as an exception in Article 15: those who as "stipulated in 
a contract, work regulation or the like in force at the time of the 
making of the work" can claim authorship. In those exceptions, the 
legal body can use its name as the name of the author of the work, but 
authorship lies elsewhere.

I unfortunately don't have my copy of the Roppo with me, so I can't 
check if there have been any precedents concerning these articles. It 
does look tricky, but I very much doubt the law would let some hack 
studio photographer just announce that he is the author of some still 
and gain all the rights--that would go against the principle of Article 

But maybe there are some lawers out there....

Aaron Gerow
Assistant Professor
Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University
53 Wall Street, Room 316
PO Box 208363
New Haven, CT 06520-8363
Phone: 1-203-432-7082
Fax: 1-203-432-6764
e-mail: aaron.gerow at

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