Copyright case

Aaron Gerow gerowaaron at
Fri Oct 6 22:04:25 EDT 2006

Just a quick note that a different court issued a similar ruling in a 
related case involving the length of copyright in Japan that I 
discussed earlier. In another case involving cheap DVDs of Hollywood 
films (this time Shane), the point of contention was again whether the 
copyright of films made in 1953 had already expired when the extension 
of copyright to 70 years took effect on January 1, 2004 (the law only 
extended the length of copyright for works whose copyright had not 
expired). The Bunkacho and the copyright holders had contended that 
0:00 am on January 1 is the same as 12:00 pm on December 31, so 
everything made in 1953 was still under copyright when the law went 
into effect. This court, as with the last one, concluded that the 
Bunkacho's interpretation of time made no sense.

Aaron Gerow
KineJapan owner

Assistant Professor
Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University

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