Japan launches free legal service to help fight pirate sites overseas *TorrentFreak

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Companies seeking to protect their copyrights online can often rely on professional advice, either from internal experts or from external anti-piracy companies. The big problem facing rights holders in Japan is that overseas pirate sites complicate enforcement possibilities. A brand new portal offering free legal advice hopes to level the playing field.

From a single piece of handcrafted manga to an entire musical album, copyright law provides protection for all creators.

At least that’s the basic theory behind creators’ rights. The reality can be a little less comforting and sometimes more confusing experience.

Small copyright holders, fewer options

The truth is that the ability to act against infringers is often tied to the resources of the copyright owner. While hiring a lawyer is not an issue, most small claims can be handled fairly quickly. Those with the spare time may be able to handle simple matters independently, but because copyright law is complex, even the most important rights holders will seek help at some point.

Through a new initiative launched this week, the Japanese government is offering free legal assistance to rights holders who want to protect their content against copyright infringement, especially when such infringement takes place overseas.

Portal for Copyright Infringement Countermeasures

The service enhances a project run by the Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs. The agency launched a new portal in June, which explains copyright basics and allows people with no experience to send takedown notices.

japan copyright portal

This week, the Cultural Affairs Agency has expanded its support for local rightsholders with the launch of a new service to help those who have visited the portal, absorbed all the knowledge available, but still need further assistance. .

Anti-Piracy Consultation Office

In recent years, it has been realized in Japan that overseas piracy poses a growing threat to local copyright owners. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs published a report in March detailing responses to cross-border piracy, including the creation of a new consultation office to help rightsholders.

“Consultation office welcomes consultations regarding copyright infringement, etc. from rights holders. The consultation is accepted from the consultation receipt form on the portal site,” reads the official announcement.

“In principle, the responses will be by e-mail, and depending on the case, it is assumed that a free personal interview with a lawyer will be held online or otherwise.”

Since copyright litigation costs can be significant, providing a free service will be appreciated by rights holders, especially smaller ones with fewer resources. Those who use the service will have access to a network of 1,000 lawyers, including copyright specialists with anti-piracy experience in Asia, North America and the EU.

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