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Used Book Chain Offers 100M Yen to Manga, Book Authors

posted on 2008-04-01 06:01 EDT
Bookoff's reported proposal to address complaints of lowered new book sales

Bookoff Corporation, Japan's largest used bookstore chain, has reportedly offered to pay 100 million yen (about US$1 million) to the Copyright Network for Comic Authors in the 21st Century, The Japan Writers' Association, and other creators' associations. According to the newspapers who first learned of this offer on March 31, the offer is intended to address complaints from these organizations that the growing used-book market has affected new book sales. This is the first known specific offer of payment from bookstores to these organizations. The comic authors' group was one of the groups listed in the "Stop! Fan-Subtitles" notice that appeared in Tokyo International Anime Fair 2008.

The right to resell used books and other goods without paying additional fees to the copyright holders has historically been protected by the first-sale doctrine in Japan, the United States, and other countries. (Several recent court cases and proposed legislation in the United States have tested the limits of the doctrine.) Because of this, the two sides are reportedly still discussing what name to call the 100-million-yen offer and other issues.

Bookoff told the Asahi Shimbun paper that it could not comment on the matter. In the most recent fiscal year, the company had sales of 46 billion yen (about $460 million). It has hundreds of stores in Japan and at least nine overseas stores in the United States, France, Canada, and South Korea.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, Sports Hochi, Livedoor


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