Akamatsu Speaks Out Again About TPP's Copyright Issues
posted on by Eric Stimson
For several years, Japan has been negotiating with the United States on wide-ranging trade talks called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. (The other partner countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.) Among the topics under consideration for standardization among the twelve countries is copyright law. In negotiations held from January 26 and February 1 in New York, copyright infringement seemed to be moving in the direction of being re-categorized as a crime that can be prosecuted without the victim's consent. (In Japan, it is currently a shinkokuzai, a crime that can only be prosecuted if the victim files charges.)
Yesterday, I got news about the TPP and I'm making various arrangements with concerned parties. I don't really want to cause panic from what I'm about to write (^^;) so I'm only going to write my predictions and attitude.
Even if [copyright infringement] loses its shinkokuzai status, Comiket won't be in danger right away. The national laws need to be changed, and that'll take a year at least, probably several years. Until then the status quo will be O.K. Fortunately no one in the Diet wants to use this to destroy fan-made work. If we start preemptive lobbying, I can see a real possibility of a good outcome. Concerned parties should make arrangements and start thinking of various tactics. According to national laws, there's no way public prosecutors, tipped off by third parties, can sue over this. Be careful of spreading false rumors or harassment.
I agree [with a Yahoo! News Japan opinion piece by Kiyoshi Kurihara] that "if we adjust national laws properly, there won't be a direct impact on Comiket or activities like that."
In addition, when asked by fellow Twitter user @Transonic_BC5 about the possibility of creators lobbying in favor of the law's change in status in order to ban fan work, Akamatsu responded, "I don't think there are any creators who will lobby for that, but if the law was changed, some of them might start some kind of harassment. (Because they'll get compensation money.)"
Akamatsu has been outspoken about his views on fan-made work and flexible copyright law for several years. He has also criticized strict child pornography laws.