JAPAN AND INTERNATIONAL MOTION PICTURE COPYRIGHT ASSOCIATION,INC.

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EXPERTS QUESTION WHETHER DNS SITE BLOCKING FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT VIOLATES PUBLIC PRIVACY March.13.2017

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On February 23rd, 2017, JIMCA conducted a lecture on the subject of the “Secrecy of Communication” of the Telecommunications Business Act (TBA). The main topic of discussion was whether or not DNS site blocking – the practice of blocking access to websites that illegally provide access to infringing copyrighted entertainment content including movies, TV programs, anime, manga and music – violates public privacy.

 

The study group seminar was held at Meiji University, one of Japan’s leading academic institutions, and organized by one of its IP law professors, Dr. Imamura. The audience for the 3-hour seminar involved 12 leading legal, IP and constitutional law experts, some of whom are members of ACA’s International Committee.

 

The Japanese Government has historically viewed site blocking as a violation of Article 4 “Secrecy of Communication” of the Telecommunications Business Act (TBA). Presenting the MPA and JIMCA’s position to the attendees, Michael Schlesinger, Vice President, Regional Legal Counsel, Asia Pacific, Motion Picture Association, reasoned that DNS site blocking does not violate the TBA or the Japanese constitution. Mr. Schlesinger provided a comprehensive argument supported by infographics that included data on the high rate of online piracy in Japan, the effectiveness of site blocking in many countries around the world and a technical explanation of how DNS site blocking works and how it does not infringe on privacy in any way. During the subsequent hour-long discussion amongst the legal experts, they overwhelmingly concured that site blocking does not appear to violate the Japanese constitution or Article 4 of the TBA.