JAPAN AND INTERNATIONAL MOTION PICTURE COPYRIGHT ASSOCIATION,INC.

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MPA/JIMCA, Tokai University & Intellectual Property Association of Japan co-organized and held a symposium pertaining to content and laws August.04.2018

On July 28, 2018 (Saturday), Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association (JIMCA); Social Science Research Institute, Intellectual Property Division, Tokai University (SSRIP); and the Content Management Subcommittee, Intellectual Property Association of Japan co-organized and held a symposium pertaining to content and laws – “Site Blocking Legislation in Other Countries.”
There were over 100 attendees, including many government officials from the Cabinet Secretariat’s Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters (IPSH), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the head of the Copyright Division of Agency for Cultural Affairs (ACA); researchers, practitioners, university professors and attorneys; IP rights managers from enterprises, and reporters attended the symposium.

Since the emergency measure “providing an environment possible to implement site blocking against piracy sites” was decided at a ministerial meeting concerning measures against crime held on April 13, 2018, discussions on site blocking as an anti-piracy measure have made significant progress.
Currently, while there are 45 countries around the world adopting site blocking, Japan is still investigating and discussing site blocking systems, including the site blocking status of each country.
Accordingly, experts who have in-depth knowledge of the site blocking legislation in the UK, Germany, Australia, and Singapore were invited to the symposium to introduce each country’s legislative system.

Firstly, Mr. Kazumasa Kubo, Director and Vice President of Intellectual Property Association of Japan who gave remarks, said, “I would like to address site blocking which has currently been discussed at review meetings pertaining to anti online piracy measure of the Verification, Evaluation, and Planning Committee of the IPSH. We recognize that IP rights infringement on the Internet has brought tremendous damage to the content industry and is a problem that should be immediately tackled. We realize that site blocking is one of the most important matters that we have to discuss now. We were able to invite outstanding researchers representing Japan to the symposium and we are grateful to all the speakers for making time in their busy schedule to give us reports on the latest status. Especially, we would like to thank the MPA (Motion Picture Association), for sending us one of the world leading experts on site blocking.”

Mr. Kazumasa Kubo,
Vice President of Intellectual Property Association of Japan

Mr. Michael Schlesinger of the MPA spoke next on “Legislating Site Blocking: Global Best Practices,” providing the most recent status updates for site blocking around the world, and a detailed report on the status of Singapore’s site blocking system.
Mr. Schlesinger’s main point was that site blocking is an important and increasingly necessary part of any holistic approach to online piracy.
In particular, site blocking has been shown to 1) reduce visitation to pirate sites blocked; 2) reduce visitation to all pirate sites in a country whether blocked or unblocked; and 3) drive traffic to legitimate audiovisual services.
Mr. Schlesinger explained that in Singapore, certain issues such as the effectiveness of site blocking and freedom of expression were discussed in the lead-up to legislation.
The government did an excellent job seeking and obtaining the views of all stakeholders, including those who oppose site blocking, and responded methodically in a broad and detailed matrix.
This “transparent” approach resulted in a legislative process that was smooth and relatively without controversy, notwithstanding that there would always be a vocal minority of people/interests who will remain opposed to site blocking.
Mr. Schlesinger encouraged Japan to take a similar approach, and noted best practices, including: 1) coverage of a broad array of intermediary service providers; 2) blocking all sites which have the substantial purpose or effect of infringing or facilitating infringement; and 3) providing an easy mechanism to permit additional domains resolving to the same online location blocked to be added to orders (a so-called variance process).

Mr. Michael Schlesinger,
Vice President & Regional Legal Counsel,
Asia-Pacific for the Motion Picture Association International

Next, Mr. Shinya Seki, Attorney of TMI Associates, delivered a lecture regarding “The outline and structure of site blocking legislation as an anti-piracy measure in Australia,” discussing the legislative process including freedom of expression, technical challenges, and the effectiveness of site blocking.
Mr. Seki also gave a detailed explanation on institutional design, requirements, best practices, costs, and effectiveness of the site blocking legislation in Australia.

Mr. Masaya Seki,
Attorney of TMI Associates

Masayoshi Sumida, Professor of the School of Law, Tokai University and the Head of Social Science Research Institute of Tokai University, gave a lecture entitled “International Comparison for Website Blocking – Regarding the structure of Indirect Infringement of site blocking in Germany.”
Professor Sumida delivered a report focused on examining legislating site blocking in Japan, including adding injunctive relief in each IP law, and amending Article 5 in the Service Provider Liability Limitation Law.
Professor Sumida introduced to the audience judicial decisions of the district court of Munich and the supreme court.”

Prof. Masayoshi Sumida,
Professor of the School of Law, Tokai University
Head of Social Science Research Institute of Tokai University

Lastly, Tetsuya Imamura, Associate Professor, School of Information and Communication, Meiji University, delivered a lecture regarding “The legislation of site blocking in the UK and its application status.”
Professor Imamura provided an easy-to-comprehend explanation on the definition, legislative facts, legal background, and requirements of site blocking in UK Law.
Professor Imamura was also invited to “a review meeting pertaining to anti online piracy measures” of the IPSH held on July 25, 2018 and delivered a report regarding the UK.

Prof. Tetsuya Imamura,
Associate Professor, School of Information and Communication, Meiji University

In conclusion, the host, Mr. Tsuyoshi Uchida, Associate Professor of Tokai University Institute of Innovative Science and Technology, said, “The necessity of promptly introducing site blocking in Japan has become clear. We hope that this symposium can make a contribution to the introduction of site blocking, the effective measure against IP rights infringement, in Japan.”

Prof. Tsuyoshi Uchida,
Associate Professor of Tokai University Institute of Innovative Science and Technology