At a recent conference held by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, it has been decided that the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will not affect parody works.
Featured image (via Anime Maru)
For the uninitiated, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement concerning economic policies between twelve countries of the Pacific Rim. After a 7-year period of debates between the participating countries, the negotiations have finally reached a conclusion on October 5th, 2015. From the start, the agreement supports and promotes principles of economic growth and transparency while strengthening labor and environmental protections. With the agreement’s provisions affecting many laws of the twelve participating countries in major ways, the TPP agreement did not escape scrutiny and criticism. One of the most controversial issues is how the agreement affects copyright, intellectual property, and trademarking legislations. This particular section of the TPP has been a widely discussed subject in Asian countries, such as Japan, where the agreement would threaten the prosperity of amateur artist scene creating parody works on a massive scale.
A conference held by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs on the 11th of November has concluded that parody works featuring characters resembling original works will not be a target for the increased anti-piracy and creator rights proposed by the main bill of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. The conference council, comprised of experts on Japanese culture and copyright law, based their decision on the fact that regulating such material would not only stifle the creativity of talented amateur artists, but also negatively affect the already withering fan creation business. In essence, if the bill passed in its current state, it would hurt the entirety of the doujinshi scene, from the small-time creators to businesses based around it.
Earlier in May of this year, at a different government conference discussing the influence of TPP on doujinshi culture, Assistant Secretary Kazuhisa Shibuya confirmed that negotiations on intellectual property were underway and that laws enforcing them would negatively impact Comiket in particular. Comiket itself has existed in the gray area of Japanese law as doujinshi are technically against the law, but most original creators consent to parodies of their work being created.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, including twelve countries (with Japan and United States being participants), is aiming to standardize intellectual property laws. For Japan, this will mean that copyright infringement will be a crime that can be prosecuted without the victim’s consent. Currently, copyright infringement is classified in Japan as shinkokuzai or an Antragsdelikt, with a shinkokuzai being a criminal offense that can only be persecuted if the victim of it files a complaint.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been a hot discussion topic not only among government officials of the affected countries, but also among the general public. After a level-headed decision by the Japanese government, LewdGamer is interested to see how other countries will approach the copyright and intellectual property aspects of the TPP, and if they will follow Japan’s example or go the complete opposite direction. We will keep you informed as the debate continues.
Fans of all Japanese pornographic or non-pornographic parody works alike can rest easy, as doujinshi are here to stay for the moment and will continue to bring joy and happy masturbation sessions to all.
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