An advisory panel to the Cultural Affairs Agency compiled a report Friday that includes a proposal to extend copyright protection for movies to 70 years from their release date, up from the current 50.

The agency, a unit of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, will submit a bill to revise the Copyright Law to the Diet during its current session, according to agency officials.

Under the Copyright Law, novels, paintings and some other materials — excluding movies — are protected from the time of their creation through the death of the creator, and then for an additional 50 years. At present, movies are only protected for 50 years from their release.

Animated films and video game software titles are protected under the section of the Copyright Law covering movies.

The extension for these works is intended to support the government’s policy of protecting intellectual property, the officials said earlier.

The panel also proposed the creation of a so-called free-use logo that would show a work can be freely used without the creator’s prior approval.

Under the law, people wanting access to a work are required to obtain permission from the creator each time they make use of it.

But some creators waive the need for obtaining such permission when the work is to be used for certain purposes, including education.

The panel believes the logo would make it easy for creators to mark work that can be freely used.

The agency will produce three logos that can be used to mark works that can be freely copied, printed or used for educational purposes, the officials said.

The logos can be downloaded from the agency’s Web site beginning Feb. 1.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.