Entertainment content export stymied

Kyodo News

A lack of legal expertise in the entertainment field is standing in the way of Japan’s ability to market abroad its entertainment content, including TV programs, animation, films, music and game software, a government panel of intellectual property experts concluded Monday.

The panel, headed by Jiro Ushio, chairman of lamp maker Ushio Inc., recommended that the government provide more legal training to make up for the shortage of lawyers versed in international copyright rules.

To remedy the lack of lawyers with entertainment business expertise, the panel proposed reviewing past business negotiations regarding intellectual property and promoting exchanges between Japanese legal experts and foreign lawyers specializing in the field.

The panel also called for revising the Copyright Law to allow, for example, consumers to watch Japanese TV programs via the Internet.

The panel recommended installing a flexible legal framework in an effort to circumvent problems impeding the delivery of such online services when copyright holders cannot be identified.