The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, the nation's largest music copyright management organization, is at loggerheads with a group of operators of major private music classes, including makers of musical instruments, over a plan to collect copyright fees for their use of sheet music under JASRAC's management. JASRAC and the music class operators should make every effort to find middle ground so they can ensure the healthy development of music education while duly protecting the rights of copyright holders.

In June, some 250 operators of music classes filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court asking the court to determine that JASRAC has no right to collect the fees. JASRAC says that its plan is tenable under the Copyright Law, which stipulates that composers and lyric writers have the exclusive right to perform their works publicly. At issue is the question of whether the right covers a music performance during a private music class.

JASRAC is entrusted by composers and lyric writers with collecting copyright fees on their behalf for tunes used by such entities as TV and radio broadcasters and karaoke shops. It plans to have operators of private music classes pay 2.5 percent of the tuition fees they collect as copyright fees.