September 2, 2008
Via MangaBlog and Sankaku Complex (NSFW) we learn that Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

is set to put into action a plan which would enshrine in law special “cyber-districts”, where authors using commercially held copyrighted works in their creations would be legally allowed to ignore the usual requirements for permission and royalties.

Slowly but surely, Japan is getting more and more organized about its copyright policy. This is another example of a steady shift in thinking as Japan figures out how to reconcile the bizarre love triangle between licence-holders, doujin-ka, and consumers. As interesting as the idea is (imagine a gated Akihabara) I do wonder how enforcement will work, or what execution will look like in general. According to SC, the Yomiuri article is a bit vague on what would count as an "author," or how one could be recognized as such. Will there be Board Certified Otaku in Japan's future? Would they be required to work in this grey-market-made-flesh, or just hold their offices there? What if you live outside -- do you have to take the train?

And what about stores like Mandarake and others, that sell doujinshi? Will they have to close branches outside the designated area? Is Akihabara soon to become the world's first copyright ghetto?



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