Copyright Protection of Fictional Characters in Japan

27 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2010

See all articles by Kenneth L. Port

Kenneth L. Port

Mitchell Hamline School of Law; William Mitchell College of Law

Date Written: 1988

Abstract

There is a renewed interest in the United States in Japanese Copyright law. Specifically, new attention has been focused on the protection of computer software under the Japanese Copyright Act, but only a cursory attempt has been given in English language literature to the issue of whether fictional characters can be protected using copyright law in Japan independent of the original work. The objective of this Comment is to fill this void. First the Comment presents the fundamental concepts of American copyright law needed as background knowledge to understand the issue. The Comment then explores the existing satiation in Japan for legal protection of fictional characters - specifically, the pertinent judicial and legislative action. Finally, the Comment delves into the competing policies to be weighted in recognizing copyright protection for fictional characters independent of the original work.

Keywords: Japanese copyright law, fictional character copyright, Japanese Copyright Act, cartoon, Japanese copyright case law, Sazae-san Case, the Popeye Scarf Case

Suggested Citation

Port, Kenneth L., Copyright Protection of Fictional Characters in Japan (1988). Wisconsin International Law Journal, Vol. 7, 1988; William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1717035

Kenneth L. Port (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

HOME PAGE: http://mitchellhamline.edu/biographies/person/kenneth-l-port/

William Mitchell College of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

HOME PAGE: http://mitchellhamline.edu/biographies/person/kenneth-l-port/

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