Entrustment of Copyright to JASRAC
JASRAC was established in 1939, and as the sole copyright administration organization in Japan, held exclusive responsibility for administering the copyrights of the majority of music used domestically, and provided a system whereby permission for the use of music could be easily obtained. However, in October 2001, the Law on Management Business of Copyright and Neighboring Rights came into force in response to revolutionary changes in information technology stemming from advances in digitization and networking capabilities as well as changes in the needs of copyright owners. This law laid out an environment which permitted other organizations to enter the business of music copyright administration. To adapt to the new law, the trust contract which is concluded in order for copyright owners to entrust their copyrights to JASRAC was revised. Whereas, prior to the revision, copyright owners were required to entrust all of their music copyrights with JASRAC, it is now possible for copyright owners to choose the extent of rights to be entrusted with JASRAC and copyright owners may entrust certain portions of their rights such as the rights for use on the Internet, with another organization, or they may choose to administer those rights by themselves.
JASRAC's Management Reflects the Consensus of its Members
JASRAC's management reflects the consensus of its members who, based on their agreement with the organization goals, have chosen to participate in the organization's governance. Lyricists, composers, and music publishers who wish to entrust their copyrights with JASRAC must meet certain criteria that demonstrate the usage of their works by a third party. Those who have met these criteria and conclude a contract with JASRAC can, if they wish to participate in the management of the organization, become “associate members." The associate members who meet a certain criteria over the following three years may then become “full members." Important operational and administrative decisions such as JASRAC's management policy are taken in the General Meetings which are shaped by the opinions of these full members as well as the meetings of the Board of Directors. Daily operations ranging from the granting of licenses to the distribution of collected royalties are carried out by JASRAC's president, executive directors and employees stationed at JASRAC headquarters or its regional offices around the country.
The costs of JASRAC's operation are covered by “administration fees" withheld when royalties collected from users or sent by foreign copyright organizations are distributed to copyright owners. If administration fee revenue exceeds operational costs, the surplus is returned to the copyright owners in the following year.
Development of New Administration Systems
Through proactive efforts, including the incorporation of information technology, JASRAC is developing new administration systems to make license application, royalty payment and other procedures easier.
The administration system for interactive transmissions called "JASRAC NETWORCHESTRA SYSTEM" is one example of these efforts. The system enables users to utilize the Internet for license applications, royalty payments, license logo issuance and other procedures for various types of usage. All these procedures can be taken care of efficiently on-line without having to actually visit JASRAC.
The DAWN-ACT initiative was promulgated at the onset of mainstream online music distribution, to promote the use of new technology for next-generation copyright protection and administration systems to cope with the age of digital networks. It is a demonstration of JASRAC's foresight and commitment to be at the forefront of advanced and efficient copyright administration.