The measures now for an Internet with safety and peace of mind

■ The measures now for an Internet with safety and peace of mind       

The task force on a safe Internet environment with peace of mind for youth is happening at Kasumigaseki.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and concerned civil parties are involved. I am serving as chief examiner.
This time, we received updates on the situations of four stakeholders.
 1. The Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA) has standardized the name and icon of its filtering services, and has created a new “High-Schooler Plus” mode that can be used on social media.
 2. The Telecommunications Services Association handles MVNO.
It will create a common site to explain filtering. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, an obligation to provide filtering also exists with MVNO, but only 24 of 54 companies currently provide it.
 3. In the National Association of Mobile-Phone Distributors, 5,400 shops (64% of its 8,400 shops nationwide) have become “Anshin Shops” (“Peace-of-Mind Shops”), and the operation of filtering is carried out thoroughly.
 4. The Conference on Promoting the Creation of a Safe Internet is formulating educational materials for guardians on Internet overuse, as well as measures against inappropriate information.
 In response to these initiatives in society, criticisms were made that schools and the Board of Education were not participating adequately, as well as that guidelines were necessary.
I made this proposal: “as the computerization of education continues, although literacy education and safety measures are separate movements, it is important to move the light and the shadow together as a single movement. Let’s deepen our cooperation with the sectors pushing the computerization of education forward.”
 The amendment to the Act on Development of an Environment that Provides Safe and Secure Internet Use for Young People was approved in the National Diet.
It included obligatory measures such as requiring device manufacturers to preinstall filtering, as well as requiring OS developers such as Apple to put in effort to make filtering easy.
The implementation of the revised law has moved Internet policy for youth one level higher.
Effort from concerned parties is needed more than ever.


The conference on location shooting has started.

■The conference on location shooting has started.    

The Public-Private Conference on Improving the Environment of Location Shooting has started.
The Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office is the chairman, while I am serving as the facilitator.
 Fuji Television, Kadokawa Daiei Studio, NHK, Shochiku, TMS Entertainment, the Japan Film Commission, ATP, Unijapan, etc. all participated.
Represented at the table are the Cabinet Office; the National Police Agency; the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; the Fire and Disaster Management Agency; the Agency for Cultural Affairs; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; the Japan Tourism Agency; and Tokyo Metropolis.
 The Film Commission (FC) comprises 307 organizations from throughout the country. 282 location shootings happened in 2000, a figure that doubled to 581 in 2015.
However, the issue has been reported that the procedures to obtain permits and licenses are complicated, and the points of contact around the country are scattered.
 In response to this, it was said that the government is moving forward to aim for flexible and smooth usage. The police will issue licenses based on the meaning that the shooting contributes to the stimulation of the region. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will simplify the procedures for road-occupancy permits, and will flexibly enter discussions regarding the use of the sea and sky (through drones).
 However, the point in question is what kind of “public benefit” has to be recognized before a permit for a location shooting is given.
The question is: the government does not emphasize the content of the film but the perspectives of local residents, and treats requests from local governments, etc., as the yardstick, but would it not be possible to rely only on the FC?
 Formulating guidelines on obtaining permits for location shooting will be the output of the meeting.
What kind of “public benefit” must there be and what kind of conditions must be present before permits can be given smoothly?
These are topics that stretch over different government offices and laws, and it is first important to share the current situation and knowledge.
 For instance, large-scale examples are the filming of Shin Godzilla in Kamata, or the filming of videos for the Rio Olympics closing ceremony at the Shibuya scramble intersection.

In the city of Kitakyushu, which has a track record of large-scale location shootings as attractions, a shooting of “Aibou” (“Partners”) included 3,000 extras, and involved six traffic lanes being shut down in the middle of the urban area throughout a Sunday.
However, some also pointed that people would not make their way to Kitakyushu for a shooting that was not of that scale.
 Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hagiuda (currently Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) made the comment that we had to be prepared. If we insisted that a shooting in a government office couldn’t deal with corruption, for instance, no progress would be made. He said it was important to recognize that this was “culture”.
 In these scenarios, it becomes important to prepare concerned parties for the fact that making movies itself is a “public benefit”.
The mission of this conference became to increase awareness of this in the government as well as in society, and to spread this message down to the regional level.


“Ending” the anti-piracy conference -2

■ “Ending” the anti-piracy conference -2
 This matter is an opposition between two values protected by the constitution, namely the privacy of communications and property rights (copyright); it is also an opposition between IT policy and intellectual-property policy. I viewed this topic as being about adjusting the two.
However, this opposition was an incorrect one. I realized this through our discussions - that the question we set for ourselves should have been how to create a place where the two can coexist, and a region where IT and intellectual property can flourish together.
 By the way, it was pointed out in the countermeasure conference that although Europe places the emphasis on protecting privacy while the U.S. places the emphasis on freedom of expression, Japan places this weight on the “privacy of communications”. Even some within the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications have said that this Galapagos syndrome is restricting policymaking.
The ability to broadly discuss the “privacy of communications” head-on was meaningful. A point was also made that this issue was too heavy to be handled in the intellectual-property headquarters.
Yes. It would be good to have a place to handle the “privacy of communications” in the IT age in its entirety, wouldn’t it?
 Yes, this issue also raises questions about the system that handles policies dealing with IT and intellectual-property issues.
IP issues are mainly handled by the IP headquarters and the Agency for Cultural Affairs, while IT issues are mainly handled by the IT headquarters and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
The limits of this system are being exposed.
This issue is one I have been raising since the reorganization of the ministries 20 years ago, when I left the Japanese government’s departments.
 14 years ago, when equipment manufacturers and copyright holders confronted each other over compensation payments for recording and filming, I personally felt the worsening of relations between IT and IP, which had been in a honeymoon period until then. The power of copies and of spread created by digitization was an advantage as well as a wonder. I participated in the discussions of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Council for Cultural Affairs then, but a solution was not reached, and this issue has had lasting effects to this day.
 And 10 years ago, another confrontation occurred over the introduction of “dubbing 10” along with preparations for terrestrial digital broadcasting. This time, it was a three-cornered fight among right holders (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), broadcasters (the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications), and manufacturers (the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). The setting was the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Telecommunications Council. Although a press conference was held by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology over the expansion of compensation payments, society could not accept this and a split happened.
 At this time, the roles of chief and deputy examiners were occupied by Professor Jun Murai of Keio University and me, closely resembling the setup in the current piracy issue. It was history repeating itself - specifically, of government offices supporting cases where parts of society are confronting each other being unable to make a judgment.
Through this case, I felt that we had not learned from our past failure, and the difficulty of solving the issue had increased.
Interest in IT and IP has risen compared to the past, and both sides’ opinions are subject to strong criticism, making the situation intractable.
So, what actions must we take in order to aim for a horizon where IT and IP can coexist and flourish together?
I’ll continue wondering to myself.


“Ending” the anti-piracy conference -1

“Ending” the anti-piracy conference -1         
 The anti-piracy conference has been indefinitely postponed. My tasks as chairman are over for the time being.
The current “situation” is that:
We will coordinate to review the results of the actions we were able to take up to this point, such as measures regarding legitimate versions as well as creating a legal framework regarding leech sites.
The issue of legislating blocking is “unresolved”.
 As the harm caused by piracy worsened, an uproar was created for and against the government’s “emergency evacuation” explanation regarding the old topic of blocking. Perhaps because of this, the issue of piracy subsided for a while, and the government set up a task force that has held nine sessions of focused discussion.
 The general situation regarding blocking has been that publishers and right holders have been in favor of it, while telecommunications companies and ISPs have been against it. Still, complexities have existed within each industry, and opinions have been divided. There are also industry affairs that cannot be discussed at this table, and no industry is one-dimensional.
 The government and the secretariat also had the suspicion that declaring the creation of a legal system would be overbearing. The facts were that opinions were divided among stakeholders in the government, such as the Prime Minister’s residence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the internal adjustments sometimes exceeded the adjustments in society in their intensity.
 The situation was that neither the sides for and against the issue were fully happy. All that had happened was that the points of disagreement as well as the main issues had become clear.
As this conference was not a place to decide on the legislation of blocking, but rather a place to focus on questions at hand, I believe that it fulfilled its role.
 I took a neutral stance. As I was the chairman of the intellectual-property headquarters, some also labeled me as someone on the side of copyright. However, I have been proud of my work in telecommunications policy before this, and attach equal importance to both sides.
 Although I had a lot of content-related work this time, working on the formulation of systems regarding the Telecommunications Business Act at the time of the liberalization of telecommunications was my start as a working adult in society, and this is where I have my origins. That both sides could aim to solve the problem without breaking apart - I racked my brains for this one goal.
 Moreover, I think an important result of this meeting was that we were able to almost reach a consensus on 10 issues apart from blocking.
I’ve made a special note of three of them at the start.
1. The long-term measure is education. If literacy is not maintained among users, regulations will be placed on the Internet.
2. The medium-term is legitimate versions. We need legitimate versions that are as attractive as Mangamura.
3. The short-term measure is creating a system through coordination between government and the people.
 The question now is whether this coordinated system will be possible. If a scheme can be created to carry out measures through coordination between publishers and right holders on one hand and telecommunications companies and ISPs on the other, the first step is to carry out and review this scheme. If this is not possible, this will be a pretext to move towards the legislation of blocking.
I think that the fact that the conference on countermeasures ran aground and was postponed was also because the ball had been thrown to the people.


The anti-piracy measures progress towards the creation of a comprehensive package

■The anti-piracy measures progress towards the creation of a comprehensive package  

This was the fourth session of the anti-piracy conference. The use of blocking in the U.K. and Germany, constitutional and copyright-law issues, technical issues, as well as measures apart from blocking such as filtering were discussed.

Blocking in the U.K. operates through court orders based on copyright law. In Germany, blocking orders can be made by the supreme court. I have been told that the Munich district court has made judgments to acknowledge blocking requests. The previous session of the conference featured an intense back-and-forth on the ineffectiveness of blocking and the pros and cons of introducing this system; however, even so, courts in the U.K. and Germany have issued judgments that blocking can be done.

Professor Ueno of Waseda University summarized the issue by saying that although the argument that blocking could not be recognized in Japan was strong, there was a school of thought that said it could be recognized based on current laws as well, and it was possible that blocking would be ruled acceptable if a court were to rule on the issue.
Professor Shishido of Tokyo University queried the pros and cons of blocking from a constitutional perspective, and said that the review of the effectiveness of filtering was insufficient.

The point was made that apart from blocking, there are various other ways to stop access, such as education, filtering, search suppression, and domain cessation. There were also calls to accelerate the process of turning restrictions on leech sites into law, as well as to illegalize the download of illegally electronically published items.

The opinion was expressed that this matter involved an inquiry into the balance between circulation and protection in an information society, and that there was a need for a place as well as for procedures to solve this issue. I think as well that this issue represents the place where IT policy and intellectual-property policy butt heads, and is a touchstone to work out this area of policy, which will grow more and more moving forward.

Based on the discussions up to this point, I believe that although there are still things to delve deeper into, the key issues have been put on the table. I also think that it is consensus that we should create a comprehensive package of measures. What direction we will set this package up in is a matter of sharing wisdom.


The discussion regarding anti-piracy measures reaches the core

■The discussion regarding anti-piracy measures reaches the core  

This was the third session of the conference to review anti-piracy measures.
The agenda was the circulation of legitimate versions and a review of the related measures up to that point, as well as measures by various foreign countries.
First, information on the status of existing measures was shared, such as police supervision, deletion requests, domain cessation requests, measures against advertisements, filtering, as well as education and awareness.
 It was reported that:
○As Mangamura and Anitube had been shut down, and measures to stop advertisements from being published had gone into full speed, the sales of legitimate versions were recovering
○People’s awareness of piracy had increased, and access to other piracy sites had significantly decreased as well
According to a survey by Dwango, 62% thought blocking access to these sites via legal measures was necessary, while 20% thought it was unnecessary. This result showed that a majority of netizens support blocking as well.
How should we process this?
According to a survey in 49 countries by JPNIC, which manages Internet resources, 71% had implemented blocking, of which 45% aimed it at copyright violations. This is more than the 37% that targeted pornography and the 33% that targeted crime and drugs.
A report was given by the Agency for Cultural Affairs on measures in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Canada. All countries had legal measures that provided for the deletion of pirated content; Europe had blocking, while the U.S. and Canada did not. The U.S. had measures for domain seizure and bans on individuals connecting to the Internet, while the U.K, France, Germany, and Canada did not.
The situation is that the systems vary.
The temperature was 35 degrees, and the air-conditioner in the room had broken down, so the conference heated up.
There was a confrontation between the opinions that blocking was effective and that it was not effective. There was also a confrontation between opinions about the government’s emergency measures. Some had the view that the government should change its policies based on majority rule; however, this conference is not a legislative organ, and even if a majority could be obtained within it, it would have no effect. As a result, it was decided to listen to the knowledge of the committee members and record it in the minutes, and end the meeting there.
The discussion is becoming more and more intense.


Measures against piracy sites - measures other than blocking

■Measures against piracy sites - measures other than blocking         
I will note down the situation of the anti-piracy conference.
 Manga was the central issue, but the market structure varied depending on content type and genre. In 2016, electronic means occupied 35% of the market share for manga, while for anime the market structure was 19% transmission and 4% video. For music, 8% of the market share was transmission, while live music rose to 24%. In this situation, the question of how to deal with electronic piracy is the main topic.
 We shared the situation regarding measures apart from blocking, such as efforts to circulate legitimate versions, requests and lawsuits for removal, competition with overseas parties, as well as measures regarding advertising.
Although critics have said that publishers have not made enough effort, I have the impression that the victims are trying hard.
The Publishing and Publicity Center, comprising nine publishing organizations, launched a piracy working group in March that created a mark to identify legitimate versions, as well as a whitelist. The various publishers are moving forward with deletion requests for pirated versions, requests to cease the publishing of advertisements, as well as coordination with the police.
This year, the deletion rate following site-deletion requests from CODA (the Content Overseas Distribution Association) was 91%. However, participants also described the situation regarding the sites that did not respond; although they were discussing the matter with the Chinese government or the Brazilian police, no progress was being made.
 Three advertising organizations are working with CODA on measures against illegal or inappropriate site content. However, as a large number of players operate in the Internet advertising market, and programmatic advertising is becoming more widespread, it is fairly difficult to create measures that are effective.
 It was also said that the publishing industry is preparing to launch campaigns based on popular characters in order to educate middle and high school students. Collaboration with Google or LINE is moving forward too.
 As initiatives in the domains of music and film were moving ahead through the conference, I felt the importance of rolling out strategies in publishing too, using music and film as a reference. Initiatives regarding legitimate versions are important too, and it is also important that public education should move forward in sync with the Internet measures targeted at youth by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. What we need is a comprehensive package that includes all of these things.