Impressions of a copyright law to beat Google and Apple

 “A Copyright Law to beat Google and Apple was released by Tsuguhiko Kadokawa. Its more of a media theory than a book.

He raises the question of how Japan can compete with the US in the global economy if she continues to prioritize excessive compliance. The author directly relates his feelings about the importance of legislation in the digital age.

 This includes his opinion on the system that separates broadcasting from communications.

However, Mr. Kadokawa took part in the pioneering policy that fused communications and broadcasting at the IP main office implemented in 2010. I believe that the reason the system didnt work out well was that industry didnt embrace it enthusiastically.

On the other hand, he points out that the need for unification of broadcast and communications was brought about by the brute-force approach of the government in implementing the nation-wide move to digital terrestrial broadcasting and that the governments power is needed to promote innovation in Japan.

At the same time, the issues in which the government involves itself are a problem, and in the 21st century a reform of government will be essential. I agree on this point.

 Mr. Kadokawa presents a scenario in which a day comes when there are no more hardware TVs. The first possibility is that TV hardware remains, but the Japanese market is dominated by foreign companies, and the 2nd is that TV hardware just disappears altogether. Surprisingly, I believe the latter might take place.

Television companies have strong production capabilities and wont fall easily. However, it isnt clear that TVs will continue to be the first screen of choice among consumers. Its possible that the change will be led by consumers.

Yes, it will be led by consumers. The subject of copyright law is spread to the general public from professional creators, like the pattern at the Digital Picture Book Awards where Mr. Kadokawa participated as a jury.

 In regards to TV and copyright, television stations won the rights of secondary distribution over the net in the Supreme Court.

However, their dilemma is that they arent able to carry this out.

Television companies protected their rights through the application of a strictly enforced copyright act. However, as a result of this the domestic cloud atrophied and the U.S. cloud platform took over. The won the battle and lost the war. I believe that if they dont realize this, then it will be impossible to form a proper strategy.


Opening a new round at the IP headquarters

 At the Intellectual Property Headquarter, a new round of talks has begun.
 The government has started to move as a whole. The Agency for Cultural Affairs has formed a working group to discuss cloud services. The IT office plans to reevaluate its direction on the use of big data. Each of these policies requires a large strategy.

 For example, for the copyright system we need a basic philosophy for handling all types of national intellectual property assets. Already, problems are arising between Google, the U.S., and Europe.

 Cloud services are also a fundamental problem. If the copyright protections are implemented perfectly but the service is difficult to use then well have a situation in which businesses use American platforms instead. In other words, if problems are solved in a segmented manner then the entire project is likely to fail.

 Its the same with big data. One has to compromise between the benefits of public use and the protection of personal information. Its important to view everything as a whole when considering strategy.

 On the other hand, the expansion of Japanese content overseas is finally gaining momentum.

 The facilitation of legal distribution of broadcast programs and music over the net is finally taking place. At the same time, movie exports in 2012 fell 8% compared to the previous year. It is tricky to look at content on the whole.

 According to materials from the IP HQ, the content industry represents 11 trillion yen, and related industries represent 22 trillion yen (Net-related 13 trillion yen, advertising 2 trillion yen, hard media 5 trillion yen, character goods 2 trillion yen).

 Related industries double the scale. However, how does this affect the 64 trillion yen total export market? Its is essential to not just develop content, but to expand other industries horizontally as well. Its important to develop a strategy while looking at the big picture.

 This round of talks must include an evaluation of the governments measures, while taking into account failures, and formulate new plans. At the same time, the debate on content policy must be cross-sector and cross-agency, without solely concentrating on content.

 Of course, before strategy, results in the real world must improve.


Content and National Strategy

  I released a book called Content and National Strategy as a Kadogawa EPUB book selection. Its a compilation of the arguments in the governments IP division over content policy and soft power.

 The government made a cabinet decision regarding the policy regarding the direction and vision of Intellectual Property. This came 10 years after the headquarter of the Intellectual Property division was installed at cabinet secreariat. It summarizes the previous 10 years and sets the strategy for the next 10 years.

 As chairman of the committee to propose a direction, I suggested the following to cabinet minister Yamamoto.

 I believe it would be best to unify the Content and IT policies to create a Ministry of Culture. In Korea the new government has unified control of IT policy and education technology under the Future Creation Science Ministry. It shows clearly how the citizens are fed. Japan needs such an intentional plan.

 The government doesnt like plans that change its structure, so theres sure to be resistance.

At the same time as I was debating the IP issues, I was also charged as chairman at a pop culture committee. In our proposal, we wrote that, We should construct a system under which everyone participates in the distribution of information. Not spearheaded by the government, but by everyone.

To downplay the role of government in a committee formed by the government is probably something that they dont appreciate. There will likely be resistance.
 However, if this isnt stated clearly then the strategy will be flawed.

To this point, there have been many proposals made in many committees. However, there are still two problems. The first is the ability to take action. Plans are all well and good, but they must be implemented for the concrete benefit of industry and culture.

This is still weak. This is why we need strong leadership in the government. Government and stakeholders must unify and lead.

Another point is preparedness. There must be an understanding that content and IP will lift Japan up. We must resolve that the policy will stand for 100 years. The importance of this policy must be placed above other fields, and were not there yet.
 However, the situation isnt all that bad. In recent years the most important change is that the government has come to realize the importance of the content policy and many players are enthusiastically coming to the table.

 At our meeting, we gathered representatives from eight ministries and agencies to form a plan. One aspect of the current struggle includes the conditions that were worked out up until this point.

 I expect this enthusiasm to continue.


Expanding programming education

 Google CEO Eric Schmidt could be seen on the campus of the Hiro Gakuen middle and high school in Hiro, Tokyo. This was because Google partnered with our NPO CANVAS to create a program to support programming education called Lets get used to computers.

 The goal was to teach programming to children between 6 and 15 years of age. We used the programming language Scratch on palm-sized inexpensive computers called Raspberry Pi. The goal is to use 5000 Raspberry Pi devices to give 25,000 students experience in programming.

 Scratch is a programming language that was developed while I was at the MIT Media Lab by Professor Mitchel Resnick with cooperation from the Ogawa Center (a childrens research group). With current president Ms. Nanako Ishido, since 2002 when CANVAS was founded we have presented programming workshops to 300,000 students. Now we have received the cooperation of Google, so things are really about to get off the ground.

 Chairman Ishido said, In the age of information, children need the powers of creativity and communication.  Programming education is useful in this area. We are often asked if we want to produce programmers, but that is not the case. Through programming, we want to encourage children to think logically, to develop problem-solving skills, and to have the ability to create through cooperation. We want to create an environment not where knowledge is taught to them, but where they can experience and learn by themselves.

 The objective is not to teach to program, rather to teach through programming to make something new.

 With programming one can make anime, games, and robots. One can make an idea take shape. Programming is a tool and a method of creation. It should be a basic skill along with reading, writing, and arithmetic.

 Steve Jobs once said, I believe that every American should learn to program. Its a basic skill that everyone should have. Japans growth strategy finally includes the promotion of programming and IT skills in the general education curriculum.

 The time has finally come.