Legal Protection from Generative AI in Japan (continued)

June 16, 2023

In our blog post dated May 11, 2023, we discussed the Japanese government’s legal protections from generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Comparing to other developed countries, the Japanese regulations are considered to be the loosest.

Recently, on June 9, 2023, the Japanese government held a meeting for the Intellectual Property Strategic Program and discussed the generative AI as a major topic for the first time.[1] 

The meeting addressed the increasing risk of copyright violations, as AI technology allows the creation of text or images closely resembling original works. The government plans to develop a clearer definition of what constitutes copyright infringement as well as measures to protect the rights of creators. At the same time, the government seeks to consider how the technology can be best developed with generative AI, as utilizing generative AI can improve efficiency in creative fields.

As a country whose industries of animation, music, comic books, etc., are growing, Japan needs to develop and adjust strategies of how to protect the creators’ copyrights and freedom of speech and the use of new technology, such as generative AIs to improve the industries.

Besides Japan, other countries and organizations consider developing frameworks regarding generative AIs. For instance, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) plans to update its guidelines on regulating AI to cover generative AI, according to Nikkei.[2] OECD is planning to cooperate with the G7 and try to develop the guidelines that can be participated by more countries and regions.

As AI and generative AI are developed, there are more opportunities and possibilities that human beings can explore and create new products. At the same time, Japan’s actions signal that it is important to set reasonable guidelines which can avoid confusion regarding originality and problems between the creators and users of generative AI.

[1] “Japan seeks to protect copyright amid rise of AI,” NHK WORLD-JAPAN, published on June 9, 2023, PDF retrieved on June 11, 2023.

[2] “OECD pursues guidelines on regulating generative AI: leader,” Nikkei Asia, published on May 30, 2023.