JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers), as noted in “JASRAC Sues Establishments for Copyright Infringement” last year, began waging litigation against a barbershop in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The Sapporo District Court handed JASRAC a victory on March, recognizing the barbershop proprieter’s actions as infringement of copyright. The Court ordered the barbershop owner to pay about US$ 300 and stop playing the music.
JASRAC has been seen by many service industries where background music is played, as bullying them into paying usage fees. JASRAC has maintained its right to enforce copyright in those establishments, and in recent years has been increasing the heat on them, demanding they pay royalties if they play BGM in their businesses.
The barbershop proprietor has stated he will comply with the court’s order and not appeal the case, so the results of this case may set a precedent for other similar struggles. JASRAC seems to be solidifying its copyright strategy and tactics, so businesses will need to use caution when even using BGM.
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Asahi Shimbun Digital article, March 19, 2018. Hosted by Yahoo! Japan.