Top Court Rules Music Students Not Subject to Copyright Fees


Tokyo, Oct. 24 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court on Monday upheld a lower court decision not to allow music copyright management body JASRAC to collect copyright fees from students at music schools.

The top court rejected an appeal by JASRAC, or the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, finalizing the decision made by the Intellectual Property High Court last year to collect such royalties only from teachers at music schools.

Music schools subject to collection of copyright fees are believed to total some 6,700 across Japan and most of them have not paid the fees. With copyright fees arising from teacher performances now set to be charged to music schools, observers said lesson fees collected from students may be affected.

The top court's First Petty Bench, presided over by Justice Takuya Miyama, ruled that the intention of student performances of songs was to acquire and enhance skills under the instruction of teachers and that performance was only a way to achieve this.

As teachers only provide support to students who play songs voluntarily, it cannot be said that music schools use songs through student performances, the petty bench concluded.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press