About the rights of scriptwriters

Japanese copyright law protects the rights of scriptwriters, and scriptwriters hold exclusive rights over the use of their scripts in airwave and cable broadcasting, sound and visual recordings, online streaming and download services, projection, performances, publications, etc.

These rights apply also in the case of a cinematographic work, and scriptwriters hold the same exclusive rights as those the author of said cinematographic work has. Users must obtain the authorization of scriptwriter not only for the use of the script itself for performance or publication, but also for the broadcasting or producing a DVD or other manner of exploiting of the cinematographic work.

In addition to economic rights, copyright law also protects the moral interests of authors. The moral rights of authors include the right of making the work public, the right of determining the indication of the author’s name, and the right of preserving the integrity of the work.

Under Japanese copyright law, rebroadcasting a television drama or producing a DVD of a movie without the writer’s authorization, or modifying the script against the scriptwriter’s will, constitute infringements of the copyrights or moral rights of authors. Such infringements are penalized by the payment of damage for losses under civil law and may also be subject to criminal penalties.