Copyright laws in Japan is not a single concept. Japanese copyright laws consist of two parts: "Author's Rights", and "Neighboring Rights". Japanese copyright laws are similar to those of other countries. Japanese copyright law protects all works "in which thoughts or sentiments are expressed in a creative way, and which falls within the literary, scientific, artistic or musical domain". The laws automatically provide the following rights, without the need for formal declaration or registration.
Though moral rights themselves cannot be waived, the exercise of moral rights is often waived by contract in certain situations, such as when an employee or contractor creates a derivative work of her/his employer's or principal's product. Here, the moral rights would technically remain with the creator, but the creator would be potentially liable for breach of contract if he attempts to exercise those rights. The economic rights can be freely transferred or relinquished. If the author transfers his economic rights to another, the holder of the economic rights becomes the "copyright holder", but the author retains authorship.
"Neighboring rights" refer to the rights of performers, broadcasters, and other individuals who do not form part of author works, but play an important role in communicating them to the public.