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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." 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". Reliable information on Japanese copyright law in English is also provided by the websites of Intellectual Property High Court, "Transparency of Japanese Law Project," European Patent Office, and Copyright Research and Information Center.
"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.
At the end of 2018, as a result of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, the 70 year term was applied to all works. Works that had entered the public domain between 1999 and 2018 by expiration would remain in the public domain.
Moral Rights are non-transferable; they remain with the author until they expire. Although moral rights themselves cannot be waived, the exercise of moral rights is waived by contract, when, for example, an employee or contractor creates a derivative work of her/his employer's or principal's product.
Unlike moral rights, economic rights can be freely transferred or relinquished. If the author transfers their economic rights to another, the holder of the economic rights becomes the "copyright holder", but the author retains authorship.