The start of Apple Computer Inc.’s music-downloading service Aug. 4 heralds big changes in the landscape of Japan’s music business and culture. Music lovers can now choose their favorite songs from among 1 million songs offered by iTunes Music Store. With Apple’s entry into the Japanese market, an increasing number of people are expected to start downloading music from Internet sites, using their computers.
After storing the data in digital portable players, consumers can carry around and listen to selections from a body of music equivalent to several hundred CDs.
JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers) is calling for the imposition of surcharges on digital portable players. A copyright-law subcommittee of the Council for Cultural Affairs has discussed the issue, but has yet to reach a conclusion. Full story here.