New US-Japan row looms over golden oldies
Monday 12 February 1996
Nostalgia is cheap, too. Compared with CDs of contemporary pop, which sell at around 2800 yen (pounds 17), you can pick up a misspelt, but acoustically perfect, compilation of "Steve Wonder" or "Bud Powll" for a few hundred yen. But this may soon change: golden oldies are set to become the next battleground between Japan and its foreign trading partners.
On Friday, Mickey Kantor, the American trade negotiator, denounced Japanese CD manufacturers for their "piracy" of $500m (pounds 320m) of recordings from the golden age of popular music. Supported by the European Commission, the United States is to file a complaint with the World Trade Organisation, which could, if upheld by the WTO and rejected by Japan, lead to trade sanctions. "What is affected here is one of the most vibrant - and popular - periods in the history of American music," said Mr Kantor, citing among others Duke Ellington, Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan.
For recordings made after 1971, the Japanese government is vigilant in its application of copyright laws. Before then the waters are murkier. Europe and the US claim that under a WTO agreement known as Trips (trade- related aspects of intellectual property rights), royalties must be paid on music recorded as early as 1946. Japan insists that before 1971 copyright protection is discretionary.
Since the mid-1980s trade disputes have become a staple of US-Japan relations, with the Americans insisting that Tokyo open up its markets and reduce its $4.1bn bilateral surplus. Last year, a trade war over Japanese automobile imports was averted by a last-minute compromise.
The man with whom Mr Kantor did battle then, the Trade and Industry Minister, Ryutaro Hashimoto, is now Japan's Prime Minister. He will meet President Bill Clinton in California later this month and Mr Kantor said it was likely that the US leader would raise the golden oldies problem then.
t Hong Kong - More than 13,000 pirated CDs were seized at the weekend in a raid by the Hong Kong authorities on a flat above Golden Shopping Arcade, the territory's largest and most notorious computer software piracy centre, Reuter reports. Five men were arrested.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Khorasan: Muhsin al-Fadhli - the man leading a terror group more feared by US officials than Isis
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks own nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...
£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Key Stage 2 Teachers needed in Flintsh...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Year 6 Teachers urgently needed for su...