deconstruct notes at the forum that Variety has slightly more information about the reported lawsuit Toho launched on Monday against Cosmo Contents at the Tokyo District Court regarding the company’s publishing DVDs of Kurosawa’s early works.
The dispute has risen from Japan’s copyright laws, which were changed in 1971. According to Variety, prior to the change the copyright law protected movies for 38 years after their creator‘s death (a somewhat complicated concept in the film industry, I feel), while the law decided on in 1971 revised this to protect movie copyrights for 50 years after their release.
Toho claims that as the early movies were released before 1971, the old copyright rules should still apply to them. The company estimates their losses at $128,205.
We will continue to keep an eye on the developments.