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Revision of the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading

From the standpoint of enhancing predictability for concerned parties, it is important to clarify how relevant laws are applied to various legal issues related to electronic commerce, including internet shopping, and trading of information property including software and digital contents.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) revised the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading, which has been issued since March 2002, based on the results of deliberation by the Working Group on Rule Establishment for the Business Utilizing IT under the Information Economy Subcommittee of the Commerce, Distribution and Information Committee, Industrial Structure Council.

1. Outline of the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading

The Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading was formulated in March 2002 with a view to enhancing predictability for concerned parties and contributing to the facilitation of trade by clarifying how the Civil Code and other relevant laws are applied to various legal issues related to electronic commerce, information property trading, etc. (the guidelines was originally titled “Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce” as of March 2002).

With the cooperation of academic experts, related ministries and agencies, consumers, and the business community, METI presents an approach to the interpretation of the existing laws. METI anticipates that this approach will serve as an indicator for interpreting such laws surrounding electronic commerce and information property trading.

Since the formulation of the original guidelines in March 2002, METI has revised the guidelines as required, in accordance with situations in trade practices, technological trends, and the development of international rules surrounding electronic commerce and information property trading. In this context, METI has revised the guidelines based on the results of deliberation by the Working Group on Rule Establishment for the Business Utilizing IT under the Information Economy Subcommittee of the Commerce, Distribution and Information Committee, Industrial Structure Council.

2. Details of the revision

Revision in line with the revised Copyright Act

  • Obligation to redistribute electronic publications

Revision in line with new court cases

  • Liability of business entities providing CGM (Consumer Generated Media) service for mediating transmission of illegal information
  • Legal matters involved in setting up a link to another person’s website

Deleted points

  • Validity of agreement on court jurisdiction
  • Validity of arbitration agreement
  • Regulations under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act and the Health Promotion Act
  • Regulations under the Money Lending Business Act and other relevant laws
  • Acquisition of personal information via the Internet

Formulation of editorial policy regarding the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading

* For details of the revised sections, see the “Outline of the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading.”(PDF:179KB) PDF File (in Japanese)

3. Calling for public opinions aiming at the future revision of the guidelines

METI plans to make necessary revisions to the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading, in accordance with changes in trade practices, technological trends, and the development of international rules. For this purpose, METI welcomes public opinions regarding the necessary revision of the guidelines. Please send such opinions to the following address at your convenience.

Address:
Information Economy Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, METI
1-3-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda City, Tokyo, 100-8901
Fax number:
03-3501-6639
E-mail address:
ecip-rule@meti.go.jpmail_link

* Please e-mail or fax your opinion with the subject line “Opinion regarding the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading.”

Reference materials

Release date

April 27, 2015

Division in Charge

Information Economy Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau

Related Information

Information Policy

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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