Addressing copyright concerns regarding Japanese university entrance exams

Greg Wheeler

An analysis of the 2010 entrance examinations of 100 Japanese universities indicates that it is common for exam committees to use previously published material when creating their tests. Additionally, the committees often make changes to this material, and in many cases the authors are not cited. Despite this, a review of Japanese and international copyright laws suggests that infringement of authors’ rights may not be as rampant as is commonly believed. In this study, which updates a paper that first appeared in The Language Teacher (Wheeler, 2009), the author examines the economic and moral rights of authors and how they apply when their work is used on the university exams. Additionally, the pros and cons of two alternatives to the standard committee method of choosing material for the exams are discussed.

100大学の2010年の入学試験の分析によって、試験を作成する時に、学科試験委員は既に出版された題材を利用することがよく見られる。しかも、この題材に、しばしば変更を加えて、多くの場合、著者名を引用していない。しかし、日本の著作権法と国際著作権法を注意深く見ると、一般的に思われているより、著作者の権利を甚だしく侵害している訳ではないということが示唆される。本論文では、既にThe Language Teacher (Wheeler, 2009) 誌に発表した論文の内容を改訂して、題材が入試に使用されている著者の財産権と人格権を調査する。さらに、学科試験委員の入試題材の標準的な選択方法に対して、二つの代安を提示し、それぞれの良い点と悪い点を述べる。

Addendum (December 5, 2018)

The author wishes to report an error and omission appearing in this paper. On page 2 of the manuscript, a sentence appearing as "An organic process of descent with modification called evolution" should be "An organic process of descent with modification—evolution as it's now known (Quammen, 2009)." This text originally appeared in:

Quammen, D. 2009. Darwin’s first clues. National Geographic, 215(2) 34-53.

The author apologizes for the error and omission and expresses regret for any misunderstandings it may have caused readers.