Copyright issues concerning Japan's university entrance exams

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Gregory Wheeler, Sapporo Medical University


Japanese universities commonly use previously published material when they create their entrance examinations. Moreover, because a number of universities do not cite the authors whose works they utilize, and often alter the original passages, many believe they are thus guilty of copyright infringement. In this study, the author analyzes the English reading passages from 33 university entrance exams, almost all of which used already published works. Those that did not provide references to their sources appear to be in violation of Japanese copyright laws. However, although most universities made changes to the original texts, it is difficult to determine whether this also constitutes a copyright violation.