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The history of content copyright protection of digital broadcasting and the foundation of TRMP

The digital technology has made it possible to easily create a massive quantity of high quality visual & audio copies of contents and deliver them over the internet without deteriorating their image and sound quality. Thus, the free terrestrial and BS broadcasters have adopted the digital rights management system using the “B-CAS system” since April 2004 in order to protect the content copyrights and to promote the proper distribution of contents in the digital era.

However at the beginning, the transferring of the recorded content to another medium was restricted to only once (so-called “copy once” rule) and it had been causing inconvenience to the viewers. Looking upon this situation, the Information and Communications Council under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications proposed “to review the system of content copyright protection including the Copy-Once rule” in the Second Interim Report (July 2005) under its agenda on “The administrative roles on the uses and promotion of digital terrestrial broadcasting”. As a result of the discussions, the number of copies had been deregulated from 1 to 10(so-called “Dubbing 10” rule) in July of 2008 and it is still in process as of today.

Later on in July of 2009, the Information and Communications Council requested the broadcasting organizations and the manufacturers in the Interim Report to broaden the choices of content rights management and protection by adopting an alternative system co-existable with the B-CAS system in order to meet the following objectives:
1)to cope with diversifying digital receivers
2)to improve convenience for the users by broadening the choices
3)to cut down on societal costs.
With this request, The Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association (NAB) and NHK have jointly set up “the Promotion Committee for New Content Copyright Protection System” in March 2010 and a study group was set up ‘to achieve content protection through software with its specifications disclosed (the New System).’ In 2011, the Promotion Committee carried further studies on (1) the ARIB (Association of Radio Industries and Business) Standard and Technological Report, (2) the drafts for license contracts and (3) the complementary systems toward the New System, whilst the five commercial broadcasters in Tokyo and NHK founded TRMP, the RMP Administration Center for Terrestrial Broadcasting Content, on the 1st of June, 2011 as an organization for issuing license for the New System.