Japan is planning on augmenting their copyright law in early 2015 so publishers can actually go after e-Book pirates. This should assist the entire industry and hopefully speed up the rate in which e-Books are produced.
The old copyright law just protected physical books from unlawful print and distribution by people who did not have the right to do so. This caused difficulties for publishers who made e-book versions or sold digital manga. If an e-Book was found on a file sharing site, or if the author bypassed the publishers traditional content delivery channels and sold the e-Book on their own, there was little the publisher could do. Only the copyright holders were able to go to court. This made it difficult for e-book publishers to properly deal with an unauthorized digital publication, which led to the proliferation of pirated content.
Once this new amendment to the copyright law is complete the Japan Patent Attorneys Association is recommending changes to author contracts so it falls in line with the recent changes made in France. It is important to have separation between the traditional publishing contract and the digital side of things. Currently in Japan most authors have the exact same royalty rate for print and e-Books.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.