The personal digitization of books is a quickly growing trend in Japan. It is referred to as “jisui” and it allows people to convert a title to a digital format by scanning each page individually. Users find that doing this makes books easier to keep over time, as having their library consolidated in a single place is much more convenient than managing a collection of physical books.
Many companies in Japan now offer book-cutting and scanning services, which has raised concerns about copyright violations, as this process of digitization is permitted under Japanese copyright law provided that individuals do the reproduction themselves and for personal use.
Tetsuya Imamura, an associate professor in intellectual property law at Meiji University, says that the law is lagging behind the latest developments. "Legally speaking, it is a violation of reproduction rights, but with respect to the handling of digital data, the copyright law is out of step with current times," Imamura says.
For more information on this topic, a Mainichi Daily News article about this trend can be found here.