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Image Use Protocol: Task Force

Best practices for locating and using Japanese visual images for teaching, research, and publications

Formation of the Task Force

In response to requests from users and librarians alike, the NCC has established a new task force to develop guidelines for the use of visual images in teaching, research, and publications. The mission of the task force is to study the issues involved and to create a basic set of guidelines for the legal use of Japanese materials (images) in writing, teaching and digital formats, especially to aid faculty and graduate students in the US and elsewhere. Once created those guidelines will be freely available on the NCC's website.

The Image Use Protocol Task Force is co-chaired by NCC social science faculty member Professor Robin Le Blanc of Washington & Lee University and Reiko Yoshimura, Director of the Library of the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution. Members of the task force come from both the US and Japan and include faculty, librarians, specialists in the field of intellectual property, image producers, and representatives from the publishing industry. The task force is still in formation. The list of current members is available on this page.

The initial planning meeting of the NCC's Image Use Protocol Task Force will take place at Harvard University in August 2007.

A firm timeline for task force activities is still being established and additional members are being recommended. Those who wish to make suggestions about the activities of the task force or to volunteer for membership are asked to contact NCC Executive Director, Victoria Lyon Bestor

Image Use Protocol Task Force

The NCC's Image Use Protocol Task Force (IUP Task Force) was commissioned at the January 2007 NCC advisory board meeting in response to discussion among scholars and librarians about the growing importance of images from manga frames to photographs of ancient sculpture in the Japan studies research and the complicated process of obtaining the necessary permission to reproduce these important images in academic publications and presentations. While Japanese publishers or editors often do the work of obtaining contracts for image use in their authors' works, most North American scholars are responsible for negotiating the rights to the images they need without the assistance of other experts. We thought it would be helpful to provide Japan studies specialists working outside Japan with information resources that support them as they work through the process of acquiring and using images within the boundaries of copyright regulations.

The IUP Task Force is co-chaired by Akio Yasue, former Deputy Librarian of the National Diet Library, and Theodore Bestor, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University. Its 14 members represent publishing, museums, libraries and academic disciplines from history to anthropology to law; members come from both Japan and North America. A number of other scholars and professionals working in fields from art history to publishing to photo archiving services have assisted us in understanding the unique challenges of using Japanese images abroad and in thinking about how to make the protection of copyright an easier task for both Japan studies researchers and Japanese image rights holders.

Task Force Member List

Task Force Co-Chairs

Akio Yasue
Deputy Director (retired)
Senior Advisor (current)
National Diet Library

Theodore C. Bestor
Professor of Anthropology
Harvard University


Task Force Members (alphabetical)

Reiko Yoshimura
Director of the Library
Freer and Sackler Galleries
The Smithsonian Institution
Eiko Sakaguchi
Curator of the Gordon W. Prange and
East Asian Collections
University of Maryland
Ian Condry
Professor of Cultural Studies
Toshiko Takenaka
Professor of Law
University of Washington Law School
Patricia Crosby
Executive Editor
(East Asia, all disciplines except literature; Buddhist studies)
University of Hawaii Press
Gennifer Weisenfeld
Professor of Art History
Duke University
Izumi Koide
Director, Resource Center for the
History of Entrepreneurship
Shibusawa Ei'ichi Memorial Foundation
Bruce Willoughby
Executive Editor Publications Program
Center for Japanese Studies
University of Michigan
Haruko Nakamura
Librarian of the Japanese Collection
Yale University
Robin Le Blanc
Professor of Political Science
Washington & Lee University


Members Ex-Officio

Tokiko Bazzell
Japanese Specialist Librarian
University of Hawaii Manoa
Chair, NCC

Victoria Lyon Bestor
NCC Executive Director
Associate, Reischauer Institute
Harvard University

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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