Toshi's Shogi and Chess Page

Copyright of game score

Every now and then I find Japanese people discussing on the matter of copyright of shogi (Japanese chess) game score on BBS and on mailing list. In the world of chess, game score is not copyrighted and hundreds of thousands of game score files, maybe even millions, in pgn format is publicly available on the internet. A lot of people analyze these games and this has helped improve the chess theory significantly. To understand why game score of chess is not thought to be under copyright, I asked a question on The Shogi Discussion List, and the discussion was very helpful. I list several important points here:

The idea of copyright was introduced from Western countries to Japan, and the basic idea of the Japanese copyright law cannot be very different from Western copyright laws. Therefore I think there is no legal ground that game scores of shogi or chess is copyrightable even in Japan. Actually this conclusion also agrees with most of the discussion of this issue among Japanese.

The complete discussion log follows.

Discussion Log

The discussion was made from 15 July to 18 July on 2003 on the Shogi Discussion List.

  1. Katsutoshi Seki
  2. Marc
  3. Larry Kaufman
  4. Sam Sloan
  5. Andrew Okun
  6. Katsutoshi Seki
  7. Kazuyuki Iwamoto
  8. Larry Kaufman
  9. Katsutoshi Seki
  10. Daniel M. Toebbens
  11. Sam Sloan
  12. Stouten, Pieter
  13. YAMADA Tsuyoshi
  14. Kazuyuki Iwamoto
  15. Sam Sloan
  16. Katsutoshi Seki


Links to Japanese pages

There are many pages discussing on this issue in Japanese. There are also many pages which upload or exchange game scores of Japanese professional shogi players. Some of the pages are collected in Japanese version of this page.