You are here

Home»English Article

E2529e – Launch of Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals

The original article published in Japanese ( )

Current Awareness-E No.441

18 August, 2022

Launch of Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals


On May 19, 2022, the National Diet Library (NDL) launched the “Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals” (hereafter “Individual Transmission Service”). This service allows users to view digitized versions of out-of-print or otherwise difficult-to-obtain materials (hereafter “out-of-print materials”) digitized by the NDL via the Internet. By agreeing to the terms of service, registered users of the NDL residing in Japan can browse out-of-print materials on the National Diet Library Digital Collections.

Among digitized materials, the NDL has released on the Internet digitized materials whose copyrights have been processed. Others have been available from the devices located within the NDL buildings. In January 2014, the NDL launched the “Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries” (hereafter “Library Transmission Service”; see E1540, CA1911) allowing digital data of out-of-print materials to be browsed and copied in libraries approved by the NDL (only browsing is available in some libraries). As of the end of June 2022, approximately 1,380 libraries in Japan and abroad have been approved for Library Transmission Service.

As mentioned, one had to visit the NDL or libraries approved for Library Transmission Service to browse digital data of out-of-print materials. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of 2020, libraries including the NDL faced closure, making it difficult for users to access out-of-print materials. As the need to access library materials via the Internet became more apparent, there emerged a momentum to amend the Copyright Law. In June 2021, a legislation to partially amend the Copyright Law (Act No. 52, 2021) was promulgated (see E2412 ). With this amendment, the NDL is able to send digitized out-of-print materials to individuals via the Internet, allowing users to browse out-of-print materials even when the libraries are closed or unavailable for various other reasons. There was also an amendment made to allow libraries to send library materials via E-mail (details are omitted in this article).

To launch Individual Transmission Service, Agency for Cultural Affairs and the NDL jointly established the “Stakeholder Council for Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals” to discuss target materials for transmission, issues such as terms of use and registration, as well as provision methods. Members included copyright holder organizations, publishers, library staff, and experts. The Council agreed on the “Agreement on the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals by the National Diet Library” (December 3, 2021). This agreement sets forth the operational guidelines for the service: materials to be transmitted must be within the scope of materials subject to Library Transmission Service, format for data transmission is to be streaming for the time being, users must be registered users residing in Japan and must agree to the terms of service.

With coverage by various media, Individual Transmission Service attracted attention prior to its launch. The service was well received. Immediately following the launch on May 19, there was a rapid increase of applications for user registration. By the end of May, in just 10 days, there were more than 190,000 views. As of the end of June 2022, the number of Individual Transmission Service users has reached approximately 33,000. The number of views of Individual Transmission Service in June 2022 was about 350,000. This is more than 300,000, the number of views of Library Transmission Service in FY2021.

The NDL plans to renew the system in December 2022. In January 2023, the NDL plans to begin providing print-out function and to increase the number of materials to be transmitted. We hope that many people will utilize the system.

Written by Kimura Yuka
Digital Information Department
Digital Information Planning Division

Translated by Okada Aya

*Notes are not translated and remain in Japanese language.


Ref: “個人向けデジタル化資料送信サービス”. NDL
“図書館向けデジタル化資料送信サービス”. NDL.
文化審議会著作権分科会. 図書館関係の権利制限規定の見直し(デジタル・ネットワーク対応)に関する報告書. 2021, 40p.
NDL. 国立国会図書館のデジタル化資料の個人送信に関する合意文書. 2021, 3p.
福林靖博. 令和3年著作権法改正と国立国会図書館による絶版等資料の個人への送信について. 情報の科学と技術. 2022, 72(3), p. 82-87.
藏所和輝. 国立国会図書館の「個人向けデジタル化資料送信サービス」の開始について. 図書館雑誌. 2022, 116(5), p. 258-260.
小坂昌. 図書館向けデジタル化資料送信サービス開始から1か月. カレントアウェアネス-E. 2014, (255), E1540.
村井麻衣子. 令和3年著作権法改正:図書館関係の権利制限規定の見直し. カレントアウェアネス-E. 2021, (418), E2412.
上綱秀治. 図書館向けデジタル化資料送信サービスの統計に見る開始から3年の状況. カレントアウェアネス. 2017, (334), CA1911, p. 11-13.