Pursuit of Harmony and Mutual Development with SocietySUSTAINABILITY FOR THE MEDIA DO GROUP
MEDIA DO’s name encapsulates the Company’s desire to become a medium that unites forms of value that would not have come together otherwise and thereby contribute continually to the evolution and development of society. The growth of the business of the MEDIA DO Group is linked to the ongoing and harmonious development of society as well as to the growth of the publishing industry. For this reason, we recognize that it is important for our business activities and services to contribute to the healthy economic development as well as to the enrichment of culture and society. Going forward, the MEDIA DO Group will continue to pursue growth through business activities matched to contemporary trends and changes while leveraging its unique strengths to generate social value.
Unleashing a Virtuous Cycle of Literary Creation
Fight against Piracy Together with ABJ
MEDIA DO is charged with the mission of continuously protecting the frameworks that support the ongoing creation of high-quality content and provide users with a safe environment that can be used with confidence to enjoy this content. We are also tasked with maximizing the volume of content distributed through these frameworks. The spread of illegally reproduced content (piracy) is one of the greatest threats to the publishing industry and a constant source of economic and mental stress to all involved in the creation and distribution of content. Emergency measures for combating piracy have been advanced by various organizations, but it has become clear that the fight against piracy requires a consistent effort by a permanent organization. Based on this recognition, creator organizations, publishers, telecommunications companies, and other industry participants banded together to establish Authorized Books of Japan (ABJ) on July 1, 2020, as their bulwark against piracy. As an intermediary in eBook distribution, MEDIA DO has participated in this organization as one of its founding members, and COO Shin Niina serves as the representative director of ABJ.
The damages of piracy remain severe, but the publishing industry has been gaining ground, as seen in the revision to the Copyright Act aimed at regulating leech sites and the illegal download of copyrighted content. Meanwhile, the ABJ is taking action to combat streaming-style piracy sites, which have been seeing rises in access numbers, by seeking out such illegal sites to compile lists, which are supplied to relevant parties. Another front for the battle against piracy is improving user literacy and preventing damages to these users. Measures on this front have included anti-piracy campaigns advanced through coordination between creators and ABJ members as well as the use of the ABJ certification mark to indicate authorized stores and distribution services. Supporting ABJ’s flank, MEDIA DO lends its aid by supplying intelligence to filtering and security companies and by erecting a defensive line to protect users. Moreover, we pledge our full support to the efforts to battle piracy sites lurking overseas advanced through an alliance between the publishing and communications industries and the relevant government agencies as well as to their user education activities in order to help create an environment in which creators feel safe to create.
Participation in W3C Internet Technology International Standardization Organization
EPUB is a global standard file format for eBooks specified by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an organization promoting the international standardization of internet technologies. MEDIA DO officially joined W3C in December 2018, after which Daihei Shiohama, president and CEO of overseas subsidiary Media Do International, Inc., was appointed as the Asian co-chair of the Publishing Business Group of W3C. In 2020, Mr. Shiohama became one of only about 20 W3C evangelists, an elite team of field specialists from around the world, and the first Japanese member of this team. International standardization will have a substantial impact on the creation and distribution of eBooks. Accordingly, the MEDIA DO Group is committed to sharing information regarding the future of the publishing industry together with advice on international standards through W3C while also encouraging members of the Japanese publishing industry to participate in this organization.
Expansion of Digital Library Services that Guarantee Access to Written Works
The COVID-19 pandemic has erected a significant obstacle to frequent visits to public facilities. This situation has created a need to ensure that people have the opportunity to access written works even if they are unable to visit a library directly. MEDIA DO aspires to remove any restriction that may impede a person’s ability to access written works, whether these restrictions be due to location, physical characteristics, or some other factor. To this end, we are deploying the OverDrive digital library service in Japan through a strategic business alliance with U.S. company OverDrive, Inc. The OverDrive digital library service allows users easy online access to written works, which they can check out, read, and return without any face-to-face interaction. Moreover, this service offers accessibility features such as the ability to enlarge text. In addition, we launched an emergency digital library service introduction support campaign in May 2020 to respond to demand from public and school libraries. Through this campaign, institutions are able to introduce these services without paying initial application expenses. We have received inquiries from numerous municipalities looking to adopt these services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number of institutions using our digital library service have roughly doubled since the start of the campaign (as of May 31, 2021), helping provide greater access to written works.
TOHAN CORPORATION, a major wholesaler with which MEDIA DO has formed a capital and business alliance, has also begun helping in the development of our digital library service business. By combining our resources, we will seek to support an even wider range of libraries in order to develop written work access environments that are suited to the emerging new normal for our lifestyles.
Comment from User
Library Section, Lifestyle Support and Culture Office, Library Staff Lifestyle Support and Culture Division, Obihiro City, Hokkaido
Obihiro City introduced the OverDrive digital library service in December 2020 in order to enhance the range of non-face-to-face services that can be accessed without visiting a library amid the COVID-19 pandemic. After adopting this service, we took advantage of the national government’s GIGA School Scheme to supply all students at schools in the city with tablets and with the ID needed to use this service (through the School Education Section). These tablets are being used to provide support for various school education settings, whether for class, for digital library access during morning reading sessions, or for English education. We also capitalized on the official Obihiro City social media service to spread awareness of the digital library service and promote use (through the Public Information Section). In this manner, government agencies citywide are united in utilizing the digital library service.
Community ContributionSupport for Entrepreneurship to Contribute to Regional Development
Japan currently faces a number of serious social issues, including the contraction of its workforce and the rapid aging of its population. Recognizing these issues, MEDIA DO is actively promoting regional development to ensure that Japan can hand down an energized society to future generations. In this endeavor, an issue that needs to be addressed is the concentration of information and production capabilities in major urban centers, a situation that results in regional economies lacking information and experiencing outfluxes of population. Part of MEDIA DO’s efforts to address this issue was the establishment in January 2020 of TOKUSHIMA INNOVATION BASE ASSOCIATION (TIB) in Tokushima Prefecture, where Founder and President Yasushi Fujita was born. Created jointly with four local companies, TIB is charged with the mission of supporting entrepreneurs.
TIB coordinates with universities and municipal government organizations as well as with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global entrepreneur organization that has attracted participation by approximately 15,000 entrepreneurs from across the world and generates annual revenue in excess of ¥100 million. Through this coordination, TIB offers valuable learning opportunities as well as programs for fostering mutually supportive relationships between managers with the aim of cultivating prominent entrepreneurs outside of urban centers. Other companies have followed this example, leading to similar initiatives in more than 20 other prefectures, including Iwate Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture. MEDIA DO hopes to spread such initiatives across Japan in order to create a robust flow of information and people into regional economies and to thereby contribute to the nationwide cultivation of new industries that will strengthen the Japanese economy as a whole.