Hatsune Miku and the Double Nature of Voice Library Software : Content Consumption and Production in Japan

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Abstract

Hatsune Miku, a software conceived to produce songs, has evolved as a fictional character in the hands of its users since its release in 2007, prompting the development of a strong identity around her image and initiating an innovative movement of amateur content production. In this paper, I examine the software Hatsune Miku, developed by Crypton, and its double nature as a character and as software. I argue that while the influence of Dwango's video sharing website Nico Nico Dōga (today Niconico) and the development of participatory culture on the internet were also decisive factors, it was this double nature that encouraged in a rather natural way the development of a stance towards, and later, a legal framework for, the intellectual property of voice characters like Hatsune Miku. This legal framework transformed the scene of content production and consumption in Japan by allowing not only free appropriation of the fictional character by users, but also its re-appropriation by companies for commercial exploitation. By focusing on how the de-appropriation and re-appropriation schema used by Crypton developed, this paper aims to explain recent transformations in Japanese content production and consumption.

Journal

  • Dōjin Journal : An academic journal on popular cultures established by the International Research Center for Japanese Studies

    Dōjin Journal : An academic journal on popular cultures established by the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (1), 37-47, 2020-11-30

    International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Project Promotion Office

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    120006895684
  • Text Lang
    ENG
  • Article Type
    article
  • ISSN
    2435-7901
  • Data Source
    IR 
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