TOKYO, March 23 (Kyodo) -- The Cultural Affairs Agency will prepare a bill aimed at raising penalties for copyright infringements by three to five times higher than at present, officials said Thursday.

The agency, an Education Ministry body, plans to submit a Copyright Law revision bill to next year's ordinary Diet session starting in late January.

The agency said the revision will be made in line with a proposal by an advisory panel.

The panel's report said the current fine of up to 1 million yen should be raised to an amount ranging from 3 million yen to 5 million yen to protect the literary copyright of musicians and authors, the officials said.

The hike is necessary because the maximum amount of the fine under the Patent Law was raised to 5 million yen from 500,000 yen, and the fine under the Design Law was raised to 3 million yen from 300,000 yen by amendments made in 1993, the report said.

AP-NY-03-23-95 0408EST

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