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Sony To Launch YouTube Competitor in Japan

Google’s YouTube might still be the king of online video sharing, but it hasn’t been a hit with everyone: after all, Viacom is suing YouTube for $1 billion in copyright violations, and Japanese publishers have repeatedly expressed dismay with the number of YouTube-hosted videos which infringe on their copyrights.

Sensing opportunity, Sony is throwing its hat into the video sharing arena—at least in Japan—with a new service called eyeVio. The new service enables users to upload and distribute their own videos; Sony eventually plans to earn money on the service through advertising and media partnerships, and hopes the service will be particularly attractive to advertisers and content partners because Sony plans to keep a pro-active, sharp eye on the service for copyright violations. Companies won’t have to monitor the service for copyright violations, then report them to Sony: instead, Sony will actively monitor uploaded content. by default, all content available on eyeVio will be offered under a Creative Commons license.

Although Sony is mulling launching eyeVio outside Japan, for now the company is focusing on the Japanese market and plans to gauge customer reaction. Aside from the United States, Japan represents YouTube’s largest user base: Sony may be able to make inroads there by offering a Japanese user interface. The service also makes it easy to download videos into Sony electronics devices, like a Walkman or PSP. Users will also be able to specify who can view their content, and how long video will remain available on the service.