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Japanese Media Still Unhappy with YouTube

Just after its acquisition by Internet titan Google, popular video sharing Web site YouTube pulled down nearly 30,000 Japanese video files from its service in response to complaints from JASRAC, the Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. However, Japanese publishers are far from happy with YouTube’s efforts to remove copyright violations from its service, characterizing the company’s response as “unsatisfactory.” However, publishers are still hopeful a solution can be reached without litigation.

On December 4, JASRAC outlined a series of of preventive measures it would like to see taken to deter copyright infringements on YouTube until a comprehensive system can be put into place. JASRAC asked for Japanese-language notices on the YouTube site warning that copyright violations are illegal, that YouTube collect names and addresses of users uploading video material to the site, and that YouTube terminate accounts of users who post copyrighted material. JASRAC sets a deadline of December 15, 2006…which came want went with only a brief reply from YouTube’s Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.

In their response, YouTube said they’re working on Japanese-language versions of their copyright warnings, and has been terminating accounts of users who repeatedly violate their terms of service. YouTube also offered a simplified version of tool enabling publishers to request take-down of infringing material. However, YouTube noted that it does not currently require any sort of user authentication but would “strive for improvement“—but offered no concrete information or timetable. YouTube also indicated it wanted its senior staff to meet with Japanese publishers in regard to business development in Japan.

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