YouTube under fire from Japanese Entertainment Industry

Dennis Faas's picture

YouTube has agreed to discuss copyright issues with a Japanese group, the company said last week.

The Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) had sent a letter to YouTube earlier this month requesting stricter copyright policies. The letter was sent on behalf of the JASRAC and 22 other Japanese entertainment industry associations, including the Motion Picture Producers' Association of Japan, Yahoo! Japan and all of the major commercial television broadcasters. (Source:

The reply, which was signed by YouTube CEO Chad Hurley and CTO Steven Chen, said that the company is ready to discuss copyright issues with the group.

The discussion may take the YouTube executives halfway across the world. "They said they are considering visiting Japan to discuss the issue," said Satoshi Watanabe, Manager of the transmission rights department at the JASRAC. (Source:

The reply also revealed that YouTube will post a notice in Japanese warning users of copyright infringement penalties. Presently, YouTube shows the message only in English. (Source:

YouTube's current method for dealing with copyright infringement is much more remedial than preventative. The company asks rights holder to send written complaints to YouTube with details of the infringement and the required supporting documents. (Source:

In October, YouTube deleted about 30,000 videos at JASRAC's request. However, JASRAC has said that it wants YouTube to set up a system that would catch copyrighted content before it appears on the website. (Source:

With tens of thousands of clips being uploaded daily, balancing the interests of copyright holders and users can be a difficult scale to steady.

Sometimes being a crowd pleaser isn't so easy.

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