Japan orgs meet with YouTube

Group wants site to use copyright warning

TOKYO — Twenty-three Japanese copyright orgs, led by the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers & Publishers (Jasrac), issued a statement Wednesday regarding their negotiations with YouTube, which the orgs claim has been negligent in dealing with copyright violations of member content.

Speaking to reporters following a Tuesday meeting in Tokyo between org reps and YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen and Google veep David Eun, Jasrac exec director Mitsuo Sugawara said, “We have built a solid foundation for the resolution” of copyright issues.

Orgs are calling for YouTube to place a copyright infringement warning, in Japanese, on its site’s main page; have users uploading media content register their personal details, including names and addresses; and cancel accounts of users found to be posting copyrighted content without permission.

While it agreed to the first demand, YouTube, is balking at the second and third, saying they would present practical difficulties. Sugawara said: “We simply discussed (the second and third demands). Concrete steps for implementation will come later.”

Jasrac and the other copyright orgs first submitted their demands to YouTube in December, prompting the trip to Tokyo by YouTube and Google execs and the current negotiations.

In an interview with the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper on Wednesday, YouTube veep David Eun said the company plans to launch a Japanese-language version of the site.

“A Japanese-language service is one of our most important priorities,” Eun commented, without giving a start date or other details.

He also said YouTube is in discussions with Japanese Webs about corporate tie-ins. YouTube, he commented, intends to build partnerships with the Webs for “not only the supply of program content, but advertising as well.”  

Commenting on negotiations with Jasrac and other copyrights orgs, Eun said, “This is a problem for not only YouTube, but the Net as a whole,” while saying that YouTube obeys U.S. copyrights laws and is providing ways to prevent the posting of copyrighted material.

“We want to think about (preventive measures) together with (the Japanese organizations),” he added.

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