'Frustrated' Japan seeks YouTube solutions


TOKYO -- Japan's content producers say they are "frustrated" at the failure of YouTube and Google to remove video clips that have been uploaded onto their sites and hope that officials of the two companies have come to talks in Japan Tuesday with something to offer.

"This is taking up our time and is our effort to get rid of material that has been illegally uploaded and breaks copyright," said Satoshi Watanabe, manager of the Transmissions Rights Department of the Japanese Society of Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. "We think it is their responsibility to take these measures."

Chad Hurley, CEO of YouTube, and Steve Chen, the company's chief technology officer, will be taking part in the discussions at JASRAC's offices, along with David Eun, vp content partnerships at Google.

"We are going to listen to their requests and we hope to be able to find a way of cooperating with the Japanese side that will be beneficial to users, content rights holders and us," said Kaori Saito, a spokeswoman for Google. "We are optimistic that we will be able to find a way forward."

On Dec. 4, a group of 23 Japanese entertainment industry organizations and broadcasters submitted a letter to YouTube about copyright infringement. The organizations included the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, the Association of Japanese Animations, TV Asahi Corp. and Yahoo! Japan Corp. In a reply received in mid-December, the American side agreed to travel to Japan to discuss concerns but also to explore opportunities in the digital market here. No comment was available from YouTube at press time.

The priority for Japan remains the problem of copyright infringement.

At present, YouTube deals with infringements of copyright by requiring rights holders to submit written complaints, complete with details of the clips' content and other documents. It then deletes any that it decides are in breach of the rules. The Japanese broadcasters, however, are insisting that YouTube should be able to stop the clips even being uploaded.

YouTube deleted nearly 30,000 video clips in October after a group of companies filed a complaint.

Watanabe said. "Urgent measures are needed. And while it is good to discuss the issues, everything depends on the proposals that they have brought with them. We look forward to what they have to offer."