YouTube plans Japan copyright warning


TOKYO -- YouTube has pledged to launch a Japanese-language notice on its Web site warning users not to post or upload copyrighted works without permission, according to local authors' society JASRAC.

On Dec. 4, JASRAC sent a letter to YouTube on behalf of 22 Japanese broadcasters and other rights holders demanding that YouTube take "provisional" measures to deal with the problem until a fully-fledged "infringement-preventive system" could be implemented.

Besides the Japanese-language notice -- which at press time did not appear to be up on the YouTube Web site -- the Japanese rights-holders asked YouTube to register the names and addresses of those users making uploads and to keep such records.

They also called on YouTube to terminate the user accounts of those who illegally uploaded audio-visual works deleted on or after June 2006 upon their request and not to allow them to make further uploads.

The rights holders gave YouTube until Dec. 15 to comply with their demands.

According to JASRAC transmission rights department manager Satoshi Watanabe, in its reply to the Dec. 4 letter, YouTube says it will continue to make efforts to improve its user authentication methods and reiterates that it is YouTube's policy to terminate the accounts of users who have repeatedly violated copyright.

"They say they will come to Japan to discuss these issues with us, but that right now they are extremely busy," says Watanabe, adding that JASRAC and the rights-holders will meet this week to discuss what their next move will be.

YouTube was unavailable for comment at press time.