Japan Initiates YouTube Copyright Crackdown

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YouTube, the newest member of the Google family that has been hounded by experts for its failure to control the posting of copyrighted material, has cleaned house, axing nearly 30,000 video clips at the behest of The Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC). JASRAC represents 23 Japanese media companies, including Sony Japan, JVC Victor, Warner Japan, and Universal Japan, and Japanese broadcast company NHK.

Today, YouTube deleted 29,549 clips that JASRAC claims were posted without the copyright holder’s permission. YouTube has allowed users to flag posted content for review. YouTube’s terms of service dictate that posting copyrighted material is illegal. The video-sharing site jalso ust published its updated Community Guidelines to make clear to users what is and isn’t allowed. According to a JASRAC representative, they may pressure YouTube to develop a pre-screening process so copyrighted videos are detected before they’re posted.

YouTube, which has recently signed content and revenue sharing deals with companies like Universal, Warner, Sony and CBS, has been working on a watermarking system that can be used to detect copyrighted material automatically, eliminating the need to review each video manually.

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