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YouTube agrees to Japanese copyright warning

Japanese copyright holders on Wednesday urged YouTube to do more to tackle unauthorised uploads after the popular video-sharing website agreed to post an infringement warning in Japanese.

YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, along with Google vice-president David Eun, on Tuesday met representatives of 23 Japanese media and copyright protection bodies.

As well as demanding the copyright-infringement warning, the Japanese firms asked YouTube to require people uploading media content to declare their names and addresses and to refuse postings that violate intellectual property rights.

YouTube agreed to post the warning within a month, but said it would be difficult to ask for users’ names and addresses and to refuse postings from first-time offenders, said Masato Oikawa, an official from the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers.

YouTube, which was bought by Google in November in a $1,65-billion deal, explained that its current policy is to refuse users who violate copyrights three times, Oikawa said.

“We will continue to make our demand and ask YouTube to work with us to address our concerns. They said they are working on new technologies to address concerns expressed by so many rights holders,” he said.

The Japanese group sent a joint letter in December to YouTube, demanding the hugely popular internet site stop the uploading of protected material.

YouTube is under increasing pressure to remove unauthorised videos.

Currently YouTube and other websites based on user-generated content shield themselves from copyright violation lawsuits by removing protected material when owners complain.

On Friday, YouTube agreed to remove more than 100 000 unauthorised clips of television programmes from United States TV giant Viacom.

More than 100-million user-contributed video clips are viewed daily at YouTube, which was launched in February 2005 in San Bruno, California.

In October, the industry association said YouTube had removed a total of 29 549 files, including footage from Japanese television shows, video clips and promotion videos, at its request. — AFP

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