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YouTube Removed 30,000 Japanese Videos from Site 265

Grooves writes "YouTube has been asked to remove almost 30,000 videos from their site, according to reports. The Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) found 29,549 videos on the site that had materials contained in them that where not authorized by rights holders. From the article, 'A spokesperson for that organization said that they were considering petitioning YouTube for a better screening process. Although YouTube is legally obligated to remove infringing material when notified, some copyright holders have expressed irritation at the notion that they need to police YouTube themselves.' Now that Google's is attached to the site, will events like this become more commonplace?"
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YouTube Removed 30,000 Japanese Videos from Site

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  • Yatta? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ericlondaits ( 32714 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:04AM (#16516359) Homepage
    Will this mean the dissapearance of the Yatta [] video? What about Matrix Ping Pong? [].

    I can do without all the JPop though...
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:08AM (#16516427) Homepage Journal

    Given the low-pass signature identification algorithms we have discussed lately, I would really like to see a duplicate-video cull on these sites. There seems to be fifty copies of each of the more popular clips, cloned and re-posted to and youtube in some kind of karma-whoring frenzy.

    I bet there are more than 30,000 dupes if you just count the 3,000 top-rated video clips.

  • by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:18AM (#16516579) Homepage
    What percentage of YouTube's hosted content does this represent?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:38AM (#16516875)
    My college pays for a satellite feed to some of the various NHK channels and during the limited news shows they do have it's not uncommon to see a large black block appear when they show images of events or sports events. Usually there is some message about the broadcast not being allowed outside of Japan. It's at times like that I feel the copyright thing is taken to new extremes. At another time, I was going to download a music video from Yaida Hitomi from YouTube and the next day they it was removed because copyright owner JASC or whatever had said it was infringement, which it was but! Still, it gives worldwide exposure to some artist that would otherwise be seen by one country. It's sad the way artist availability and exposure can be minimalized by copyright holders who might not even be the artist themselves.
  • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:47AM (#16517039) Journal
    I think the issue is more along the lines of "Does YouTube have an obligation to pre-screen videos?"

    AFAIK, YouTube's only legal obligation is to remove copyrighted materials when notified. Copyright was was written with the notiont that "it's your copyright, you protect it."

    "If they claim to pre-screen any content they may become liable for all content that gets through."
    I switched "any" and "all".
    Isn't that how the system works?
  • by Nananine ( 967931 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:03PM (#16517297)
    I headed up a group on Youtube that posted rare videos and live shows of independent Japanese bands. We went unmolested for the most part until the last months, when we were hit with a sweeping ban that affected some of our biggest contributors.

    Some of the bans sort of made sense, as there are some decidedly uncommercial bands on major labels in Japan (sort of a "whoops, totally forgot" situation). Also, there was a major crackdown by Japanese music TV channel Spaceshower TV, which a good many of the videos were recorded off of. Some banned videos, however, puzzled us.

    For example, my offending videos included hand-held recordings of a long-defunct indie band Naht that were taken at the Black Cat club in Washington DC. Naht was one of my favorite bands in college, so I was overjoyed that I was able to find such rare footage and immediately wanted to share it. I'm dissapointed it was removed from youtube.

    I was eventually given a permanent ban, although I hadn't uploaded anything in months. Bad timing, too, because I had switched the group back to "group leader approves videos" because of horrible video spam. It's too bad, too; a great Israeli noise group called Gaop started uploading videos. Not Japanese, but good stuff, so I kept it on.

    I respect and understand my ban, but I'm still dissapointed. Maybe I should start digging around for stuff on the Chinese punk scene, see how youtube censors those.
  • Re:I don't get it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:13PM (#16517425) Homepage Journal
    IANAL, but I suspect that if somebody can make a charge of encouraging copyright infringement stick, then they'll be liable. A lawyer could claim that they should reasonably have known that a significant amount of illegal activity (copyright infringement) was being done through their site, in which they were a considerably active participant.

    Google, of course, will claim it's all just bits and that they remove stuff when notified, but if the lawyers can convince the courts that they should have known better, then they're an accessory. You could consult a lawyer and get better details, and you could consult a second lawyer and get a second, conflicting set of details, so I have a feeling that the final result would have to be settled in court.
  • Rights holders? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by denix0 ( 949825 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:13PM (#16517429)
    I wonder, did they prove they have rights to those 30,000 videos? Or they just sent a note to GooTube requiring them to remove the videos and GooTube just silently swallowed that?
  • by daeg ( 828071 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:51PM (#16517885)
    Great post -- more thought provoking than my parent post had intended.

    I hope and suspect that Google is already in talks with the major media conglomerates in order to work out a deal with them. I imagine something along the lines of "Don't sue us or make us take down copyrighted stuff and we'll link those copyrighted pages so users can easily purchase the originals from you." It's pretty smart, actually. A lot of the copyrighted stuff on YouTube people watch only because it is free -- and easy to pick and choose. If you don't like something, simply press the back button.

    I am betting Google will teach the mass media companies a thing or two about the Internet and how they can benefit from everything--including IP theft.

    As a sidenote: video ringtones? What the hell?
  • by Chagatai ( 524580 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @12:55PM (#16517927) Homepage
    Slightly OT, I know, but I just had to share. While in Japan for my honeymoon, I was often up at odd hours while my wife was sleeping because of the time change. I turned onto one comedy show that seemed like a cross between Jackass and MAD TV. They had a segment called, "No Reaction Theatre," where people had to continue acting while various distractions tried to draw their attention. In this case, people above them on the scaffolding would drop large aluminum foil cookpans onto their heads. It didn't hurt so much as cause a loud noise and throw them off. So they would be in the middle of this soap-opera-esque moment lamenting why someone died, with tears in their eyes, looking up, and then WHAM! Baking pan in the face! The show culminated with about 100 pans being dropped onto a group funeral scene over and over again.

    They are geniuses. American TV could learn something from them.

  • by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @01:28PM (#16518405)
    I've posted below the DMCA's requirements. Note in particular that false statements constitute perjury under the DMCA. Realistically, they sent a list of infringing programs (names in English and romanized Japanese, dates of original broadcast, and rights holders), the URLs to any instances they found with language saying "And if you see anything else with that title, its probably ours too", and a signed/stamped* "Me, too!" letter from each participating rights holder. (*Traditionally in Japan contracts are executed with a personal seal or a seal representing the entity engaging in the contract. Signatures are also legally sufficient in the vast majority of cases, and when dealing with foreigners most people just sign stuff, but some folks and businesses stamp legal documents as a matter of course. Ironically the last time it happened at work it was an Italian who had read about it on the in-flight guide and was really hot to try -- we put in a rush order with a local carver when the person expressed his desire in the morning and had it ready for the "signing" ceremony after lunch.)
    (Taken from the DMCA Faq located here: 130 []).

    The name, address, and electronic signature of the complaining party [512(c)(3)(A)(i)]

    The infringing materials and their Internet location [512(c)(3)(A)(ii-iii)], or if the service provider is an "information location tool" such as a search engine, the reference or link to the infringing materials [512(d)(3)].

    Sufficient information to identify the copyrighted works [512(c)(3)(A)(iv)].

    A statement by the owner that it has a good faith belief that there is no legal basis for the use of the materials complained of [512(c)(3)(A)(v)].

    A statement of the accuracy of the notice and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on the behalf of the owner [512(c)(3)(A)(vi)].
  • bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RecycledElectrons ( 695206 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @02:20PM (#16519161)
    We all know that this censorship makes the Great FireWall of China look puny by comparison.

    They took down political comentary, and criticism of the Jap Govt, not "copyrighted" material.

    Andy Out!
  • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @06:59PM (#16523175)
    Yes. Laughing at the weird customs of foreigners brings us together as a human family.

    What I miss is the magician. In the USA, the bigger and flashier the better. In Japan the smaller close-up but seemingly impossible magic is what I found interesting. Anyone else amazed at the glass trick where a salt shaker is passed up through a glass top table? How about tossing a playing card inside a fishtank, then reaching through the tank back glass to fetch the card? Another street magic trick is the one where he tapes a piece of paper onto a shop front window, then goes inside the shop, then comes out by tearing a hole through the paper and climbing through, then removing the paper showing an intact glass window. Wow. That leaves a lot of the US flashy magic tricks looking pretty pale.

    I'm going to miss the magic shows.

    By the way, anybody know how he did that?
  • YouTube vs. Napster (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nephridium ( 928664 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @08:55PM (#16524331)
    The difference between Youtube and Napster is that Youtube's 'homemade videos' are far more attractive than e.g. the 'homemade music' of Napster. Additionally Youtube features the preview picture combined with the commenting/rating system to judge whether the video is really something you'd like to watch before wasting time on it.

    Many homemade videos get tons of hits/high ratings such as Ask a Ninja [] - hilarious guy. Furthermore there are the 'video-bloggish' entries, i.e. documentaries that wouldn't be aired through mainstream channels or direct coverage of current events, both of which wouldn't be possible on a audio-only medium. So it's possible to find footage of the war in Iraq that due to self-censorship no news channel would broadcast. An example would be a documentary (warning: graphic!) of the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah [].

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.