TOKYO – Popular video-sharing Web site YouTube Inc. has agreed to post Japanese-language warnings about respecting copyrights in an attempt to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials, a Japanese entertainment body said.
The Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers said on its Web site Tuesday that YouTube notified it of the move in a response dated Dec. 15 to Jasrac's request earlier this month for a series of measures aimed at preventing uploads that infringe copyrights.
The organization made its request on behalf of 23 Japanese TV stations and entertainment companies in a letter sent to YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen asking for a response by that date.
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Hurley, who is also YouTube's chief executive officer, and Chen sent YouTube's response, Jasrac said.
Most videos posted on YouTube are homemade, but the site also contains copyrighted material posted by individual users.
YouTube's policy has been to remove such material once a complaint is received. However, questions linger about the site's vulnerability to legal claims for distributing content owned by other media.
YouTube already has a notice in English on their site about handling copyright infringement.
Last month, YouTube — recently acquired by Google Inc. (GOOG) for about $1.76 billion — deleted nearly 30,000 files after the Japanese group complained of copyright infringement.
But Jasrac said the problem has persisted and that the current system was not functioning well. It asked YouTube to introduce a preliminary system to screen out copyrighted clips.
It also asked for a series of provisional measures, including posting a notice in Japanese about illegal uploads, requiring uploaders to register and terminating users who violate copyrights.
YouTube was quoted in the letter as saying that in addition to posting the warnings, it has been terminating repeat offenders and would work to improve the user registration system it already has in place.
The Japanese companies plan to meet Friday to discuss YouTube's response, Jasrac said.