YouTube faces showdown in Japan

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YouTube faces showdown in Japan

Video sharing site told to be proactive in preventing copyright infringement.

The Japanese entertainment industry is asking video sharing site YouTube to be more proactive in removing material that infringes copyright. 

A group of Japanese companies has sent a letter to YouTube chief executive Chad Hurley and chief technology officer Steve Chan, requesting that the firm takes responsibility for finding and removing copyrighted material, rather than just responding to complaints.

"Taking into account the current status of your service, we believe that your company should not just wait for rights owners to take the 'Notice and Take down' procedures but should bear the responsibility to prevent, in advance, copyright infringements such as illegal uploads and distributions, or to avoid those infringements," said the letter.

A copy of the letter was distributed to media by the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers and reported by IDG News Service. 

More than 20 other companies, from the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan and the Japan Video Software Association, to Yahoo Japan and all major commercial broadcasters, have signed the letter.

"We are seriously concerned about the current situation where the Notice and Takedown scheme, aimed [at preventing] copyright infringements, is not functioning well due to the large amount of illegal uploads," the letter states.

"While we expect you to promptly take adequate and necessary measures to prevent copyright infringement on the YouTube website, until you do so, we request you to take provisional measures ... in order to prevent illegal uploads of audio-visual works, which copyrights are neither owned by the persons posting the works on the website themselves nor licensed by the right owners."

A deadline of 15 December has been set for a response.
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