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The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that YouTube has deleted nearly 30,000 videos due to copyright concerns after
being asked by a group representing Japan’s entertainment industry. The group, the Japan Society for Rights of Authors, found 29,549 video clips from music videos, movies, TV shows, etc. posted to YouTube without permissions.
Acting for 23 Japanese TV stations and movie and music companies, this
Japanense society asked YouTube (nicely perhaps?) to
remove the copyrighted materials. According to the WSJ, “YouTube
quickly removed all the files requested.”
While this is nothing new (i.e. unauthorized posting of copyright material), apparently all a person has to do is ask nicely and YouTube is likely to remove the content in question. In the U.S., companies seem to just threaten legal action or make statements as to how much money they’re entitled to. If the entertainment industry was really concerned about the core issue of copyright violation, then perhaps they could approach the situation like the Japanese?
Interestingly enough, this Japanese group is considering asking YouTube to introduce a preliminary screening process to prevent illegal video clips from being posted. Well, they asked once and got immediate action. They may as well push the envelope and see what else they can work out politely. Otherwise, it appears that if a company is to threaten legal action or make grandiose claims as to whatever millions YouTube must owe… YouTube is happy to let the issue get tied up in the courts.
In the mean time, the U.S. entertainment industry could learn a lesson here: Just ask and content will likely be removed…