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YouTube to display Japanese piracy notice

February 07, 2007|From Reuters

TOKYO — Google Inc.'s YouTube.com agreed to display warnings on its website in Japanese not to upload copyrighted materials to the popular Internet service, a group of Japanese media firms said Tuesday.

The decision comes as a part of ongoing talks between YouTube and the Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, which last year pushed the San Mateo, Calif.-based company to erase 30,000 video clips from its pages because of copyright infringement.

YouTube's popularity in Japan and elsewhere has surged in the last year because it allows users to watch their favorite clips any time for free.

YouTube, which Mountain View, Calif.-based Google bought for $1.65 billion last year, is facing complaints from some television networks and movie studios that it is helping spread pirated files.

"YouTube isn't illegal, but what's problematic is that pirated contents are being uploaded," Ryohei Ishii, a manager from public broadcaster NHK, told reporters in Tokyo.

Last week, Viacom Inc., which owns MTV Networks Co., demanded that YouTube erase more than 100,000 video clips that had been posted without its permission, and said the two firms failed to reach a distribution deal.

On the other hand, media giants such as Warner Music Group and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal Inc. have forged alliances with YouTube to offer their content on the site.

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