Japanese Companies Lash Out At YouTube

    August 2, 2007

A group of Japanese media companies were very critical of YouTube today at a Tokyo press conference.

They lashed out at the company saying they were not doing enough to keep infringing clips off the site. They also said they were skeptical of their automatic video recognition and removal system being created by YouTube parent Google and questioned the reliability of the technology saying it was taking too long according to the AP.

"YouTube has to stop how it runs its site and get rid of the illegal clips. We want them to reset the service," composer Hideki Matsutake said at the press conference. The group met with YouTube and Google executives earlier in the week.

"There is no middle ground," Matsutake said. "We demand that all copyrighted material be removed immediately."

Matsutake, who is a spokesman for the group said they would continue to talk with Google and YouTube.

YouTube has been popular in Japan and receives more visitors than other Japanese video sharing sites. In June they launched a Japanese language version of the site and captured more viewers.

YouTube has been faced with a number of copyright infringement suits over the past year including one from Viacom seeking $1 billion. YouTube and Google say they are protected by the DMCA and that they take down infringing content when they receive a request.

Google says they have plans to launch copyright infringing detecting technology by the end of the year. The Japanese group says that is too long to wait.

"What’s important to us is what YouTube can do immediately," said Mizuo Sugawara of the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. "We have no guarantee whether the new technology will even work," he said.