jump to navigation

Japanese Media vs YouTube, round 1 October 20, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Internet, Japan, Media.

JASRAC has apparently been spearheading a drive by Japanese broadcasters and rights holder organisations to target unauthorised use of copyright material on YouTube.

Earlier this month, JASRAC and 22 other corporations and organisations held a week long blitz targetting YouTube, which resulted in 29,549 takedown notices being submitted to YouTube, all of which apparently were complied with.

Looking beyond the usual accusations (which have a certain amount of merit) of media companies acting like dinosaurs stuck in an outdated paradigm,  one has to consider the complexity of the various asserted rights which are attached to a piece of typical piece of video material. Even for a re-run on broadcast television, broadcasters often have to contact all parties involved to get approval (and this process takes weeks or even months of tracking down the rightsholders), as the original contracts are usually narrow in scope and most certainly didn’t have internet broadcasting in mind.

It isn’t a simple matter of broadcasters signing a distribution deal with YouTube, given the number of programmes which they broadcast.

Going forward, broadcasters might start framing contracts to allow more varied use and reuse of material and build up a improved framework within which they can track all contractual obligations (and associated financial payments), but in the mean time, they cannot just ignore the fact that they themselves have contractual obligations which most likely include enforcement of rights of individuals and parties who appear in or are involved in making broadcast content.

Then there is the reality that a lot of content is created by legally separate production houses, which are likely to vary widely on their management of data pertaining to rightsholders associated with each piece of content they produce. Even if they did have contact records for rightsholders initially, contact details do change and it may be very difficult to contact rightsholders especially for older pieces of media footage.

Whilst it is attractive to the user to have comprehensive archives made available, the task of retroactively (re)identifying, reconnecting and renegotiating with interested parties is a huge undertaking which costs time and money. The financial rewards for such an effort may just not make economic sense.

I’m not saying that JASRAC and other such organisations don’t need to catch up with the times (they certainly do), but I think that the issues involved are far more complex than many people who aren’t media lawyers or working in the rights department at a media firm may realise.



1. neck-oh-mama - November 1, 2006

Your articles are always an enlightening read on this Japanese scene.
May I call attention to the irony in the 2 articles you posted, this one about the Media vs. Youtube, and the one about Togo Fujita’s lonely fight to be heard?

What makes them ironic now is that Youtube is very effective as the only forum Mr. Fujita can make his case to the general public, having been shut out, scapegoated, or discredited by the Media.

2. neck-oh-mama - November 1, 2006

Here are 2 of Mr. Fujita’s Youtube appearances. This story is bigger than the Media appear to be comfortable with:

3. fukumimi - November 1, 2006

Without a doubt, YouTube makes it easier for user generated video content to be distributed widely, but the same could be said of Google Video or Revver.

Actually, I would suggest to Mr Fujita that he get in touch with dotSUB http://www.dotsub.com/ and get his message subtitled and more his message into many languages and accessible to more than just the Japanese speaking community.

Unfortunately, Japan and its media indeed a rather too cosy club, easily influenced by political, bureaucratic and economic interests. No wonder Japan is currently down to 51st in the Press Freedom Index.

Sometimes using foreign media is an effective way to pressure the Japanese media into reporting news they would not otherwise report. I’m sure the foreign media loves a good story about the problems of the Japanese media circus, seeing the foreign press are shut out of the kisha-club system.

4. cory - October 7, 2009

they’re all friends now
but how do they stop bloggers like japanprobe uploading TV and news content to youtube?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: