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YouTube execs head to Japan

Founders hope to resolve copyright concerns

Top executives from YouTube are due in Tokyo next week for talks with some of Japan's largest video content producers over copyrighted material available on the popular site.

The meeting is due to take place on Tuesday, just over two months after a group of Japanese content producers sent a letter of complaint to YouTube, urging the company to do more to keep copyrighted material off its service.

YouTube chief executive Chad Hurley and chief technology officer Steve Chen are among those due at the talks, said a spokesman for the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC).

JASRAC sent the original complaint, which carried its signature along with that of 22 other companies and groups, in December. Among the signatories were all of Japan's TV networks, the Motion Picture Producers' Association of Japan, the Recording Industry Association of Japan and Yahoo Japan.

The complainants are unhappy about the availability of their content on YouTube. They demanded in the original letter that YouTube make it easier and quicker for content to be removed once it has been identified as violating copyright, and for the company to make it tougher for users to upload copyrighted material.

YouTube responded to the complaint in mid-December and said executives could visit Japan to discuss the issue. The letter indicated that YouTube is keen to work with the content providers because it is interested in starting a business in Japan, according to JASRAC.

The December complaint followed YouTube's deletion of just under 30,000 files that violated the copyright of Japanese rights holders. The files were discovered during a five-day audit of YouTube in October. However, as soon as the files were deleted, new unauthorised content started appearing.

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