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YouTube removes Japanese video clips

YouTube has removed almost 30,000 video clips after an organisation representing the Japanese media industry complained over copyright concerns.

The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC), which represents 23 Japanese TV stations and movie and music companies, said it found 29,549 files, including video clips from TV programmes, music videos and movies, posted on the video-sharing website without permission.

A large amount of the content on YouTube involves copyright material, but the video-sharing website has so far avoided any major legal challenges, having struck advertising revenue share and minor equity deals with the likes of Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony BMG.

YouTube is currently developing a content tagging and monitoring system to identify all instances of the use of copyrighted material so it can pay fees to partners from contextual advertising when such clips are viewed.

The question of potential legal action against Google, YouTube's new parent, has been a hot topic among analysts. Earlier this week Universal filed lawsuits against two video-sharing websites, Grouper and Bolt.com, also indicating that it could possibly extend the action to include Grouper's new parent, Sony.

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