News: In response to the letter sent by JASRAC, Japan’s equivalent of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), YouTube reportedly issued the following statement: “We have received the letter and are reviewing it. Meanwhile we will continue to provide content companies in Japan and elsewhere with tools to easily notify us of unauthorised uses of their content so we can promptly remove it, in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.” (More here)
Analysis: As I’ve said before, a lurking copyright time bomb for Internet sites like YouTube is the potential liability under foreign copyright laws that do not have DMCA safe harbors or their equivalent. YouTube refers to DMCA in its response, but other countries are under no obligation to follow U.S. law for conduct that occurs within their borders. Having said that, U.S. law can be influential among other countries, especially developed countries like Japan. I do not know whether Japan has a safe harbor comparable to the DMCA., but I am checking.