Japanese copyright lobby demands censor of YoutubeTuesday, December 5, 2006 at 15:31 | Posted in censorship, copyright, Freedom of speech, internet, youtube | 4 Comments
The Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers wants Youtube to check all uploaded videos for possible copyright infingements before they go on line. According to the BBC, the copyright lobby wrote to Youtube:
The current system “is not functioning well due to the [continued] large volume of illegal uploads”.
I wonder if the Japanese censorship advocats have really thought about what this would mean in practical terms. It would probably take weeks before any uploaded video, copyrighted or not, would appear on the site. And this would still not stop anybody from posting copyrighted material. They would just post it elsewhere as Youtube would be blocked.
However, the practical issue is not what worries me most. The freedom of speech in a democratic society explicitly excludes censorship before publishing. If a publication (no matter if it is in text, image, audio or video) violates a third party’s rights, there are legal checks and balances to address the issue.
The key question here is why the interests of the music industry should enjoy such a heavy protection that it would even outweigh freedom of speech. Why indeed?