Recently, YouTube videos with popular Vocaloid songs, either re-uploaded from NicoNicoDouga or fansubbed, have been taken down via YouTube’s Copyright Infringement Notification system. As a result, uploaders with many songs that were taken down have had their accounts closed by YouTube’s three-strikes system that was designed to discourage repeat offenders. However, many people have raised doubts as to whether this recent set of mass copyright claims were by entities who actually possessed rights to the content. YouTube’s automated system allows a video to be taken down by anyone who submits a claim; no proof that such a person is authorized by the copyright holder is required beforehand. Please read on for more information about these suspected false claims.
Volunteers from the “savemiku movement” have compiled a list of both accounts that were taken down as well as single videos that were taken down (while the accounts that uploaded them remained alive). From the single videos list, many of the them were taken down by what are believed to be false names that vary slightly from video to video: 笹金純一 (Sasagane Junichi), 笹川純一 (Sasagawa Junichi), 笹村純一 (Sasamura Junichi), 笹純一 (Sasa Junichi), 笹口純一 (Sasaguchi Junichi), 笹家純一 (Sasaya Junichi), 笹峰純一 (Sasamine Junichi) and 笹磯純一 (Sasaiso? Junichi). In fact, the last one doesn’t even have a very plausible Japanese last name. Furthermore, two wowaka videos were known to have been taken down by an entity by the name of “Shenzhen Eri”, which doesn’t seem to match the record label that released wowaka’s Unhappy Refrain, balloom. According to Google, Shenzhen ERI happens to be an electronics components maker in China.
From the accounts list, fans put together information about each account and noted accounts that were possibly taken down due to illegitimate claims as well as what videos they had hosted could’ve contributed to the takedown. Basically, once an account is taken down, all videos hosted on the account would list entities that submitted the takedowns, so it’s not possible to directly see what videos led to the takedown and what entities sent the takedowns. Examples of accounts that may have been taken down due to illegitimate claims include: Turrent, xxKMSakura, and KiokuSubs.
The savemiku movement has been encouraging people who believe they were the target of false claims to submit a counter-claim. Although a counter-claim opens the submitter to legal process, the idea is that if these were fake claims, then the entity who sent the takedown wouldn’t have the legal power or the money to actually follow through.
Many users may have also received copyright claims from “CRYPTON_FUTURE_MEDIA”, however the entity that is claiming the content is actually Crypton Future Media, Inc., and they do not take down the videos. Crypton Future Media only tags video with content that is protected under the KarenT label, and places advertisements on the video where views or ad clicks would generate profits that they distribute to the original creators. Crypton may also tag videos with copyrighted content under the name of “Original Creator“.
Furthermore, a few videos seems to have been taken down by “TOYSFACTORY JP”. This is actually the record label that livetune is a member of. When asked about these takedowns, kz looked into the matter and tweeted that there were some erroneous takedowns initiated by TOY’S FACTORY due to a misunderstanding and that those takedowns have now been rescinded.
YouTube has become the main place for the whole world to experience Vocaloid, and learn for it first hand. Crypton has officially acknowledged YouTube by basing MIKUBOOK, their social networking project, on YouTube as well as opening their own Miku channel. Even producers such as 40mP and ZANEEDS have official Youtube channels (the full list can be found at ofurotaimu) that they post new songs to in addition to NicoNicoDouga. Google Japan also appeals to the worldwide user base by creating a commercial for its Chrome web browser. Just be careful, and if you believe that a false copyright claim has been made, submit a counter-claim through the YouTube Copyright Center. The savemiku movement is also looking for anyone with more information with regards to this matter, so please try to contact them if you have anything useful.