Shogakukan lawyers have ordered YouTube to hand over the personal details for select YouTubers who uploaded manga content that the lawyers deemed infringing. This includes YouTubers Kile Russo, Optimistic Neko, Anime FightClub, and LNDA to name a few.
TorrentFreak is reporting that the DMCA orders from Shogakukan’s lawyers not only want the infringing videos removed from YouTube, but they also want YouTube to provide the personal details of the alleged offenders. In one of the PDF files shared in the article, Nakajima Hiroyuki wrote…
“I represent Shogakukan Inc., a Japanese corporation (hereinafter called “Shogakukan”), the representative of the iwo individual authors of the copyrighted works Identified under the column entitled “Original Work” in Exhibit A attached to this notice
“It has recently come to Shogakukan’s attention that certain users of your services have unlawfully published and posted certain contents on your website located at www.youtube.com, more specifically identified under the column entitled “Infringing Work” in Exhibit A (referred to as the “Infringing Work”), corresponding to each of the Original Work identified in Exhibit A. Shogakulcan has a good faith belief that the Infringing Work is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.”
If you take a quick trip over to some of the YouTube accounts that feature the alleged infringing material, you’ll see that some of them have reaction videos, reviews, and impressions of various Japanese mangas.
For instance, Anime FightClub goes through each page of the manga and gives impressions, reviews, and read-throughs of the content on YouTube. Shogakukan has claimed this is copyright infringement.
You can view an example of one of his videos below to get an idea of what the content is like.
It’s very similar to Richard C. Meyer’s Comics Matter channel, but focuses entirely on the comic pages instead and content instead of only loosely referring to the content and artwork like what Meyer does in his videos.
Due to this, Shogakukan not only wanted the infringing videos taken down, but they wanted the real names, addresses, telephone numbers, and account information of the YouTubers.
The second document featured in the TorrentFreak article contains Shogakukan’s demand for the personal details of LNDA, Kile Russo, Anime FightClub and others, where it reads…
“All information sufficient to identify: (a) each infringer identified under the column entitled as “YouTube Channel/User” in Exhibit A; and (b) any other users registered with www.youtube.com who uploaded and/or posted any Infringing Work specified under the column entitled as “Infringing Work” in Exhibit A. The infringers referred to in the foregoing (a) and (b) are collectively referred to as “Infringers” or individually as “Infringer”. Exhibit A referred to herein is included in the notice dated May 22, 2019, which is attached to this subpoena. The information requested in this subpoena shall be from any and all sources, including but not limited to billing or administrative records that prove the following information used by each Infringer with, relating to, or in connection with the Infringer’s account(s) with www.youtube.com, Google AdSense or any other service account(s) registered with or [linked] to
the Infringer’s account with www.youtube.com (collectively as the “Infringer’s Accounts’*), along with time-stamp (showing date, hour, minute, and second), from the time of user registration with any and all of the Infringer’s Accounts and to date: any and all names; any and all addresses; any and all telephone numbers; any and all email addresses; any and all logs of IP addresses used to upload and to access any and all of the Infringer’s Accounts, and any [account] numbers, credit card numbers, and the name of the financial institution which holds such accounts or issues such credit cards”
In short, they want all the alleged infringers personal details and financial information, likely to bankrupt them into oblivion.
Given that YouTube has shown that it doesn’t care about content creators, and even purposefully suppresses user generated content in order to promote mainstream media fake news, this situation could really go either way. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that YouTube could very well throw the alleged infringers under the bus on behalf of Shogakukan. Alternatively they might actually take steps to protect the alleged infringers’ personal information, but given their recent actions that seems unlikely.
The documents are dated May 22nd, 2019, so they’re fairly recent and so we’ll have to wait to find out how YouTube responds.
(Thanks for the news tip DJ D)