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Tokyo Demands YouTube Play Fair

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the when-no-one-is-special-everyone-is dept.

Google 239

eldavojohn writes "Recently, the city government of Tokyo has requested that political speeches to be pulled from YouTube, claiming that it gave certain hopefuls an advantage over others for Sunday's election. You may recall YouTube being in trouble with more than a few countries in the past. 'Japanese election law limits the broadcasting of speeches, which are aired only on public broadcaster NHK. Soon after the race kicked off last month, the speech by one fringe candidate, street musician Koichi Toyama, 36, has become a popular attraction on YouTube due to his eccentric, confrontational approach.' Is it fair that some government officials are being viewed more on YouTube than others or is it simply leveling the playing field for anyone with a message since it costs very little to put a video on YouTube?"

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Japan demands Play Fair? (5, Funny)

Marrshu (994708) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634947)

What's that, a new form of thought DRM?

Re:Japan demands Play Fair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635047)

Play [wikipedia.org] Fair [wikipedia.org] .

comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18634963)

Why arn't there any comments on this story? Entertain me!

Hummmm. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634967)

Is it fair that some government officials are being viewed more on YouTube than others or is it simply leveling the playing field for anyone with a message since it costs very little to put a video on YouTube?.

I guess that depends on which country you live in.

Re:Hummmm. (5, Insightful)

draos (672972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635741)

I think it would be easy to apply a U.S. perspective to this and cry foul. But if Japan has publicly funded elections and strict, but fair rules about how candidates communicate then maybe they are justified in their action. It seems to me that a slightly stricter approach to election practices might take away the "guy with the most money wins" mentality that has come to dominate the U.S. process.

Limits of free speech are sometimes justified (you can't cry fire in a theater) and this MAY be one of those occasions. Or not.

Re:Hummmm. (5, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636363)

I think it would be easy to apply a U.S. perspective to this and cry foul. But if Japan has publicly funded elections and strict, but fair rules about how candidates communicate then maybe they are justified in their action.

I agree. The initial reaction among Americans to this news would likely be to cite "free speech" as justification for letting YouTube keep the clips up.

But that's a very Amero-centric way of looking at the world, and is rooted in the same kind of thinking that now has us in trouble in Iraq and is responsible for the dim view taken of us by the rest of the world.

If Japan's laws say speeches can't be broadcast except through government-controlled TV, then I'm sorry, but that's the law. And if Google wants to do business in Japan (as they do), then they need to respect local laws. A US company should not be trying to impose US law or US cultural norms on Japan.

It's perfectly within YouTube's power to geo-restrict these videos to parts of the world where they're allowed. Yes, you can get around those restrictions if you really want to, but there's no reason they shouldn't take reasonable measures to comply with Japanese laws with regard to Japanese videos.

GooTube, do NOT bend to this pressure! (1, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634985)

I'm pretty pissed off that GooTube pulled the first video. Fuck that entire country and their King. The Internet isn't a place for censorship for the benefit of government officials. If the entire country bans the site, tough fucking shit, we aren't going to miss them.

YouTube staff should NOT be bending to this type of political pressure. What, we going to have the White House say that GooTube can't post videos of George falling over, looking like a monkey, acting like a horse's ass, or mispronouncing words because he's the President?

Give me a break.

Re:GooTube, do NOT bend to this pressure! (0, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635041)

Flamebait? Because I believe that Google should stand up to political pressure? Give me a break.

Re:GooTube, do NOT bend to this pressure! (1)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635153)

By "standing up to political pressure" do you mean "obeying the laws of a country in which they seek to make a profit"?

Re:GooTube, do NOT bend to this pressure! (1, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635167)

By "standing up to political pressure" do you mean "obeying the laws of a country in which they seek to make a profit"?

Let the dominoes fall.

Re:GooTube, do NOT bend to this pressure! (1)

IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635169)

Flamebait for the pointless swearing and predictable bush jokes. The point about Google was a good one.

Re:GooTube, do NOT bend to this pressure! (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635165)

You do know that this article is about Japan and not Thailand?

Re:GooTube, do NOT bend to this pressure! (2, Interesting)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635211)

I am in huge favor of leaving youtube wide open to NEVER shutting down any videos. And wait for politicians to bitch and whine so loudly that they commit their very own political suicide.

Re:GooTube, do NOT bend to this pressure! (1, Troll)

computational super (740265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635417)

Are you suggesting that they never pull any videos, or that they pick and choose which videos they pull (which is essentially what they did with Thailand and what they'll do with Japan here)? The actual fact is that, when it comes to foreign laws, they can decide which ones to follow. But what about the laws in their home country (America)? There are quite a few video images that are extremely illegal here; I suspect YouTube's owners could face jail time if they didn't pull those ones. And there are quite a few more video images, which, if you make available to minors, you can face fines or even jail time. Are you suggesting that they should be immune from those laws, too? (BTW, if you are, then I agree with you - this case, the Thailand case, the eBay nazi propaganda case, and thousands of other such cases underscore the underlying stupidity behind the concept of censorship).

Re:GooTube, do NOT bend to this pressure! (2, Insightful)

wolff000 (447340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636207)

This post may have been a bit vulgar but a valid point was made. It's not flamebait and if I had mod points I would correct it.

Simple solution (4, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634989)

Put all the speeches on YouTube and let the public access them. That way the playing field is level.

After all, it would be a horrible thing if someone in Japan wasn't doing the same thing as everyone else. How shameful!

Re:Simple solution (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635097)

that's my thought. Politcal speeches can only be aired on one channel. Yet not add youtube to the list. personally though i just wish the USA would only air politcal speeches on just one channel. that way i can avoid them easier.

Re:Simple solution (4, Insightful)

fwr (69372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635133)

Each country has their own laws. This may come as a shock to some, but the US can't/shouldn't enforce our laws on other countries. Whether we have the right or duty to "free" other countries under dictatorial rule is another discussion that I won't comment on here. However, when the people of a country vote to have particular rules with regard to advertising or campaign contributions it's not our place to say whether they are right or wrong. Some would even argue that it would be better for the US to have publicly funded election campaigns and ban private contributions, and have equal time on the government licensed broadcast channels. However, there are laws that have go through review all the way to the SCOTUS that say otherwise. Who's to say that the US' laws trump Japan's laws, or which is "better?" I'd say the people in those two countries, and no one else.

Re:Simple solution (4, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635171)

So should Japan be able to enforce Japanese laws on a country operating out of the US then? Because that is what this is all about.

Re:Simple solution (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635543)

Asking for cooperation from a US company to address a specific issue with specific content seems reasonable. YouTube doesn't have to cooperate, but I doubt anyone wants to have to block YouTube on all of the network connections coming into Japan to address this issue. That's what the end of TFA says happened in Thailand and I doubt many people want to see the same thing in Japan:
"This week Thailand's military-installed government banned YouTube entirely after it failed to block a video considered insulting to King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered figure in the country."

There are other solutions, like giving everyone the same exposure, that seem more sensible, but asking for a governments to change quickly is unrealistic in any country. Asking a company delivering content to Japan to be compliant with Japanese laws is not unreasonable.

Re:Simple solution (4, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635647)

Asking a company delivering content to Japan to be compliant with Japanese laws is not unreasonable.

On the other hand, it is possible that they are not violating Japanese law. As has been already said, the internet is not a broadcast (radio) medium. Also, looking at Japan's constitution:

Article 21:
Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed. 2) No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated.

http://www.solon.org/Constitutions/Japan/English/e nglish-Constitution.html#CHAPTER_IX [solon.org]

Idiots depending on paper to protect them.... (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635913)

> Also, looking at Japan's constitution:

Yea, it says that. But I don't see that piece of paper kicking the ass of politicians who wipe their asses on it. Here in the US we had the fabled 1st Amendment that also made certain promises in that regard but I didn't see it, or the enraged ghosts of the signers, kicking John McCain in the nuts when he ripped it out of our Constituition. Although on a slightly hopeful note it appears the American people (at least the Republicans) appear to be denying McCain a run at the Presidency in repayment for his sins.

In the end paper cannot protect us, only WE can protect us. The paper only represents a contract amongst us as to what we are supposed to put up with before we start shooting the bastards. If we don't uphold our end of that bargain we lose representitive government and get what we have now in most western countries, rule by an elite nobility unbound by any rule of law.

If anyone is still in doubt as to the wisdom of "Campaign Finance Reform" or "Government financing of campaigns" look well upon Japan and see the end product of your logic at it's conclusion. For certain definitions ofthe word it is "Fair" but it is not Free by any definition. There is a wider lesson here regarding the relationship between "Fair" and "Free."

Re:Simple solution (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635703)

That's what the end of TFA says happened in Thailand and I doubt many people want to see the same thing in Japan:

Hell yeah, I'm totally happy with that happening in Thailand. Who cares? Few enough people care about the rest of the fucked up shit that happens in that country, so why should we be bothered that they can't get their video fix from some stupid website? Frankly, I wouldn't mind if it happened in Japan, either... But of course, we should realize that something like this would never happen in Japan in the first place, because Japan is actually a free country!

I strongly disagree (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636031)

Its not about two countries disagreeing on what laws take precedence. It is about the world's governments finding out that pandora's box is wide open. Information is free, and wants more freedom. When there were only TV and radio stations and newspapers, it was fair to regulate access to them to ensure electoral fair play. Well, say hello to the Internet! It is all three of those mediums wrapped in one nice simple package. The rules need to change when the game changes, and the game has definitely changed regardless of whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

Censorship, for whatever reason is not right. Limiting public access by political candidates is one thing, but limiting all other speech related to it is censorship. By posting a video on YouTube, I can tell the world "hey, look what this guy said. Isn't that bad?"

To require that YouTube limit such speech is overbearing and stupid. One reason this is so is because the government trying to do so will have to play whack-a-mole with every other video sharing site as well. The lid to pandora's box can't be closed that easy. Please let's not forget that YouTube is just ONE video sharing site, and they are taking the brunt of the complaints when the problem should be shared by all video sharing sites.... or none. I vote for the latter.

Governments that believe they can limit the content on the Internet are not only fooling themselves, they are showing the entire world that they are both clueless and in need of removal from office.

Yes, governments could simply shut off access to the outside world and censor all Internet activity within their borders, but that would harm their economy and drive the populace to dislike them vehemently.

Pandora's box cannot be closed now.....

Re:Simple solution (1)

fwr (69372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636443)

If the company is doing business in Japan, then yes. I don't care where they are "operating out of" as in where their servers are located. They are doing business in Japan. Just like there may be countries where it is legal for some other activity (let's pick something reprehensible that hopefully we can all agree is "bad" like child pornography) that doesn't mean it is wrong or illegal for the US to try and stop that type of material from coming into the US, either by requesting the company hosting in the other country to stop or to just plain block the communications at the border. Now am I comparing the viewing of Japanese political speeches to child porn? Absolutely not. However, they do have laws about how their elections are run. I don't presume to know what they are, and take with blind faith that what they are doing is within their legal system. If it is not viewed by Japanese citizens then I presume that they could seek redress in Japanese court. That's not the discussion though, it's whether countries are sovereign or whether all countries are beholden to laws within other countries. It's Japanese law, on Japanese soil, let them do what they want. If you don't like it, move to Japan and become a citizen (if you even can, I don't know citizenship rules for Japan) and vote to change their laws.

Should Japan be able to enforce their laws on US soil? Of course not. They have no standing to say what material Youtube or anyone else makes available to anyone outside of their territory.

Re:Simple solution (2, Insightful)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635265)

I agree with you on this one. Even in this country, laws regulating political speech are rife with unintended consequence, and we're still trying to figure out the correct balance between freedom of expression and keeping elections fair and lawful.

When your talking about a country with as radically different a history and culture as Japan (it's not Canada, folks), then very few of us in the US (or Europe) have the slightest clue how or why they have the regulations they do, and what the consequences of changing them are.

Re:Simple solution (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635333)

Each country has their own laws. This may come as a shock to some, but the US can't/shouldn't enforce our laws on other countries.

But the US isn't, in this case. Instead, it's the Japanese legal authorities that want to impose Japanese law on foreign soil. The turnaround equivalent could for instance the restrictions for paid political speech in the US, which does not stop any foreign blogger or other media talking about the US election, endorsing one candidate over another (without disclosing what agenda they really do and who is paying and so on). Or laws in some countries like Sweden that forbid identifying a crime suspect by name and image before they've actually convicted, but which of course doesn't stop newspapers publishing that info on websites in neighboring countries

I live in Japan and there's a good deal of rules and other things that do make sense here, but the election-related framework is frankly one that no longer does, if it really ever did (candidates are for instance not allowed to actually change the content on their websites once campaigning is started). One way to solve this could be to distinguish push and pull media. Keep restrictions in place for push media like radio, television, magazine ads and so on, media for which it was intended. But allow free use of pull media like websites or Youtube - there the user is actively searching out the info, not getting it stuffed down their throat. The playing field is also more even due to the low cost of setting up and maintaining such a prescence.

Re:Simple solution (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635701)

candidates are for instance not allowed to actually change the content on their websites once campaigning is started

That sounds like an easy* way to prevent that last-minute mudslinging. Japanese elections may be overly restrictive, but are they as corrupt and nasty as American ones have become?

* Easy is not always good or better.

Re:Simple solution (3, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635359)

This may come as a shock to some, but the US can't/shouldn't enforce our laws on other countries.

Sure, but in this case "enforcing our laws in other countries" means "letting people in Japan see people speaking freely on American servers". The US isn't forcing Japan to permit people to say this stuff in Japan. If Japan wants to force everyone in Japan onto a state-run ISP that filters content (like is done in most of the Middle East and in repressive regimes), hey, that's between them and their God (or Amaterasu, as the case may be).

Re:Simple solution (4, Interesting)

aztektum (170569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635585)

They just provide a forum. If you don't like what's on, sorry, so sad. Cut Internet access to your people if you're not able to adjust to the world.

Let's put it this way. If this was an RIAA article we'd be saying "The MAFIAA needs to adapt to the modern world!" It's not like anyone said the Japanese can't continue eating sushi, work insane hours and make Playstations. What if you're a Japanese tourist in another country? I doubt they're going to hook up a broadcast just so you can see the hamsters run in their wheel.

This isn't exactly a law that has real social benefit. Not like punishment for a crime. This is more closely related to moderating access to information. Speaking as a native of the planet Earth who thinks allowing law to create hardline distinctions between cultures and wishes we could all just "Get along." it's a stupid law at that.

Re:Simple solution (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636041)

That's a little arrogant; the US has a free for all in terms of the amount of campaigning candidates can do, limited only by candidates funding. Therefore you say the whole world should follow suit. This despite the fact that this policy results in your politicians whoring themselves for corporate funding.

Other countries really don't have this problem to the extent you see it in the US, so maybe you shouldn't dismiss it so quickly - although I tend to agree that trying to regulate foreign internet servers is highly unlikely to actually work in the long term.

Re:Simple solution (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635671)

The question is more like if anyone should enforce foreign law. The general answer is no. On the other hand, it gets rather hard to have local law when it comes ot digital (or digitalizable) content when your people has instant access to material from any other jurisdiction. You can try to halt them at the border but digital borders leak like an open faucet and you typically end up blocking all the content or none at all. Imagine if they shut down all international content because it's operating under another jurisdiction and might not follow local law. Wouldn't be much of an Internet then, would it?

Now the US has a very open policy on speech, and slashdot in particular has a considerable "Information wants to be free" faction, but the inability to make effective law is also disturbing. As long as it either legal or ignored somewhere else in the world, you have essentially no chance of stopping it. For example, why does my country (Norway) have a kiddie porn filter? If it's so universally hated as it is claimed, why can't they send it via Interpol to whereever the server is at, and have it shut down? Oh, because it just doesn't happen.

The issue here isn't whether Japan can make their own election laws. The issue is that you can make any democratic law you want, but that every individual can easily and almost without risk ignore it. What chance does a law have under those conditions?

Re:Simple solution (1)

da_yingyang0 (1048770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635817)

Who's to say that the US' laws trump Japan's laws, or which is "better?" I'd say the people in those two countries, and no one else.
That's an easy question. US laws trump Japanese laws in the US, and that's all that matters. YouTube is a US company and the servers that are hosting the video are located in the US. So if Japan wants the video taken down it would have to come to the US and figure out a way to pay off the Supreme Court in order to overcome the First Amendment's protection of free speech.

Re:Simple solution (1)

kcarlin (99704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635927)

Jurisdiction is a core issue with the Internet, and becoming more so every day. There is content on the Internet to offend everyone, including legislators and judges and, especially, political candidates. The Internet upsets many apple carts in every country, and has cast light on the way speech is managed by power in every country. The issue is not US vs. Japan, it is Western Liberal Democratic tradition versus specific Japanese plaintiffs. Filtering at the border would probably be impalatable to the Japanese, but maybe not, Japanese Democracy has always been very paternalistic by Western standards.

And yes, tidal effects of the Internet aside, ultimately it is the Japanese people that should determine these questions for themselves. But also, their solution should in no way interfere with the rights of anyone beyond their borders.

In the United States, under the First Amendment to our Constitution, we have very clearly: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...." Given the influence of political candidates once elected, however, the US has silliness like the McCain-Feingold law, which explicitly dictates who may publish what in the final 60 days before an election. (My advice is to never vote for a politician that supports or has ever supported legislation managing political speech, unless it is to repeal such laws and restore the First Amendment. But if I posted this advice on the wrong date, the United States Federal Government, servants of the people, might interpret it as candidate advocacy and throw me in jail.)

Re:Simple solution (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636231)

Who's to say that the US' laws trump Japan's laws
The fac that we nuked their yeller asse's once and we can do it agian?

Re:Simple solution (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636247)

First, what part of the GP post mentioned anything about "US ... enforce our laws on other countries." Why did you bring US law into it?

As for "it's not our place to say whether they are right or wrong", are you joking? A sizeable portion of posts on Slashdot are folks from other countries explaining why the US is doing something wrong. And EVERYTHING the US is doing is wrong - all the laws, all the politicians, and all the electorate. It's called freedom of speech - ever heard of it?

So if it is improper for a private citizen to call anotehr nation or culture's practices "wrong" or "bad", then why is everyone nattering on about China's human rights abuses? Or female circumcision? Or trafficing in humans? I mean, after all, there is a cultural history to be considered here, so we should all just shut up and mind our own business. Unless the criticism is of the US - then it's required.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18636415)

US laws trump Japanese laws when you're talking about a US company on US soil, just like Japanese law trumps US law when it's a Japanese company in Japan. Rather than going after YouTube for posting the speeches, wouldn't it make a bit more sense to go after the candidate who's on YouTube?

If I have to obey every fucking law in every damned country on earth to host my site, it'll have to be a site full of blank pages.

If Japan doesn't want YouTube in Japan, tough. Like my own stupid government, theirs will have to learn that the internet respects no boundaries.

Now, excuse me while I go post some swastikas, cartoons of Mohammed, and some clit shots on my site. Fucking dimwitted censors! Censorship is not possible in the 21st century.

-mcgrew (mrc="poetic")

Re:Simple solution (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635287)

Put all the speeches on YouTube and let the public access them. That way the playing field is level.

That probably is the best solution, but I also understand the reasoning behind limiting the sources for political speech. Picture this, 8 hours before the election someone floods YouTube and other channels with a faked video showing the current runner up talking about how he is secretly a pedophile and has molested children. As a result he loses the election and the perpetrator may or may not ever be found.

By restricting access to a single channel there is the potential that whomever controls that channel will abuse it, but at the same time it prevents the scenario I described above. Last minute publication of outright lies on voting day has long been an issue.

That said, I'm not sure it is practical to control channels like YouTube or that they can shut things down quickly enough to be effective.

Re:Simple solution (3, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635555)

8 hours before the election someone floods YouTube and other channels with a faked video showing the current runner up talking about how he is secretly a pedophile and has molested children


If the citizens base their decisions on such flimsy evidence, then they deserve whatever politicians they elect. Anyone who has access to YouTube should know exactly how easy it is to fake a video.


By restricting access to a single channel there is the potential that whomever controls that channel will abuse it, but at the same time it prevents the scenario I described above.


How so? Please explain what's the difference between YouTube and some "official political channel" regarding fake videos? Do you mean that if there existed a single political channel then no damaging evidence against any politician would be accepted, no matter how authentic? Or do you believe the operators of that political channel would have the resources to verify the authenticity of all the material supplied to them?


Having a free press means that at some times some lies may be published. Also some people will be pissed-off about what's published. But in the end I see no other alternative to make sure the whole political system will remain more or less democratic. To paraphrase Churchill, a free press is the worst possible information system, with the exception of all other systems.

Re:Simple solution (1)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635821)

"If the citizens base their decisions on such flimsy evidence, then they deserve whatever politicians they elect."

Yeah, THEY deserve who gets elected, but that doesn't mean *I* deserve it. I'm not saying I'm the smartest person alive, but people make videos to stir up the lowest common denominator- those that can't seem to think for themselves. And they outnumber me by many times.

"Do you mean that if there existed a single political channel then no damaging evidence against any politician would be accepted, no matter how authentic?"

Perhaps not, but there would at least be recourse, as they would know who submitted the video. Also, if they have some sort of law prohibiting last minute videos, it would at least give the politician time to defend himself.

That all said, I still think Youtube should keep the videos up; I'm just pointing out it's not entirely all black and white here. Besides, Youtube will do whatever is best for business by weighing the money lost v.s. the PR hit, and I don't blame them.

Re:Simple solution (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635299)

After all, it would be a horrible thing if someone in Japan wasn't doing the same thing as everyone else. How shameful!
I'd guess you would've had to have lived there to get this joke.

Japan isn't the only country with quirky elections (2, Interesting)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635369)

Even before McCain-Feingold, which involves an unprecidented amount of speech restriction for the US in the political context (it has to be the only US law that makes it illegal to criticize the government during an election!), the US had this lovely little chestnut called the Fairness Doctrine, an FTC policy which essentially micromanaged the content of television and radio broadcasts when they were on issues of public importance during an election. That misbegotten regulation has since been slagged, but the "Oh noes, if we let people have soapboxes they will use them to influence folks!" censorial spirit lives on, even in respectable democracies like the US and Japan.

Re:Simple solution (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635891)

Wouldn't you have to rotate the links around so that each candidate gets "fair exposure"? I thought we had laws like that in the USA also, so that one candidate couldn't use political influence to get all the TV commercial airtime, etc.

It has to be said... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635019)

Domo Origato Mr. Youtube-botto

Slashdot has taken a sad turn for the worse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18636423)

when an obligatory "domo origato mr. roboto" reply to any japanese story is not modded to +5.

Where have you gone, Joe Slashdimagio?
The nation turns its lonely eyes away.

Governments are getting scared (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635039)

As technology starts to find its way into governance, governments are losing their control over us. Of course this terrifies the elite, but... just as with the internet itself, there is little they can do to stop the coming of open source governance [wikipedia.org] .

They don't seem so scared to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635181)

It seems governments are finding myriad ways to crawl up our asses and using the enabling technology to make it easy for them to do it more efficiently.

Re:Governments are getting scared (1)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635261)

You *really* think governments are actively losing control of people right now? That just doesn't jive with the world I see around me. No, the Internet just brings its own tools of control. Advertising, primarily.

And just what is "open source governance" -- in detail -- and how would it govern a country of tens of millions better than representative democracy? Is open source governance when the amount of influence you have in government is directly proportional to the resources (read: money) one can "contribute to the project"?

Still blocked in Thailand too (1)

jginspace (678908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635071)

"You may recall YouTube being in trouble with more than few countries in the past"

Yup. Still blocked in Thailand [slashdot.org] .

I don't know what the fuss is about YouTube is though. Sites which allow users to post content are going to be hosting objectionable content. Governments have the choice of blocking a particular url or making a point and blocking the whole site.

Ensuring fairness (3, Interesting)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635093)

A stupid site like Youtube can complement any current mechanism for "ensuring fairness" that has been set up by the city of Tokyo. How can you be more fair than Youtube? Does one of the candidates lack an Internet connection? Are some of them ugly? Let all the candidates upload their stupid videos to Youtube and maybe Tokyo can sell ad space on the skin of the monsters that invade the city on a regular basis, instead of wasting that space on political ads.
Plus, just because someone has a funny Youtube video doesn't mean you'll vote to put him in charge of your city. Tokyo elections aren't like American Idol ...right?

Re:Ensuring fairness (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635599)

I think the problem is that the upstart candidate ruffled a few feathers by doing something that the others didn't think about doing.

Re:Ensuring fairness (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635883)

How can you be more fair than Youtube? Does one of the candidates lack an Internet connection? Are some of them ugly? Let all the candidates upload their stupid videos to Youtube...

      And pretty soon political candidates will determine that the real secret to political success is not their position on Education, Crime, Taxes and Foreign Policy, but rather how long their farts can stay on fire and how many live goldfish they can swallow...

Re:Ensuring fairness (1)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635943)

There is an interesting aspect to "fairness" in the political sense. NPR brought up an interesting point in the upcoming U.S. election that youtube will play a significant role. Some candidates will be able to roll with the changes, quickly adapt to what is coming at them and use it to their advantage. Other candidates that have a very "rigid" appearance may not be able to handle the massive third party attacks. If you think about it this is probably true. Old timers who cannot flow with the coming tide of random people with their own agenda getting their 5 minutes in the spotlight are going to take the brunt of the force instead of deflecting it because they no longer control their own campain.

From what little I know about Japanese politics, Japanese politicians being "uptight" is an understatement. These guys fear youtube because it's something new that they probably aren't good at dealing with - therefore not really "fair" to them. Whether or not it would really make a difference in a campaign right now is hard to say.

How is this different ... (2, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635121)

... from well-off candidates being able to distribute printed fliers as often and as broadly as their finances allow, whereas lesser-healed candidates can't do the same? At least with YouTube, people have to take the initiative to go find the video. Conversely, fliers simply appear at your doorstep or are shoved into your hands at the mall. In my mind this is a far more "unfair" practice.

Re:How is this different ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635361)

Some countries limit the amount a candidate spends on an election campaign. Some countries even give legit candidates (ie. enough constituent signatures) the equal amounta of campaign money from tax dollars, with no external funds allowed. Canada has the former, and before Chretien resigned, he tried to introduce a bill for the latter.

In Japan, you can't. (2, Informative)

achurch (201270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635437)

The Japanese election laws are actually very strict about this kind of thing. I haven't gone through all the details, but for example, Article 142 of the Public Election Law (Japanese link) [e-gov.go.jp] limits candidates in prefectural governor elections to 35000+X postcards, where X depends on the number of lower-house national representative in the prefecture, and no fliers at all. There are lots of other rules--applying to anyone, not just candidates--preventing things like visiting people to ask for votes and all sorts of stuff.

Of course, none of it was written with the Internet in mind, so it'll undoubtedly have to change in some manner, and I agree that sites like YouTube could potentially be used to help level the playing field. But at least with respect to the current law, the fairness argument is a valid one.

Re:In Japan, you can't. (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635637)

Article 142 of the Public Election Law (Japanese link) [e-gov.go.jp] limits candidates in prefectural governor elections to 35000+X postcards, where X depends on the number of lower-house national representative in the prefecture, and no fliers at all.


Ah, then it's OK, I guess. After all, it's not as if anyone could go to the nearest Office Depot and print an additional 35000 cards without notifying the election officials, right?

Re:In Japan, you can't. (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636147)

Ah, then it's OK, I guess. After all, it's not as if anyone could go to the nearest Office Depot and print an additional 35000 cards without notifying the election officials, right?

I suppose they could, if they wanted to get banned from holding office for five years [fukushima-minpo.co.jp] (Japanese link again, sorry), like the previous governor of Fukushima prefecture. Granted, in his case it bribes that occurred while in office rather than election improprieties, but the same penalty applies--I just can't recall a specific recent case to cite.

Unless you have an answer to "OR WHAT?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635131)

My neighbor can demand I turn down the music, walk around clothes or quiet my dog. I then ask "Or what?!"

"Fair"? (3, Interesting)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635191)

I'm not sure "fair" is the right word. I think most free-thinking individuals would agree that equal access to media is "fair". And any controls and limitations placed on speech are inherently and ultimately "unfair" and abusable.

Is that so? (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635519)

Then what about the situation suggested by this poster [slashdot.org] , where one candidate makes use of massive funds to effectively smother another? I'd hardly call that "fair".

The Japanese law is arguably conservative, but its you-may-do-nothing-but-this approach does (or at least did, pre-Internet) work well to preserve a level playing field, or at least punish those who broke the rules. Whether the voters are making good use of that level playing field is a completely separate issue I won't delve into here . . .

Nothing new (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635209)

This doesn't seem all that different to me than many of the political free-speech-limiting laws that we have in the US and elsewhere -- campaign finance laws, equal access, and all that jazz. Political speech on other broadcast mediums gets some close scrutiny; it makes sense that we would see the same thing happening on the internet.

Of course, I think it would be an improvement to allow unimpeded free speech on the internet, television, radio, print, and everything else -- but you can't say that these restrictions are much of a surprise.

Re:Nothing new (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635549)

except on the internet I have to go LOOKING for it. It is not broadcast to me, nor does it interupt my browsing, nor is it limited by airwaves.

Now, Canadates using methods to push there message to me should be limited.

No equality on consumption! (4, Insightful)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635225)

Is it fair that some government officials are being viewed more on YouTube than others or is it simply leveling the playing field for anyone with a message since it costs very little to put a video on YouTube?.

YouTube is not a broadcaster, it doesn't "air" anything. It is a source of goods for consumption. I don't like the idea of governments forcing me to "consume" candidates equally. If I want to watch more videos of one candidate over another, that should be my right.

Broadcast is a content limited resource, which is why those resources are required to be shared evenly among candidates, the internet isn't limited in that way, so forced rationing doesn't make sense. I can't choose what is broadcast on NBC, but I can choose what I watch on YouTube, that's the difference between the two.

Playing it safe (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635601)

In fairness, the law simply isn't ready for YouTube. Given the conservative approach taken with respect to other media (placing strict limits on basically all of a candidate's activities; see this comment [slashdot.org] , for example), I can't really blame the government for this reaction, as ineffective as it may be. The real test will come when they review the law and decide how to deal with sites like YouTube.

Re:No equality on consumption! (2, Insightful)

macro187 (1079859) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635801)

Broadcast is a content limited resource, which is why those resources are required to be shared evenly among candidates, the internet isn't limited in that way, so forced rationing doesn't make sense. I can't choose what is broadcast on NBC, but I can choose what I watch on YouTube, that's the difference between the two.
Your problem is you're being very rational and making complete sense... Japan has a habit of doing neither.

(just try living here...)

Old law needs updating (4, Interesting)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635245)

It seems to me that the law in Japan did not contemplate online video. They should probably update the law since I believe if a transcript of the speech were posted, it would not be in violation.

The law is a good one, in general, it prevents networks sympathetic to a particular candidate to run their speeches 24/7 and deny access to all others. We have similar laws in the US, which prevents Senator Thompson's "Law and Order" episodes from airing air while he is running for President. It also means Al Franken can not continue his radio show while he runs for Senate.

Re:Old law needs updating (2, Insightful)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636199)

The law is a good one, in general, it prevents networks sympathetic to a particular candidate to run their speeches 24/7 and deny access to all others. We have similar laws in the US

Exactly - in the US, networks have to be sympathetic to a particular *two* candidates, and are only allowed to have "third party" candidates arrested at presidential debates.

Uh... (3, Insightful)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635255)

...the Japanese do realize that YouTube isn't the entire Internet, right? What's stopping this video from popping up at other places?

Re:Uh... (2, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635575)

...the Japanese do realize that YouTube isn't the entire Internet, right?

Exactly. They need to be in negotiations with AOL, not YouTube.

Download vs. Broadcast (2, Interesting)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635325)

Over here in Ontario, we have a similar system to presumably support fairness: several days before the election, all candidate signage comes down, all of the related commercials stop airing, and the candidates' phone drones stop calling. Campaign websites (if any) stay up, but there's a difference there-- unless you've been infected with a politically savvy trojan, you're not likely to be randomly exposed to a candidate's website or Youtube archives of their commercials.

The only issue that I could see is if this fellow's supporters are astroturfing in order to expose more people to his Youtube spots, and even the effects of something like that would be debatable.

Re:Download vs. Broadcast (1)

The_REAL_DZA (731082) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635931)

Over here in Ontario...several days before the election, all candidate signage comes down, all of the related commercials stop airing, and the candidates' phone drones stop calling.

 
I wouldn't mind if we adopted that part of your laws myself; here the signage stays up (sometimes) for months after an election (there's one doofus where I work who's STILL driving around with a kerry/edwards bumper sticker on his car!)

Leaving them up. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635391)

I think that Google understands that it needs to not fold to requests like this. If Youtube pulled down videos when requested, even if it is a reasonable request, they would open the floodgates to anybody with a gripe... also, destroying any sort of popularity (or cool factor) Youtube has.

They should pull content when the law requires them to pull content. (And by that, I mean the law of the United States.)

Satisfying everyone (2, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635401)

The only way Youtube can possibly satisfy every set of laws is by turning it into a country-specific site, and removing videos from specific country sites instead of from the site as a whole. I suspect they'll end up doing this eventually, once they have every country yelling at them for a different contradictory subset of videos.

Eccentric and confrontational is an understatement (2, Interesting)

Yumi Saotome (470249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635421)

This is what they're really afraid of [youtube.com] . It would be very funny if he got elected, especially given how 2ch has done stuff like almost getting Masashi Tashiro as Time's 2001 person of the year. [itmedia.co.jp]

He does sound really awesome when you pair him with music from Dragonball Z! [youtube.com]

With English subtitles (1)

Yumi Saotome (470249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635581)

Here [youtube.com]

It levels the field (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635459)

any canadate can upload their message.
Just because you want to say something, does not mean people have to listen.

Tokyo should play fair (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635473)

Everyone knows that no candidate without sufficient money or media backing can make it to any major radio station or tv channel.

things like youtube are needed for leveling the playing field for ANY AND ALL citizens for the first time in WORLD HISTORY.

it was just a fallacious statement that "everyone can run for elections" before. in any country that democratic elections took place, there has been no cases that normal citizens with little income were able to run for important positions and get elected.

this was a pretty little neat trick that ensured the circles who had the money would be the ones ruling the country, and under the pretense of democracy - hey everyone can run for elections. you just wont be able to get heard if you dont have the cash.

internet, with rising connectivity of people and exposure it provides, is being an annoyance for such politician circles, and the media outlets and cartels that backed whichever candidate that would play on their side in the elections and make them get elected.

hence the shithead attack on network neutrality by at&t and their cronies, hence banning of youtube in such countries on political reasons, hence tokyo city's annoyance.

Is Japan's restriction valid? (2, Interesting)

loxosceles (580563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635527)

Japanese election law limits the broadcasting of speeches, which are aired only on public broadcaster NHK.

This is the central issue. It seems to me that they want to avoid allowing demagogues to promote themselves by allowing their speeches to be engrained in voters' minds through repetition. Limiting reproduction of election-related speeches is one way to accomplish that.

I personally am not sure it's a wise choice, but I don't think it's unfair, and I don't think free speech necessarily applies to election-related content. Total censorship is unacceptable, but I'm much less sure about limits of the sort in this case.

Election laws will change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635539)

I guess, politicians should adjust to new reality to change legislation - including election laws.
No government will be able to stop the trend of broadcasting videos from huge variety of sources, the age of controlled, monopolistic broadcasting is over.

Will they ever get it? (2, Insightful)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635541)

It's a never-ending source of wonder and despair to watch as pols and other ruling-classers struggle to adjust to 21st Century basic reality. The Tokyo government's stand is like saying no political speeches should be printed because somebody might read one and not the rest. YouTube, unlike broadcast, is a medium of choice: you actively seek what you want to see/hear instead of soaking up what the providers decide you should see. The reason for fairness provisions in broadcasting is that there's the option for broadcasters to eliminate some voices from being accessible. That option does no exist on YouTube or the Net in general. Unlike TV/radio, nobody can subtract candidate's speeches: they can only add them, so there's no issue of thought control (unless Net neutrality loses out, perhaps).

Is that distinction really so hard to get? Is it scary as hell that the world's "leaders" are pretty much uniformly incapable of doing so?

If it's illegal in Japan it's illegal in Japan (0)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635569)

Google has no beef censoring for China, and helping track down dissidents, so it's absolutely reasonable for Japan to expect them to respect their laws re: political messages.

It's not "levelling the playing field". Quit applying American ideals to other countries. The playing field WAS LEVEL, until YouTube entered the picture. Everyone got their alotted portion of media face-time.

This may be because they don't want Hillaries, Dubyas and Gores buying their way to the top with their 50 zillion dollar war-chests.

Agree or disagree, it's their system, and its nobodies business but Japans.

If you dont believe the US military has the right to interfere in Iraq's politics, what makes you think Google would have the right to interfere in Japans?

Offtopic: has anyone noticed that the turing-test you have to pass to post something has more and more sexually suggestive and homosexual terms? I just had to type "felch" to get this message online. Weird.

Re:If it's illegal in Japan it's illegal in Japan (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635767)

It's not "levelling the playing field". Quit applying American ideals to other countries. The playing field WAS LEVEL, until YouTube entered the picture. Everyone got their alotted portion of media face-time.


      There's a difference. A TV or radio commercial is something that a party/candidate pays for. Depending on the wealth of the party/candidate, they could easily out-advertise their political competition. The listener/viewer has no choice but to listen to or watch these ads, either. The alternative is switching the media off during election time.

      But video on YouTube is passive. Technically it doesn't cost anything. You won't get to see it unless you actively look for it and click "play". The only thing that determines its popularity is the number of times it is viewed. Political affiliation and the wealth of the publisher do not affect the ranking of the video.

      What happens if someone tapes a political commercial and plays it back for his guests because he likes it? Should it be illegal to record commercials? Ban video recorders?

      What if a political candidate has a website that receives many more hits than all the other candidates? Should websites be banned?

      How about polls? Should polls be illegal if they favor one party/candidate over another?

      Come on, there's a HUGE difference between paid advertising and some video on YouTube. This is just bickering from the rest of the candidates because of jealousy - so they try to manipulate the system to block this kind of stuff from YouTube instead of figuring out how use this new media to their advantage.

      Congratulations for the Anti-American post, however. I missed the "Microsoft Sucks" reference, however. Surely this is all Microsoft's fault. /sacrasm

Re:If it's illegal in Japan it's illegal in Japan (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636475)

Come on, there's a HUGE difference between paid advertising and some video on YouTube.

Umm, some videos on YouTube are paid advertisements. Someone paid to create them. People with more money can create more of them and with better production values and with more celebrity endorsements or whatever. Access to YouTube for political statements still favors the wealthiest. A person with sufficient wealth can probably still out advertise and more importantly out smear their opponent.

That said, YouTube exists and there is not a lot that can be done about that. Trying to block it will not work and these people need to adjust to the realities of the internet era. The US limits spending on political advertisements too, and it too does not work. The people smearing Kerry over his service in Vietnam spent millions in advertising that was technically not counted as from the Republican party, and lo and behold just the other day Bush appointed the guy who paid for them to an ambassadorship to Belgium. I'm sure it was because he was the most qualified person for the job and not because this is a way of paying him, aren't you?

Re:If it's illegal in Japan it's illegal in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635909)

and you should quit applying other countries ideals on us. it works both ways

Re:felching (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635967)

I have no idea why you'd even get prompted like that. Must be just you.

I think it's quite interesting (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635607)

YouTube is, basically, the voice of the people. In and of itself, YouTube has no political agenda. It carries video without discrimination. They themselves do not post anything. I think it's interesting to watch how many corporations and governments have "demanded" things, blocked, banned, and legally threatened YouTube. The desire to shut people up when you are criticized or poked fun at is overwhelming. But when will they realize that the internet cannot be silenced? YouTube merely makes sharing such video incredibly easy. However the sentiment (and the sharing) would happen even if it wasn't for this service.

Implications for the next elections over here (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635649)

It's really going to be interesting in '08. Everyone and their dog are going to be producing political videos. If you think the Swift Boat twinks were bad, wait until you see what they come up with on the internet. A place they can dispense with all pretense of decorum and spew whatever sewage floats to the surface of the demented minds that will say or do anything to win.

This opens up whole new vistas in trash politics.

Of course, it also opens up the process to those lacking the ability to raise 25 million a quarter for their presidential campaigns. A silver lining providing a faint glimmer of hope for the American political process.

Re:Implications for the next elections over here (1)

loxosceles (580563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636215)

I'm not that optimistic about the silver lining. Our plurality voting system ensures a 2-party-dominated system*, except for very occasional shake-ups. Aberrations like the Ventura victory (at a state level) or the Perot catastrophe (at the federal level) are due to idealistic grassroots efforts that ignore, or in rare cases can overcome, the mathematical reality of the voting system. Look at most of the "independent" reps and senators in the Federal government. They didn't start as independents. They started in a major party, gained reputation, and voters got attached to them; only then could they survive as independents.

Support Range Voting [rangevoting.org] .

* see, for instance, Downs' An Economic Theory of Democracy, chapter 8.

What are they worried about? (2, Informative)

panda (10044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635669)

If the subtitles in this version of his speech [youtube.com] are correct, then what are they worried about? The majority won't vote for him, and the minority won't get him elected.

If he really wants to destroy the government, then maybe they should do what they always do with violent rebels...

Anyway, I don't really understand Japanese, so I can't be sure of the subtitles.

I'll bite (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635735)

I live in Tokyo, and know Koichi Toyama, the candidate in question, so I'll bite...

First and foremost, sure, it's illegal by Japanese law. But where does YouTube reside again? There has been little thought regarding the internet and "new media" when in comes to elections and politics in Japan. So little, that it's becoming absurd.

The original election laws were put in place to put an economical cap on elections, and thus leveling the field. Each candidate for the Tokyo metropolitan mayor election needs to pay 3 million yen up front. If they get a certain percentage of votes, the money is returned. (The exact numbers escape me at the moment, but I think it was something along the lines of 10 to 15%.) If they don't, they are "extremist fringes" which shouldn't have ran in the first place. Whether you agree with this concept or not is up to you, but it does have it's advantages. Idiots can still run for office, but they'll waste the money. To be honest, Koichi Toyama fits into the "idiot" profile, but he knew well that the money spent would gather attention, for a fraction of the price of a TV commercial aired in Tokyo. I say he got a bargain. (In his speach, he explicitly states that "If I get elected, the majority will shit their pants. If I get elected, _I_ will shit my pants.")

At least for the Tokyo elections, election posters can only be posted on official boards designated by the election committee. And those posters are paid for through tax dollars (well, yen...). So all candidates get the same exposure, and same number of posters. There is a limit to the number of campaign cars with loud speakers that can roam the streets. There are numerous limits, and I think some of these limits could be imported back to the U.S. for a genuinely level field when it comes to elections. (I'm an ex-pat, by the way.)

That said, the "limit" is so extreme, that candidates are not allowed to pass out flyers of any kind. They are not allowed to post to public areas (including the internet) addressing their political agenda. They cannot mail/e-mail anyone. The best they can do is call their constituents, but even then, they're not allowed to discuss what their political agenda is.

So, how do you determine which candidate to vote for? Well... appearance. Name. Hopefully you heard their speach infront of some train station. Or watched TV. (Contrary to the summary, NHK is not the only broadcaster that broadcasts these speaches. As long as each candidate gets a chance, with the same length and un-edited video, anyone broadcaster can broadcast it.)

Up until now, you really couldn't tell what the candidate was REALLY thinking. Just recently, a candidate from Miyazaki had an idea though. During the election race, homepages cannot be updated. So, he put up his political agenda BEFORE the race started, and left it up. And now, FINALLY, from this election, candidates are allowed to hand out flyers. Again, these flyers are paid for through tax money. Level field.

However, this still doesn't address the fact that YouTube and other CGM-ish media is the exact kind of media that will level the playing grounds in a way that doesn't require economic powers, which the "limits" were placed in for in the first place.

I say let YouTube rule, do no evil, and let this serve as a kick in the ass to the Japanese government as a reminder that this is the 21st century, and getting the "message" out in one way or another is a good thing.

That said, I recently commented on mixi (a Japanese SNS) that all they need to do to get the videos down is to have NHK issue a DMCA take down notice. NHK owns the copyrights. They can issue a DMCA take down notice. (However much you despise that.) And, as far as I can tell, YouTube will comply.

I have a hunch that NHK already knows this, and has forfeited copyrights, or else is playing dumb on purpose. Likewise, the election committee probably knows damn well too. Let's see if this will change the laws any time soon. I for one hope it does.

Block Youtube but lose the goddam sound trucks! (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635737)

Maybe the current Mayor of Tokyo, Ishihara is afraid some of his racist rantings will be seen outside Japan.

Anyway, I would gladly exchange being unable to see Japanese political speeches online if they would stop using those bloody election sound trucks [youtube.com] .

What they are saying... (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635873)

If you are wondering what they are yelling from the trucks it's basically limited to "This is Hiromi Yoshida, We hope we can count on you in the upcoming election, Thank you very much."

That's just a worker doing the actual announcement, the politician himself is probably just sitting in the van waving his white-gloved hand. The white glove is supposed to symbolize honesty but Mr. Yoshida has had his own scandals [findarticles.com] .

Protecting political speech.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635753)

..is the number one reason we bother to have free speech. (In America, at least.) Any time you restrict political speech, you undermine the entire "right." Without free political speech, none of it can be defended.

Bring them in, don't shut them out (1)

certron (57841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635941)

Instead of trying to block YouTube for providing a very low barrier to entry, maybe someone should set up a site like http://expertvoter.org/ [expertvoter.org] to show just how easy it is for a candidate to put out a message and have it be considered on equal footing as others.

If it is so easy, then shouldn't everyone be able to take part?

Where does it end? (2, Insightful)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635949)

Seriously! The next thing, you know, we'll have certain American Presidential candidates [hillaryclinton.com] asking Google to remove various unfavorable videos about them [youtube.com] from Youtube.

Of course, if Google is smart, they'll see this as an opportunity to seriously change the mechanics of elections,... candidates with less money can create a campaign video and upload it to Youtube, which still stands a decent chance of being viewed by a lot of people; versus the candidates with big bucks that can afford to spend ungodly amounts of money be extorted on advertisements on network television. The good news, too, is that Youtube's "viewership" is increasing, quite substantially, especially among the younger crowds. Network television's viewership is really not doing anything; either remaining stagnant, or possibly decreasing, due to all the crap that the network executives idiots keep broadcasting these days.

If there ever was a time when Google's, "Don't be evil," policy applied, I'd say this is it,. . .

push vs pull (1)

rumli (1066212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636021)

I did not read TFA, but common sense tells me that limiting broadcast of speeches is intended to limit the amount of push-based advertising. YouTube media is a pull-based model, so it should not be subject to the same logic and laws.

Unbelievably LOCAL (1)

pfortuny (857713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636023)

If you cannot cope with information, do not try to.

That is what they should think: local elections cannot
be legislated UNIVERSALLY. And... well, anyone with
a camera and an internet connection can do it...

to be precise... (0, Troll)

justthisdude (779510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636087)

The majority of people reading this comment are my Sworn Enemies!

Feel free to Mod me down. Nothing is accomplished through modding!

I have one thing to say just in case...

If I am modded up,

they will be terrified.

I myself will be terrified.

happy what? (1)

cez (539085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636513)

of course they don't want videos of the candidates' massages on youtube...I can't even imagine watching the happy finish let alone the whole thing!

...oh wait messages...yeah thats silly, keep those up!
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