Gaga Given The SMAP-down

Lady Gaga may have charmed the Japanese citizenry during her recent sojourn to the archipelago but that doesn’t cut it with the authorities.

The singer’s official YouTube account was suspended July 14 after she posted a video of her appearance on the Japanese TV variety show, “SMAP X SMAP,” which is hosted by aging boy band SMAP.

The clip included a 10-minute performance in which Lady Gaga sang a medley of songs from her Born This Way album with the members of SMAP joining her backup dancers and seemingly singing along.

The request to take the video down was made by the Japanese copyright watchdog company Media Interactive Inc.

The company claimed that Gaga had failed to secure the digital rights for the video even though she owns the rights to the songs themselves. What’s particularly notable is that Gaga’s entire YouTube account was taken down as a result, not just the contested clip.
The account has since been restored.

The day before, when the sequence was aired on Japanese TV, Gaga tweeted to her followers, “My performance + coooking show appearance on SMAP SMAP is airing now in Japan!”

At first, many in the media thought that SMAP’s production company, Johnny’s and Associates, had the video taken down.
Johnny’s is infamous for its tight reins on its clients’ portrait rights.

Even movie distributors who deal in films that feature Johnny’s performers in lead roles usually aren’t allowed to distribute stills featuring the actors to the press.

Nevertheless, copyrights are strictly monitored in Japan, especially for such high-profile artists.