RIJA Sues Video Downloader

Thirty-one record labels belonging to the Recording Industry Association of Japan have filed a copyright infringement suit in Tokyo against MusicGate Inc., which allows Internet users to download videos that stream on YouTube.

MusicGate’s Tubefire website attracts about 2.2 million viewers per month.

According to the RIAJ, these viewers download a massive amount of music content, damaging Japan’s music industry.
Tubefire was launched in 2007.

The lawsuit marks the first time in Japan that a music download site has been taken to court.

The amount of damages the suit demands is 230 million yen ($3 million), based on how much money the plaintiffs believe they have lost thanks to the website.

Viewers can take videos available on YouTube and convert them into downloadable files via Tubefire. No special software is needed.

Such a service violates Japan copyright law by allowing for the replication and distribution of data without the consent of rights holders.
Google, which operates YouTube, does not allow videos posted on the site to be downloaded.