Asia Pacific Blog
Google and the Internet from .in to .au
Making creativity pay in Asia
Monday, December 23, 2013
As you watch
, our annual roundup of the videos, channels and moments that shaped our year, you may notice plenty of Asian faces. Some 80 percent of YouTube’s views now occur outside the U.S. Asia, more than ever before, is helping fuel that demand.
’s 1.2 billion YouTube hits have made him the most famous Asian on YouTube, many others have also gone online to boost their career and widen their viewership base. A few years ago,
started beatboxing out of his apartment in Japan; his talent has now attracted more than 1 million subscribers to his channel. His earnings from YouTube alone allowed him to quit his day job at a supermarket and focus on creating more content, even collaborating with Aerosmith at the Social Star Awards in Singapore. This past July, he published a book titled “My Work is YouTube”.
In 2009, HIKAKIN was beatboxing Daft Punk covers out of his apartment. Three years later, he was on stage with Aerosmith.
HIKAKIN’s story is being repeated across Asia as the Internet gives creators new ways to be discovered and make a living from their fame. A
by Oliver & Ohlbaum showed that the Internet is powering the rise of exciting new voic
es and independent artists. The number of independent artists and small businesses has increased as
they have the capability to self-publish and self-promote.
Yet Asia’s copyright laws have moved more slowly than its online creators. Many Asian countries’ laws are far more rigid than those in the United States, preventing artists from capitalizing on the Internet’s new revenue streams. For example, most countries’ copyright laws do not contain clauses permitting
the fair use of content
, which gives some exceptions that allows people to use copyrighted material and allows you to determine whether an act is infringement in a case-by-case basis. Asia’s copyright laws also don’t make exceptions for some activities that elsewhere don’t trigger copyright concerns. Most Asian countries don’t let people use content for parodies or works of satire, a rich outlet of creativity for online creators and a common exemption in other countries.
Even more worryingly, many APAC countries are increasingly considering enforcing copyright with extreme measures like site blocking. This can lead to overzealous over-blocking; independent creators and small businesses lack the resources or expertise to file counter arguments and rebuttals even against claims that are obviously wrong. A much better approach would be to focus on pirates’ revenue streams and, for instance, removing them from advertising networks. That balances the needs of copyright holders, the need to punish pirates and the imperative to support new creators.
As we celebrate a great year with our YouTube creators, we also hope governments realize that artists can truly benefit from the web. Effective copyright frameworks that adapt to today’s fast moving technology will allow more creativity to flourish and let local talents go global.
Reirui Ri, Copyright Policy Lead, Google Asia Pacific
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