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This article was published on March 4, 2008


    As the world opens up, Mixi (Japan’s biggest SNS) starts a content ownership lockdown

    As the world opens up, Mixi (Japan’s biggest SNS) starts a content ownership lockdown
    Mike Sheetal
    Story by

    Mike Sheetal

    Mike Sheetal is Founder/Director of UltraSuperNew Inc., a Tokyo based interactive creative agency. Originally from Australia, he has been li Mike Sheetal is Founder/Director of UltraSuperNew Inc., a Tokyo based interactive creative agency. Originally from Australia, he has been living and working in Japan since 2002 and working in digital media since 1994. He co-organises Tokyo2point0, an interactive industry networking event, and blogs at mikesheetal.com.

    Mixi, Japan’s biggest SNS and blog, has just announced that starting 1st of April they will amend the terms of use (Japanese only) to give Mixi complete ownership and ultimate control over user generated content.

    mixiThis is big News in Japan with stories on all the biggest Japanese news sites (eg. Yahoo, Livedoor). This may be a game changer in several ways for SNS in Japan.

    First we will find out if Japanese users really value the sanctity of their data. History tells us that it is actually not very high on the list of concerns when big companies are involved, but very high when you are dealing with small companies. Mixi being about as big as they come in the SNS world may not cause much of a stir, but if this hits the press enough, they may be in for a backlash and a change of priorities from the users.

    Second is what Mixi will do with their new found data dictatorship. Could they start using your friend’s images to advertise to you, integrate advertising into user generated content just as Facebook tried to and received a lot of backlash? Could it be just a first step into censorship as they gear up for a push into China?

    I will be keeping an eye on how this shapes up… when someone the size of Mixi makes a move like this it is bound to shape the way all the other players do business.