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Explaining the Terms of Use on Nico Nico Douga that YouTubers Should Be Aware Of


Explaining the Terms of Use on Nico Nico Douga that YouTubers Should Be Aware Of

Niconico Video is a video streaming service provided by Dwango Co., Ltd. As of the end of December 2021, it is one of the largest video posting sites in Japan, boasting 1.43 million premium members, 89.03 million active members, and 10,180 Niconico channels. Therefore, there may be cases where YouTubers post videos on Niconico Video.

In this article, we will explain the terms of use that YouTubers should be aware of when using Niconico Video.

What is Niconico Video?

Niconico Video is one of the largest video sharing websites in Japan, which started its service in 2006. The operating company is Dwango Co., Ltd., which entered into a business integration contract with KADOKAWA Corporation in 2014. They also provide a service called “Niconico Live Broadcast”, which delivers programs like a television station.

Niconico Video is personalityized by its unique feature where user comments are displayed flowing from right to left on the screen, similar to a teleprompter. In addition to this comment feature, there are many other functions for users and video posters to interact with each other. Given the large number of users, it can be said that there are benefits for YouTubers to post videos on Niconico Video as well.

Points to Note When YouTubers Post on Nico Nico Douga

So, what should YouTubers be aware of when posting videos on Nico Nico Douga?

Prohibition of Unauthorized Broadcasting

Article 5 of the Nico Nico Douga Terms of Use, known as the “Nico Nico Terms,” lists the following as one of the prohibited actions. If a violation of the terms of use is confirmed, the operating company will take appropriate measures, such as deleting accounts or posts.

Acts listed in Articles 3 and 4 of the Nico Nico Activity Guidelines or acts equivalent to these (including acts carried out through means other than posting comments or videos)

Nico Nico Terms[ja]

Article 3 of the Nico Nico Activity Guidelines states:


Content that infringes on the honor, social credit, reputation, or privacy of others

Content that infringes on others’ basic human rights, intellectual property rights such as copyright, and other rights

Nico Nico Activity Guidelines[ja]

It is stated that content of this nature may be deleted at Nico Nico’s discretion.

Therefore, if you post a video without the copyright holder’s permission, you may face deletion of the video or your account. In addition, such posts not only violate the terms of use of Nico Nico Douga, but also infringe on copyright, so you may be subject to imprisonment or a fine.

In 2011 (Heisei 23), a man was arrested on suspicion of violating the Copyright Act (infringement of the right of public transmission) for posting movies such as “Salt” on Nico Nico Douga without permission. Do not post movies without permission.

For legal measures when the “Fast Movie” infringing on copyright is posted on YouTube, please refer to the following article for a detailed explanation.[ja]

About Posting “Singing” and “Playing” Videos

Nico Nico Douga is popular for videos where users sing or play songs, such as “I tried singing” and “I tried playing.” Is it a violation of the Nico Nico Douga Terms of Use to post “I tried singing” and “I tried playing” videos of songs for which you do not hold the copyright?

Nico Nico Douga has received permission from JASRAC and NexTone, Inc., so it is possible to post songs managed by JASRAC and NexTone.

Reference: Nico Nico “Guidelines for the Use of Musical Works and Musical Originals”[ja]

If you are posting a video using a CD or other sound source as it is, you need to check in advance whether it is a musical original that the licensor of the musical original permits. Check in advance with the “Licensed Original Search System.” If it is a licensed original, it is possible to post a video using the song, but there are some prohibitions such as prohibiting settings that can be downloaded, so caution is required.

Reference: Nico Nico “Licensed Song Search”[ja]

Even if it is a licensed original, it may be deleted if it is deemed to be a video for the purpose of listening to music. Note that it is prohibited to post videos on Nico Nico Douga that use all or part of a sound source without the permission of the rights holder, even if it is not a licensed original.

For more detailed explanations about copyright and other issues related to posting “I tried singing” videos, please refer to the following article.[ja]


While Niconico Video can be an attractive service for YouTubers, there are points to be careful about in relation to terms of use and copyright. Depending on the content of the videos you post and your activities, there may be other points to note as well. If you are a YouTuber considering posting on Niconico Video, we recommend consulting with a lawyer who is well-versed in YouTube-related legal matters in advance.

Introduction to Our Firm’s Measures

Monolith Law Office is a legal office with high expertise in both IT, particularly the Internet, and law. Recently, among YouTubers and VTubers, the need for legal checks such as portrait rights, copyright, and advertising regulations has been rapidly increasing in channel operations. Furthermore, it is essential to thoroughly prepare in advance for issues related to contracts. Please refer to the following article for more details.

Managing Attorney: Toki Kawase

The Editor in Chief: Managing Attorney: Toki Kawase

An expert in IT-related legal affairs in Japan who established MONOLITH LAW OFFICE and serves as its managing attorney. Formerly an IT engineer, he has been involved in the management of IT companies. Served as legal counsel to more than 100 companies, ranging from top-tier organizations to seed-stage Startups.

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