Japan's public broadcasting company, NHK, should make its library of more than half a million TV programmes available on the internet, an official advisory committee has recommended.
However, the panel advising the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said that NHK should be allowed to charge for the programmes, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday.
The public broadcaster only has about 6,000 TV programmes online, and is not allowed to earn more than $10m a year from the internet.
The committee criticised these restrictions, insisting that the 550,000 programmes produced by the publicly owned company are cultural assets that should be easily accessible by the public.
Although the majority of NHK's output is in Japanese, the broadcaster produces a large amount of English language programming for its NHK World TV station, which is broadcast via satellite and carried on local cable networks worldwide.
Japan's copyright laws can be amended to streamline internet access to TV programming, the advisers suggested.
The panel also said that the number of channels operated by the giant broadcaster, which is also Japan's oldest, should be reduced.
They hope this will give other TV operators a boost when NHK begins to compete with them more strongly by offering its vast collection of content online.
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