Youtube UK in Deadlock with Performing Rights Society for Music
Youtube seem to have hit a deadlock with the Performing Rights Society for Music in the United Kingdom with the result that they are being forced to remove videos for artists covered under the Society.
“We value the creativity of musicians and song writers and have worked hard with rights-holders to generate significant online revenue for them and to respect copyright,” said parent company Google in a statement.
“But PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our license than before. The costs are simply prohibitive for us – under PRS’s proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback.”
This means that groups such as EMI, Universal, Warner and Sony BMG will all have artists assigned to them removed for UK viewers.
What they say
According to the report in the Guardian Newspaper :
Patrick Walker, YouTube’s director of video partnerships, said he couldn’t give a figure for the proportion of site traffic generated by music videos, but that music videos are some of the most popular content on the site and generate a lot of activity including remixes and on music blogs.
“This is about long-term viability,” he said. “If the next Arctic Monkeys is going to surface we need to get this to work. It’s in the interest of the music industry – we’re not just doing this for us. The record industry needs a new business models so it’s kind of a shame that this has happened. But sometimes you have to step back to step forwards.”
even though this has been rebutted by Steve Porter of the PRS:
“We were shocked and disappointed to receive a call late this afternoon informing us of Google’s drastic action,” said PRS chief executive Steve Porter. “… which we believe only punishes British consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent.”
Clearly pre-empting the fury of YouTube users, PRS emphasised that it did not ask YouTube to remove the videos and “urges them to reconsider their decision as a matter of urgency”.
But even if PRS is completely squeaky clean in this episode, it comes soon after the closing days of the Pirate Bay trial and for web-savvy consumers it will confirm the gulf between the traditional music industry and the technology they love.
It also follows some bad press for PRS over licence chasing; PRS has allegedly been pestering small businesses demanding licences if, for example, they have more than two staff and listen to the radio.
So where does that leave the artists and the UK viewer YouTube user. Up the creek it seems. It amazes me the short sightedness of some groups who fail to realise the significance of technology in their industries today and the potential resulting backlash from the public and artists alike.
If this isnt rectified quickly it could mean serious implications for Youtube UK and artisits as other mediums are imployed to view their preferred content.
Watching with interest… (or not watching with interest if it happens to be a music video :P)