Thursday, September 3, 2009

YouTube, PRS Return Music Videos to UK Viewers

Back in March, YouTube blocked tens of thousands of music videos to UK visitors after they failed to reach an agreement with PRS for Music, a British songwriters' group. Though some official music videos and fan videos featuring music in question continued to thrive, YouTube did what it could to block them from UK viewers while the two groups worked to reach a settlement.

YouTube has since paid PRS for Music an undisclosed sum backdated to January of 2009 and lasting through 2012. Many of the songwriters involved makes less than $10k US, according to a spokesperson for the group, and residuals are a big part of their income. The new agreement includes music videos, as well as the songs themselves (which are often used in user-generated videos, as well as TV shows, et.al.). It also covers new content featuring the materials in question.

Originally, PRS for Music was "outraged" by YouTube's decision to remove the content while negotiations continued, but YouTube said the group had raised its price by "many, many factors." The MPA (Music Publishers' Association) sided with PRS for Music against Google - just like many companies and corporations are being forced to do these days - and urged the monopoly to reconsider their actions. The music associations referred to YouTube's removal of the videos as "punishment." The correct word is "extortion." The situation also prompted many in the industries, as well as fans, to once again call upon music companies, corporations, and artists to embrace new technology instead of treating it as a threat.

The blocked content will start "reappearing" over the next several days.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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