YouTube: And the beat no longer goes on — in the UK
It’s Day 2 of YouTube versus PRS For Music, the British organization that collects royalties for songwriters and publishers whenever songs are broadcast over the air and the Web or performed in public venues .
As you may know by now, YouTube started blocking UK visitors from watching professional music videos and users’ videos that feature licensed music. The reason, as usual, is each side said the other guys are being unreasonable in their fee negotiations. YouTube says PRS wants many times more than a previous deal, while PRS says YouTube actually wants to pay less than they currently pay.
There was some signs of progress today when PRS put out a statement:
Talks between PRS for Music and Google took place today to discuss the licensing of YouTube following Google’s sudden decision to block premium video content on the service in the UK.
The meeting was positive. We are committed to ensuring our 60,000 songwriter and composers members receive a fair deal and that UK consumers continue to enjoy music videos on YouTube.
PRS said both sides are due to meet again in the next few days.
And like in the US and every other country on the planet, Brits will miss their YouTube music, so much so that the UK’s Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting Lord Carter commented on the row to a House of Commons business committee, according to the BBC.
The headline of the same BBC story might lead readers to think online radio service Last.fm was also about to fall out with the PRS: “Last.FM joins Google’s rights row”. But the story in fact quotes Last.fm founder Martin Stiksel saying while his company has an agreement with PRS, the licenses are getting expensive:
It is a fundamental problem that we have been facing in that online music licensing is getting more complicated and more expensive.
(Photo: Michael Jackson’s Thriller performance by prison inmates in the Philippines, which was made popular on YouTube/REUTERS)