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Music Technology

YouTube starts blocking music videos in the UK over PRS dispute

From the official blog:

PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our licence than before. The costs are simply prohibitive for us – under PRS’s proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback. In addition, PRS is unwilling to tell us what songs are included in the licence they can provide so that we can identify those works on YouTube – that’s like asking a consumer to buy a blank CD without knowing what musicians are on it.

We’re still working with PRS for Music in an effort to reach mutually acceptable terms for a new licence, but until we do so we will be blocking premium music videos in the UK that have been supplied or claimed by record labels.

6 replies on “YouTube starts blocking music videos in the UK over PRS dispute”

Two sides to every story, of course. According to the Beeb, PRS says Google was demanding to pay a fraction of what it’s been paying so far.

Excellent PR move by Google though.

So what does “premium” mean – that all music videos that were on major labels are going, or just those from the latest and most lucrative chart artists?

Because if I lose stuff like this, I’ll go catatonic.

Google’s ‘first strike’ style of negotiation is brilliant, and such a tactical nuclear approach will probably be debilitating to the PRS.

But the PRS/UK is, I suspect, a blind. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google’s strategy is to bludgeon the PRS in to submission and then drive a wedge between ASCAP and BMI in the US.

Divide and conquer anyone?

Heather, from what I’ve seen they mean content either submitted by or claimed by PRS members. So mainly major label content, but not exclusively. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with unauthorised uploads, because of course there are plenty of those.

There is something strangely brilliant about that clip you’ve linked :)

Brennig, I think you’re right. Google plays hardball, and the nuclear option’s depriving labels of a really powerful promo tool – especially since it’s started overlaying “buy this track” ads on clips. It does seem as if it’s saying “do it our way, or good luck with the pirates”, and the way it’s done it makes the PRS look like evil, grasping, The Man types against the geeky Google lot. That’s the geeky, destroy everything and leave the only revenue in the hands of Google lot. No doubt more on this will come out overnight. It’s fascinating.

This is very understandable, however, what will then become of the unauthorised music videos or even jus home videos which contain the background music of a registered PRS member? and what will happen to Vimeo and Myspace TV.

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