YouTube Finds Rough Going Acquiring Copyright Permissions
November 3, 2006 at 6:26 AM (PT)
The WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that executives at YOUTUBE are having a difficult time acquiring permission to keep music videos and other copyrighted content online. The company is negotiating licensing agreements with TV and music companies, such as VIVENDI's UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP and others.
However, most of YOUTUBE's agreements with record labels don't address royalties for music publishers, who control the copyrights to the words and music underlying the recordings. YOUTUBE or its partners must locate parties ranging from studios to actors, and from music composers to the owners of venues, and get them to sign off. Where they don't succeed, YOUTUBE risks being hit with lawsuits or having to take popular content down.
"It's such a mess because the entertainment companies have all of these valuable assets that are just locked up with so many people who need to sign off on them," says YOUTUBE CEO CHAD HURLEY. "I don't know what it requires, if the government needs to be involved."