YouTube Pulls Music Vid Plug In U.K.
March 10, 2009 at 5:55 AM (PT)
GOOGLE-owned video-sharing site YOUTUBE is silencing music videos in the U.K. after negotiations with the country's Performing Right Society (PRS for Music), which collects licensing fees for artists and labels, failed, reports CNET.COM.
"Our previous license from PRS for Music has expired, and we've been unable so far to come to an agreement to renew it on terms that are economically sustainable for us," a statement from YOUTUBE read. "There are two obstacles in these negotiations: prohibitive licensing fees and lack of transparency. We value the creativity of musicians and songwriters and have worked hard with rights-holders to generate significant online revenue for them and to respect copyright. But PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our license than before."
The YOUTUBE statement continued: "The costs are simply prohibitive for us -- under PRS' 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 license 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."
But a statement from PRS for Music claimed that GOOGLE doesn't want to pay enough for licensing fees.
"PRS for Music is outraged on behalf of consumers and songwriters that GOOGLE has chosen to close down access to music videos on YOUTUBE in the U.K.," read a statement from the industry group, which noted that GOOGLE rakes in billions of dollars in revenue. "GOOGLE has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YOUTUBE viewing."