YouTube silences music videos

YouTube silences music videos

The PRS is demanding too much, says Google - and without a licence in place, the company has removed access to music videos if you're visiting from the UK.

Music videos on YouTube may be a thing of the past, thanks to a disagreement between site owner Google and the Performing Rights Society.

According to CNet, the Google-owned video sharing site is to remove access to streaming music videos for UK visitors after negotiations with the PRS – which collects licensing fees for 'performances' of copyrighted music – collapsed.

A statement prepared by YouTube said that the company's “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.” Blaming the PRS for “prohibitive licensing fees and lack of transparency,” YouTube has made the tough decision to block access to all music videos if your connection is in the UK.

The PRS, meanwhile, sees things slightly differently: claiming that it is “outraged on behalf of consumers and songwriters that Google has chosen to close down access to music videos on YouTube in the UK,” the rights organisation has defended its licensing fees – and points out that the company is asking “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” which nets Google a great amount of advertising revenue.

This isn't the first time the PRS has been blamed for causing a blackout for UK-based web surfers: early last year the web-based music streaming service Pandora blocked UK users from using its service, citing fees demanded by UK rights organisations which were “far too high to allow ad supported radio to operate.

It's not just web-based services that feel the wrath of the PRS, either: staff at a Lancashire Police station were targetted by the group for playing their radio too loud, which the PRS claimed constituted a public performance and thus required a licence.

Do you think the PRS should cut services like YouTube and Pandora some slack, or is the group simply doing its duty to its starving musician members? Will you be finding ways around the blockade to get your daily dose of YouTube music video goodness? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Arkanrais 10th March 2009, 11:31 Quote
Is this the year of the corporate goons taking battle with the whole internets, or am I just imagining things?
UrbanMarine 10th March 2009, 11:39 Quote
Wasn't it stupidity and greed that put the economy in the ******* in the first place?
Spiny 10th March 2009, 12:13 Quote
Pious Rank Stupidity
V3ctor 10th March 2009, 12:26 Quote
Well... better to start other "tube", piratube (like piratebay)

Why the hell we can't see videoclips? Are we downloading? Do we keep the file in the HDD? That's stupid...

Better shut off the Internet, and let us all comeback to the caves...

Censure ship is bad...

I'm not in the UK, but if this catches on, we'll be all in deep ****
quack 10th March 2009, 13:15 Quote
Don't blame Google, screw PRS.
UrbanMarine 10th March 2009, 13:43 Quote
lol posted on wrong topic
quack 10th March 2009, 13:51 Quote
^ WTF?
Skutbag 10th March 2009, 13:53 Quote
The commercial value of any intellectual property has always been a stab in the dark.

The PRS currently distributes money by essentially guessing how much a song has been played. Not only is it possible to carry this system over the web, it's possible to get even more accurate when it comes to monitoring plays.

Digging their heels in and refusing to play ball just converts more people to piracy. If they ever get a new system in place it'll be too little too late.

What can I say? Just make sure you genuinely support the acts that have made your life better; the ones who really want to make a living from selling Coke better start learning how to fix vending machines.
Delphium 10th March 2009, 13:57 Quote
Originally Posted by quack
Don't blame Google, screw PRS.


Google require by law a PRS license to display the content in the UK, this costs massive amounts of money already.
An example would be at work (where there is currently about 6000 employees) we display the BBC News on LCD's located in the canteen area, however to do this, it costs the company something around £20,000-30,000 a year.

Without a valid license, Google can not legally continue to display the videos, so Google either stump up to the extortionate prices demanded by the PRS per video... so much so that if google did agree to the deal with the PRS then Google would be making a LOSS every time a video is watched, OR they discontinue to show the content in the UK.

As such Google have blocked the videos from the UK, however in doing so the head of the PRS Steve Porter, has then been in touch to try make google reverse its decision on blocking the content.....

I guess the PRS realize that they rather have SOME income than none at all.
serial_ 10th March 2009, 15:10 Quote
greedy *******s.


On a side note, you'd think they'd look at the opportunity to do business with the big G, but instead they gave the bigger, meaner kid on the block an ultimatum, and consequently got knocked the **** out.
pendragon 10th March 2009, 17:20 Quote
wow that sucks.. feel bad for you folks 'across the pond' :-/ .. hope they pull their collective heads out of their a$$es
overdosedelusion 10th March 2009, 18:05 Quote
It doesn't seem to affect mirrors to videos from US based sites :D
DXR_13KE 10th March 2009, 18:27 Quote
they pissed off a giant... i am getting popcorn!!!
Trefarm 10th March 2009, 18:39 Quote
Plenty of negative stories about PRS around, apparently they can now keep a percentage of the fees they collect, hence the rapacious attitude.
My favourite would suing a Playschool for showing the kiddies DVD's... obviously don't have a PR dept.
malcolm 10th March 2009, 20:10 Quote
Stab them right between the eyes... Google could essentially make them 'cease to exist' to most of the world.
logan'srun 10th March 2009, 20:20 Quote
and yet another stone cast on the grave of music and music companies
boggsi 10th March 2009, 22:47 Quote
Down with PRS! Let's all send them angry emails.
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