Feeds

YouTube blocks music videos in UK

Content yanksploitation against royalty collectors

Top three mobile application threats

YouTube is blocking most of its music videos from UK viewers after negotiations with British royalty collectors turned sour.

The Performing Rights Society (PRS) for Music, a group representing artists and publishers, and YouTube both blame each other entirely for the impasse, of course.

Patrick Walker, YouTube's top pact-maker in Europe said in a blog post today that the site will block all "premium" music videos in the UK until it can strike up a new contract with PRS that is "economically sustainable."

"But PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our license than before," he wrote. "The costs are simply prohibitive for us - under PRS's proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback."

He also claims PRS is unwilling to even tell the video streaming site what songs are included in the licensing renewal being negotiated. Walker claims the deal is "like asking a consumer to buy an unmarked CD without knowing what musicians are on it."

PRS appears to have been taken off guard by YouTube's sudden yanking of content. Shortly after the site said it's pulling UK music videos, PRS chief Steve Porter announced he was "shocked and disappointed" to receive a call late in the afternoon informing him of YouTube's drastic action.

The music group claims YouTube wants 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."

PRS said YouTube's decision to block music videos in the UK was done in the middle of licensing negotiations, and urged the site to reconsider "as a matter of urgency." As a jab — apparently to show that YouTube should have plenty of money to spend on fees — PRS noted the site's parent company Google made $5.7bn in revenues in the last quarter of 2008.

The situation draws obvious parallels to how the automated streaming music service Pandora decided to block UK listeners in early 2008 because it couldn't afford a license with PRS and music labels. Pandora had attempted to work with copyright holders from the outset, as opposed to YouTube, which only more recently has been scoring licensing deals in an effort to generate more revenue.

But YouTube is the most popular online video streaming site out there — so it certainly begs the question of who can earn enough money in the biz if YouTube can't?

Yanking content off streaming sites appears to be an increasingly common negotiating ploy for both sides of the table. In December 2008, Warner Music Group began removing its videos from YouTube after claiming it wasn't getting enough cut of the profit. Apparently companies are betting customer outrage will spur the other side to bend to their demands. But when customers can get their content elsewhere easier (and often illegally, where nobody gets paid) the licensing e-tantrum can certainly backfire on both. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.