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PRS v YouTube: No UK vids, but royalty row runs and runs

Not talking but hopeful

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The row between YouTube and the Performing Rights Society - which collects royalties for musicians - shows no sign of ending, although talks yesterday were described as positive.

PRS said yesterday: "The meeting was positive. We are committed to ensuring our 60,000 songwriter and composers members receive a fair deal and that UK consumers continue to enjoy music videos on YouTube."

The group expressed outrage when Google pulled the plug on UK access to most YouTube videos on Monday. It said it was "shocked and disappointed" at Google's hardball negotiating stance.

For its part YouTube said its existing licence with the PRS had ended and the society was asking it to pay "many, many times more for our licence than before... we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback."

Apart from the money, the two sides are also arguing over access to data. It appears that Google is asking for a full list of PRS members so that it can work out how much it owes the society. But the PRS is asking Google for viewing figures so that it can do the maths and work out how much its members are owed.

A spokesman for the PRS said the row was about reporting and data as well as what rates should be paid. The two sides should meet again in the next few days. ®

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