YouTube blocks music videos for Britain

March 10th, 2009 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 10 (IANS) Video sharing website YouTube has blocked all premium music videos for British users after it failed to reach an agreement with the Performing Right Society (PRS) over licensing issues. reports that while YouTube’s director of video partnerships Patrick Walker said the move was “regrettable”, the PRS has expressed its “outrage” at the decision.

Steve Porter, head of the publishing body, said YouTube’s decision “punishes British consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent”.

“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,” he added in a statement.

“This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for music and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties.”

YouTube currently pays a licensing fee to the PRS, which covers streaming music video content from three of the four major record labels, as well as several independent companies, but has blocked videos for British users in protest at the PRS’ demands for licensing fees.

“We feel we are so far apart that we have to remove content while we continue to negotiate with the PRS. We are making the message public because it will be noticeable to users on the site,” said Walker.

He claimed the PRS’ payment demands would “mean we would lose significant amounts of money on every stream of a music video”.

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