back to article YouTube blocks music videos in UK

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- …

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mh.
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Pathetic

I think the best way to sort this out would be to put all the lawyers in a room, lock the door and throw away the key. Doesn't matter what happens to them afterwards, just get rid of them. Sometimes these discussions come across like Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Who's going to make any money at all if no one can watch the videos? Groucho Marx had the right approach for dealing with lawyers: http://www.chillingeffects.org/resource.cgi?ResourceID=31

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What a big bunch of twats

The PRS should be paying youtube... music videos are called "promos" due to the fact that they sell records. MTV doesn't pay shit for their videos, they demand them for free and the music industry comes running like the pussies they are. I bet the likes of Daft Punk have sold loads of music off the back of those harder, better, faster, stronger.. videos. I also suspect those youtube videos had something to do with Kanye West using the track.

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.... and nothing of value was lost

sorry isn't this slashdot?

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So video or sound?

So, are they blocking the whole video, or are they doing what they do for some youtube videos here in the states with unlicensed music and just blocking the audio? Watching muted music videos could be rather amusing 8-)

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Worse Than Kids in a Playground

"But PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our license than before," he wrote. "

"The music group claims YouTube wants to pay "significantly less than at present to the writers of the music ..."

I'm waiting for shouts of "....pants on fire"

As an aside: "In December 2008, Warner Music Group began removing its videos from YouTube ...". I assume you mean they began issuing mandatory take down notices? The sentence suggests that Warner Music posted them onto U-Bend in the first place.

The entire relationship between the music INDUSTRY and the online groups has been dysfunctional for many years. After all the time and money they have spent on lawyers they could have had world class relationship therapy from professional councilors and psychiatrists.

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Pirate

PRS greed continues ...

How many fingers do the PRS want in the music pie? What next - a tax on ears? The entertainment industry is doing very nicely without the need for these parasites to be chasing everyone who wants to listen to music.

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What a huge loss

It's not like todays throw away music with its emphasis on the sex used to promote the music is worth a shit anyway. Talentless, packaging over content bullshit, where any skill involved comes from the producer and sound engineer.

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Happy

Gun, meet foot

Dear music industry,

Hardball negotiation tactics generally only work if the other party needs you more than you need them. In these tough times of economic downturn and rampant piracy, you're the guys who need whatever income and goodwill you can scrape together, not Google.

Losing one of your largest outlets for advertising your product and further demonising yourself in the eyes of your customers (no matter who's at fault, the music industry will bear the blame for this) is not a wise move.

Then again, you've been a bit short on smart moves recently. Maybe you should accept Google's offer, on the condition that they throw in a few of their gurus to teach you how to develop a business strategy that your customers can actually tolerate.

Yours,

Internet.

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Anonymous Coward

No problem.

Back to bittorrent then...

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Well done!

Well done PRS! In one fell swoop you have managed to lose all your artists a great music advertising space. Hope you're proud of yourselves! You know that now downloads of ripped CD and DVD's will go up, out there in torrent land?

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Boffin

Who can make it pay

"who can earn enough money in the biz if YouTube can't?"

If "the biz" is the provision of music for free then might I humbly suggest that no-one can? I don't want to come over all rocket scientist, but I'm a little tired of hearing about how clever everyone's business model is at a time when everyone's business is going down the pan because of their cleverness. (Yes, advertisers, you're next after the "financial services" sector.) Perhaps this would be a good time for everyone to knuckle down to some boring "reality based" economics, where stuff people want is made available by those who have it in exchange for something called money. TANSTAAFL, people!

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Money

I'm not taking sides in this but...

"PRS noted the site's parent company Google made $5.7bn in revenues in the last quarter of 2008."

Mmmm.... they have a point. I think I would be somewhat dismissive of any claims of poverty that Google might make too.

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Go YouTube...

YouTube are right, the mess of convoluted licenses for entertainment products is insane, and every one of the *iaa mafia and its clones wants a piece of the cut...so the license money never benefits the actual creators at all.

The whole thing needs scrapping and rebuilding.

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*which* copyright music?

So does that mean Youtube will be determinedly removing and and all copyright music from their site? Bet your ass no: only the stuff they actually have to pay for... For an organisation who created their business around ripped off content they have a hell of a cheek...

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"music industry shoots self in foot. again"

"loading flintlock pistol for second shot."

I'd imagine of all the 'music fans' this is going to piss off, 99% will take all of 5 minutes (tops) to figure out where to access Youtube via a non-UK proxy server. And I'd take a guess at a large proportion of them doing just that.

Wakey Wakey, PRS. Your business model hasn't changed, it's been completely destroyed. You need to build a new one. From scratch.

Ops like Youtube are NOT your customers, just part of a big shopping window. Take your 'product' out of the window, or pull down the shutters and the real customers might just look for a different 'product'.

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Great news!

Nice one YouTube!

Maybe people will now start to realise that there is other music out there other than the "commercial product" that is the charts. There's lots of brilliant user created music on Youtube (and the internet in general) that blows all of this commercial crap out of the water. You just have to find it and isn't hard to do so.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh well...

To the imeem mobile my good chum!

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Pirate

Foot meet bullet

Although we don't have the full details, so let's presume it's somewhere in the middle. I would seriously think this is going to hurt the PRS (and in turn musicians) far more than YouTube.

The PRS state that Google has plenty of cash, but that is a crap argument. I wouldn't pay £500 for a tin of baked bins, even if I won the lottery, just because I have a lot of money.

The PRS can't complain if YouTube yank the Vids, it's the service they provide for their own purposes, it's not there for the musicians or the PRS.

To be honest we're all getting sick of the Music biz complaining that Apple / YouTube / <Insert name> are ripping them off. If they are that bothered, why not set up their own? Oh of course easier to cream the money of someone else's infrastructure and hard work.

I'm not taking sides, here, but on the face of it, PRS will come off a lot worse than YouTube.

Pirate icon as that's where people will turn to.

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tom
Pirate

Sounds like PRS want a bigger slice.

It shouldn't matter how much money YouTube makes, so PRS pointing it out just shouts "Look! They made all this money last year! It's not fair!"

As the article suggests, taking music off YouTube just means people will sample it by other means - usually downloading. Which means they end up with a copy of the file. Bad move by PRS in my opinion.

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Stop

Actually I welcome this!

I welcome YouTube's stand against the PRS! As an owner of several small businesses I am fed up of PRS's continued persual of me an my companies for licenses that I do not need! Their (PRS) tactics are not much short of outright harassment - I have received tens of telephone calls and letters despite writing to them and telling them that I do not use music in any way in my business [except the license-free music-on-hold that comes with Asterisk PBX that is].

PRS have changed - they have gone from being an "in the background" organisation that you sort-of knew that you had to get a license from if you ran a pub/shop/club to a greedy "property grab / money grab" type organisation that seem to be using the drag-net approach to bothering every name that they can find at Companies' House - even if its a non-trading company that exists to protect a product name or trademark!

I'm sure that the reason that YouTube can't deal with PRS is because they have an overly optimistic idea of what their 'property' is worth and egos that are way too big to go with it!

PRS wake up! Get with the plan! Nobody likes you - nobody wants to deal with you!

Mike

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You said it really

Nobody is impressed when these big companies start acting like spoiled brats and fall out in public, and the only people who suffer are the customers.

Pretty pathetic really, but certainly nothing new.

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good on them!

i wish more people would negociate with music labels like this, want to jack up your price, then fine we won't stock it at all, see how much more money you make that way!

Especially as they are refusing to say what the royalties actually pay for!

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Pirate

Good move by YouTube

They have managed to fsck over the people they are supposed to be working for. The music business and poor artists that we steal from by not paying them their dues.

Isn't the premium music stuff put up there to promote artists. Sort of like advertising but free.

YouTube should push back to the promotors and artists to bear the PRS costs out of the bit of advertising budget they have saved. So the PRS could give the promotors and artists what they are due. See what I've done there?

I hope YouTube have the balls not to back down and just highlight that the heavy handed PRS bully-boys are good for no one except themselves.

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...and this is bad how?

Is it really a bad thing to officially block a lot of major label mince from Youtube? If it means less Beyonce & Britney then I'mm all for it!

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Paris Hilton

Just Tried Now...

If I didn't read this article, I would be thinking "WTF", as the only thing YouTube tells you is a very minimalistic "this video is not available in your country", with no link explaining why!

I'm guessing if they linked to a press release, say, then they can get people pissed off and they can use it to their advantage?

Paris, because her video was blocked :p

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PRS bullying

Who appointed the PRS again?

I got a letter from them last week demanding that I pay for a music license. The wording was something like, "If you play music for your clients then you are legally required to have our license to ensure royalties are paid". I noted that there was no ambiguity and that playing music equals paying PRS or else some form of legal shenanigans.

As a musician who writes and records all the music I supply to clients I fail to see how legally I am bound to pay the PRS (who take a cut) to ensure that I get my own royalties for the music that I provide to everyone else as creative commons works.

It seems like the letter was worded in order to "scare" people into getting a license as the wording was very much a statement of fact rather than an advisory letter.

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Alert

another deal falls through

so yet again UK consumers lose out. Perhaps the Performing Rights Society should be trying harder - it does sound like their demands, yet again, are too much to take.

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Nice one Google

Go and tell those greedy fat pigs where to get off

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Pirate

P2P 1 PRS 0

"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"

Which is exactly what will happen. And no, I've no sympathy for the PRS at all. Here is demand, a global brand that is meeting that demand and a providing a very easy way to distribute content. So what do these eejits do? Take their toys home and sulk.

So until the pigs decide to pull their snouts a little further out of the trough and put their customers first, I'll keep using P2P downloads.

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Happy

"customer outrage"

I'm not in the slightest bit outraged. Let's hope they don't do a deal, surely keeping all the Cowellian Karaoke crap off permanently, would be a real result. :-)

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First Football, Now YouTube?

Not sure about the other premiership football clubs but I know that Arsenal have recently pulled the plug on their music license with the PRS as they were asking around 10 times the amount for the license this year, just for them to be able to play music before and after the games on the concourse.

Why are they so greedy? Is this their new efforts to counteract losses through piracy?

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Covers

Youtube is stuffed full of amateurs (and some semi-professionsals) covering songs - very mixed quality of course,.From a purely legal point of view, the songwriters would be entitlted to royalties from any performances broadcast. So it will be interesting to see if the PRS pushes that line. Now it might be that it would be considered to be a benefit to humanity to block 95% of these, but that would be a slippery slope in derivative works by any amateurs in a whole number of fields.

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PRS

should dress themselves up as Adam Ant and start singing 'Stand and Deliver'. While I believe that artists deserve remuneration for their work, be they performers or writers, the PRS are little more than an uvverwisen agency, "Pay me money uvverwisen I'll smash yer face in".

Efros

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I'm actually with YouTube on this one...

In recent years, the PRS seems to have increasingly taken a leaf out of the RIAA and MPAA books. They have become exceedingly fond of getting firms of solicitors to write very serious-looking, threatening letters to all and sundry to try to screw as much money out of people as possible. Owners of small hotels and guest houses have been getting hit for payment demands if they provide radios, CD players or even clock-radios in their rooms (regardless of the fact that the radio stations are paying their PRS dues anyway). Similarly, garages and engineering workshops have been getting the "pay up or you're in trouble" letters if they allow their staff to listen to radios/CDs while working.

At one time, a PRS licence was for the public broadcast of musical works - pubs, clubs, theatres, concert venues, etc. But now it seems like the PRS wants to hit you for payments even if you just happen to have a bit of music playing in your offices for the staff or even if one of your staff just happens to bring their radio or CD player in for their own use and it can be overheard by someone else. The presence or otherwise of the general public - much less any paying public - now seems to be irrelevant.

I don't know who introduced this new regime at the PRS - which once appeared to be quite a calm and sensible organisation - but the whole thing now needs reformed. I can well believe that they were asking YouTube for some hugely unsustainable licence payment, given that they'll demand umpteen hundred quid per year from anyone who just happens to have a radio or music player in their garage.

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Anonymous Coward

way to go PRS

there was me thinking videos were adverts for bands ...

Just last week I used youtube to find videos of a couple of bands I'd heard songs of -- to see if I liked more of their ouvre and then purchase a CD. No videos -- no CD sales.

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Meow - Squeak - Meow - Squeak - zzzzz

And so another round of the cat-and-mouse game begins, with people posting content as fast as YouTube remove it.

Nobody pays for stuff anymore; if they can't get it free, they'll happily do without. That's the way things work in the 21st century. Deal with it.

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Pirate

I blame PRS

Well personally I blame PRS. Fair enough they should get some royalties for for every play, I'm not arguing with that, but what I don't like about PRS is their bullying tatics. I mean they get royalties from radio stations and then they start targeting the little guys (small one man band businesses who listen to the radio when they're working). If they keep getting away with it, how long will it be before we the customers have to buy an annual PRS licence to listen to legitimately bought music or to listen to music on TV or the radio.

Rob

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Greedy PRS

So the PRS are saying YouTube owes them not based on YouTube's profits but because the parent company is rich. It's not the artists that they are worried about it's their own fat salaries. The artists lose far more from loss of exposure than they could gain in royalties.

I tried to sell a knackered 10 year old Ford Escort to some guy and asked for £150,000.00 'cause his daddy was rich. Didn't work.

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Anonymous Coward

The PRS have shot themselves in the foot.

"PRS noted the site's parent company Google made $5.7bn in revenues in the last quarter of 2008."

So just because the parent company made a lot of money, the PRS expect YouTube to give them more.

H

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Does it make any difference?

People will just continue to upload them themselves. They'll probably make more of a concerted effort now actually.

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Desperate

If you erase cookies, when you go to YouTube, it'll ask if you want to be considered as in the UK or Elswehere - just click Cancel to be seen as not in the UK. I tried this and it seemed to work, I can't find any "blocked" videos.

Even if I found some, the next step is using a free proxy server.

Of course, how desperate are people to look at YouTube? I bet not many people have sympathy for either YouTube's owners Google, or the PRS who claw back money for insanely wealthy pop stars.

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Pirate

OR How to make children into pirates

My two daughters watch vids on youtube all the time.. it will take them 30 seconds to switch to pirate bay when they discover they cant watch them any more

idiots

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Go

Proxy anyone?

People in the UK will do the same with YouTube as they did with Pandora - simply go via a proxy site overseas.

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Anonymous Coward

I love it

So now the PRS, greedy bunch of tossers that they are, get nothing. That's zero. Very very funny :)

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Anonymous Coward

Let me just check...

No, apparently I don't care.

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Paris Hilton

Oh No!

:declineoftheinternet - geographical based firewalls.

When did all these rights holders become so powerful?

Mind you, with the UK and US governments guilty of implicitly allowing torture of terrorist suspects, not being able to view some bland pop music on the internet might wake the youth up to actually do something about the new age we seem to be entering, instead of sitting in front of their PC facebooking everybody how much they heart various things...

Er... like I'm doing now.

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thank god for torrents

And they wonder why they cant stamp out piracy. Greedy fucks.

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Stop

Scammers

It's one thing paying for a license to broadcast to an audience, but listening to the radio at work should not count... the broadcaster has already paid the PRS their due.

The bloke in my local sarnie shop likes to listen to the footy and the occasional tune while he works but can't anymore, apparently he's been threatened by the PRS with a hefty fine and court case unless he pays their blood money, an absolute disgrace. The broadcaster has *already* paid the PRS, now the PRS want the audience to pay aswell.

It's about time someone stood their ground and told them where to get off.

A massive own goal for the PRS and their greed.

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Anonymous Coward

Paying to screen their advertising?

When will the retarded music industry realise that a music video is an ADVERT. They expect Youtube to pay for screening their adverts when they are the beneficiary of the resulting album sales and downloads.

Another example of how the music industry's business model is f**ked. The next thing you know they'll be billing us if we want to read posters advertising their concerts.

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give me all your Money, Money, Money!!!

PRS/record companies getting a little too greedy!

Well I guess they will just go back to plodding the streets and slapping court orders on small shops/business's listening to the radio.

Go youTube don't take their shit! I guess it all come down to who has the biggest wad and in this case its youTube.

I could see this ending in court. If only they could conceive of an anti-piracy argument to sue them for. The format/technology they use promotes piracy. Yes that's it brilliant.

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