YouTube has blocked thousands of music videos in Germany, after a contract between Google and the country’s royalties’ collector, GEMA, expired on Tuesday. The free video-sharing site rejected GEMA’s request for an interim agreement to be drawn up to provide one cent to artists for each video played, according to German …
An outmoded monopoly organisation complains about the newer upstart monopoly organisation.
Irony ? We've heard of it.
Isn't YouTube being responsible?
YouTube's contract has expired so they are no longer licensed to distribute the videos. It seems to be that they're being extremely honest and keeping to the law. Am I right in thinking that the PRS and GEMA want YouTube to show the videos without a license until the contract disputes are resolved? Isn't this going to put YouTube in a dubious position legally?
"Concerning ex-Bee Gee Robin Gibb, record producer Pete Waterman and Bragg ...The three men called on YouTube to reinstate music videos “and pay a fair price for it”. Bragg accused Google of “using its monopoly in the marketplace to dictate terms” to songwriters"
Does this make sense? Telling a company to do something (show these videos) and pay for it, even though that company obviously doesn't need to do that thing. Has YouTube turned into a charity for musicians?
Google should pay or pull
it's the law after all.
if you want to offer music for streaming/download then you need a license so that the artist get paid.
read the PRS website, it's quite clear on this, and there is a license model for online radio/streaming stations.
it's not like this is the music industry not keeping up with the times.
if you want to offer music for download then you need a licence, if you don't get a license then you need to not offer music for download.
no matter how big of a company google are, they need to comply with the law and stop people putting up music videos, (this also includes people making cover recordings of other peoples stuff and uploading that to youtube). -and again there is even a license model for that!
Basically google either need to put up the money to actually operate their business within the law, or change their business to operate within the law.
it's not like it's be hard to tell either what's been going on, each video shows how many times it's been viewed, so it wouldn't be that hard for the PRS to say this video was view 10,000 times, that video was viewed 30,000 times etc so you owe this much.
Let's save some time
1. "Artists are losing money to YouTube"
No. People will still buy stuff even if it's on YouTube.
2. "People are using Youtube for parties instead of buying music"
a) Bollocks are they b) If this was actually happening, I would imagine people who would rather listen to music free in bad quality rather than i) downloading it illegally (not YouTube's problem) or ii) buying it, will just turn on the radio if YouTube no longer provides that service for free.
3. "It's not free advertising"
Why isn't it? You're exposing your music to far wider audiences, completely free of charge, you don't even have to do the admin of putting it up there in the first place.
4. "I'm a musician who scrapes by and.."
Get a part-time job then, and live in accomodation that you can afford after working out how much you'll earn a month. If you're not popular enough (I'd say yet, but you might just be crap) to pay the bills with your music earnings, then you shouldn't be at a level where you have to spend every waking hour programming a synth to get that just right sound. I've lived on very little money before, and it's tough, but it's not that tough if you do it sensibly..
Let's be honest here, if the internet is a problem for the music industry it's going to be p2p that's the problem, not YouTube, but that's a seperate argument. The record industry has suddenly realised that they pissed away huge amounts of money on DRM that nobody wants and pointless lawsuits and anti-p2p companies, and now they need someone to blame for everything. It's obvious that they're never going to get any luck pursuing torrenters, so they're going after a company that has helped millions of people with computers and somehow hoping to portray them as a big evil corporation.
So did I read this right?
They are demanding that Google show the videos so that they can demand payment for it?
That's beyond surreal. I spent 30 seconds trying to think of a word in the English language to describe that and couldn't so maybe the American language will help:
Maybe its more indicative of the revenue they're losing that they're willing to blurt this crap out without thinking how it sounds. I think they'll find Google can bar what the hell it pleases on its own stuff. These guys really do think the world has an obligation to keep them in the style to which they're accustomed.
I'd like to see some artists doing individual deals with Google and bypass these cock smokers entirely.
Got to love these Songwriters
Throughout these stories you see accusations of Google Abusing their monopoly to devalue songwriters. Perhaps I'm blind, but I can't see the justification for this.
From the point of view of the PRS, Google is a customer. Google doesn't like the price of the 'product' so they've chosen not to use it.
Simple, no different to us not buying Windows, except that we aren't a large company.
Whether you like Google or not, it's gotta be pretty hard to find them at fault in this thing. They don't like the price, so they choose not to pay it. As they have blocked users from the content that requires these fee's to be paid, the decision is both legal and morally right.
Pity YouTube users have to lose out, but given that the Music channels are on all day, if you're that desperate.......
Hmmm, thinking about it...
I wonder if Google are incubating a media sales & distribution channel of their own for artists?
So starving the PRS, etc would make sense if they can get artists to deal direct with the Chocolate Factory. Wouldn't take long for Google to attain some kind of critical mass in the global market, either...
I don't mind swapping one monster for another, at least you get the entertainment of seeing the old monster curl up n die as the new one gives it a stout kicking.
YouTube are doing the Right Thing
Artists: "YouTube are making a shedload of money off the backs of our creative work."
YouTube: "Actually, we don't make that much. We make our real dosh from the Google search engine."
Artists: "We think a fair price is 1p per track per view. Stump up or we'll issue a takedown notice."
YouTube: "You're havin' a laff, mate. We see nothing close to that amount in ad revenue. How about 0.001p per track per view ?"
Artists: "You insult us ! You're cheapening our creativity. You leave us no option but to demand that you remove our videos."
YouTube: "We'd love to pay you more, but then we'd be a charity, not a business. Don't bother getting lawyers involved, though - we'll just block all music videos from being seen in your country without further ado"
Artists: "But we demand that YOU create a workable business model for watching music promos which makes us a realistic amount of money as payment for our creativity."
YouTube: "There's nothing stopping you renting some servers and pitching to advertisers yourself. We can't find a working business model, but that's not to say it CAN'T be done by someone willing to do the hard graft."
Artists: "But we want money ! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah !"
The law of supply and demand
The appears to be a law here which has been turned on its head.
Previously the law of supply and demand meant
'I want it so you will make me pay through the nose for it'
It now appears to be 'you demand I have it' but I don't want to pay for it.
So I'm not bothered stick it up your arse. Oh I'm sorry that doesn't suit you? That's your money printing model gone. Tough! get new model.
So lemme get this straight, people have been yelling for youtube to be responsible for what people post, so they start doing that. Then, when youtube refuse to take what is frankly a crappy deal for them and, rather than risky the long arm of the law, pulls the offending content and people get huffy at them?!?!?
Anyone who has had anything to do with Take the PRS knows that they are not the easiest of demons to work with and they are trying to drum up sympathy?!?!
I need a pint.....
STICK IT UP YOUR ARSE
Yup, I think that was the 'English' term I was previously seeking ;o)
Cheers dude, you cured my comentard's block ;o)
Gee DR I think you should read the article again: google ARE complying with the law, this is why the prs have their knickers in a knot. Google have pulled the videos. The PRS want the videos back so the can extort cash from google.
I'd hardly call you tube a near monopoly, but the prs is, maybe it takes one to know one?
Music biz fails to get it, yet again
That is all.
Pot, meet Kettle...
Pete Waterman is accusing *Google* of cheapening the importance of music?
Oh the irony.
“We condemn Google’s use of its near-monopoly to dictate terms to PRS for Music,” it said in a statement.
Really? This would be the PRS which has a monopoly on performing rights in the UK, and would only use it ethically, for example to dictate terms to companies for permission to have a radio in the staff canteen?
“We ask them to get their tanks off our lawn and to either accept the decision of the Copyright Tribunal or else negotiate a reasonable offer based on a transparent analysis of YouTube’s advertising revenue income.”
Or, of course, option 3 - don't allow any songs by the artists involved in the dispute on their site. Google, being a private company, has no obligation to put Billy Bragg songs on their site. Billy Bragg (or whoever owns his rights) has no obligation to allow Google to use their material. That is why we have these things called "negotiations". Guess its been too long since the rights agencies had to start from an even bargaining position.
@DR: Google should pay or pull
They didn't pay (enough, according to the musos) so they DID pull. The rest of your comment makes no sense, given that YouTube have already done everything you think they should be doing to rectify the situation.
Thumb plucking a one-stringed banjo.
What next, the PRS criticises the public for not downloading free music because they want to set the lawyers on them when they do!?!?
It's simple... there's some stuff people will watch/listen to if it's free. If it's not, then they will balance cost against their desire and sometimes (certainly in my case) there's very little that justifies the cost.
I used to download songs I already had on CD, or try stuff that I would buy if it was good enough. However, with all the shennanigans recently I've switched over to unsigned websites (it helps that my brother is collaboratinjg with bands and offering his own recording facilities, making me realise there is another way!). Fantastic, I am enjoying not just new songs, but emerging genres and sounds that the venture capitalists won't catch onto for years to come... by the time they discover it, it'll be passe and mainstream. Guess what, I can also buy the tracks for my own use and the artist actually nows what cut they'll get for it... in fact even the users can see too!!!!
I am as grateful to the music industry for their actions as I am to M$ for bringing out Fista. Nothing like a wake-up call to make you realise what you're missing on the other side of the fence.
With the shafting artists get now from the corps, supporting the current system is as mystifying as turkeys campaigning for the retention of xmas!!
The Tux Principle, keeping it real.
Should be the other way around
Youtube is owned by Google.
People watching videos on Youtube costs Google money in bandwidth.
People watching videos on Youtube promotes the artists, by word of mouth, reputation etc. They're (low quality) adverts for a product you can buy in the shops (CD Singles, Albums)
The artists, and record labels should be paying Google to show these adverts for their products. If Google want to show some of them free of charge the record companies should be happy for the free promotion.
This should be the same for radio playback.
IF the music is used to sell a different product, without being directly credited at the time (and thus not advertised as people don't know what it is) then yes, the company using it should pay for the rights to use it.
Music is not being used to sell YouTube, YouTube can survive perfectly fine on it's own. YouTube doesn't need the music, therefore Google have no reason to pay. Promoting somebody else's work should not cost you money.
Once the artists, record labels, and the ever-so-infamous PRS realise this, maybe some sense will be restored.
.. but hey, if they don't want their videos out there, I'm quite happy to never see them, and therefore never hear the songs, and buy other things instead. Their choice really..
What a joke.
If the music industry wants to get their product aired on Tv/Radio/Cinema they have to PAY to advertise it. Then when YouTube give them a free advertising outlet they want to be PAID !!! Absolutely astounding- I hope YouTube digs in till the cows come home maybe-just maybe - it will cause the music moguls to re-think their business case.
If they want their product showcased they should be paying YouTube else shut up and go back to snooping on P2P file sharers. (which is probably illegal but the law does not seem to apply to them)
One more time....
YouTube are relying on silent blackmail.
Whether the premium channels are up or not, the music will be available on YouTube through illegitimate videos.
This gives youTube immense leverage -- the alternative is *more* money for them. They have no desire to serve "premium" content -- they would prefer to serve the illegal stuff that they're allowed to publish (that's right, "publish") with impunity. So they're saying "this is all you're getting, cos we're above the law".
And yes, I had been at an actual, real-life party with a YouTube soundtrack the I made that comment to the previous news story.
YouTube is full of amateurs performing covers. Those too will be in breach as the rules about songwriting copyright cover any public performance of a work. Theoretically you couldn't even play a video witgh people singing "Happy Birthday" as that is still in copyright.
One thing that I have never quite quite understood is how this works internationally. It's very likely that most of the commercial music played on YouTube in the UK was not written by UK songwriters. However, it's all such commercial videos that are blocked. Conversely, songs written by UK songwriters are still available on the US YouTube site (and other countries). Prresumably there are deals by which royalities are collected in other countries by their equivalent performing rights organisations. It all sounds horribly complicated - and one wonders, for example, what deal YouTube did with the US equivalent of the PRS.
Buisiness as usual
A : Wants to show pop videos and rake in some money.
B: Has pop videos they want shown and want to rake in some money.
Quite simple really. They either strike up a deal they are both happy with or they both suffer the consequences of A not showing the videos.
A doesn't want to pay the price asked by B and is quite happy to say, fine, we'll get along some other way.
B then throws a shit-fit, demanding its videos are shown but also wanting the price they demand paid.
Well; the ball's in B's court and they had better decide what they want and what they will be happy with because A has probably wandered off thinking to themselves, "what a bunch of wankers" - and quite rightly too. If B's business model doesn't work unless they get their product shown and they get the money they want then they've got a fundamentally screwed business.
Paris : Who I demand comes round and gives me a 'thoroughly good workout" and pays me for the privilege.
PRS do not have a monopoly on on-line licensing
PRS For Music do not have a monopoly on on-line licensing. This is in part due to
a) European Commission in it's Recommendation of October 2005 (2005/737/EC) which allows copyright holders to choose which organisations administer their 'pan european rights'
b) The four major music publishers withdrawing their mandate to MCPS-PRS for these on-line rights thinking they could negotiate better deals for their own repertoire by setting up their own agencies which are administered by rights agencies (not just PRS for the UK)
Thus in one swoop what was meant to be a 'simplification 'one stop shop' for Pan European Licensing has ended up becoming an effing nightmare for any on-line business who uses music. An effing nightmare for the rights organisations. An effing nightmare for composers who are being shafted by this fragmentation and an effing nightmare for consumers who don't want to know what is the result of that simple click.
This is not PRS's fault or the song writers fault, but more down to naivity of the major publishers (parent co's being the same as the major 4 record labels) who are trying to self-administer and spectacularly failng.
@ dr By Chad H.
and the one that said they didn't pay and chose to pull...
umm no they didn't.
the performing rights license covers a lot of things, including covers (and there are still lots of people on you tube with their version of a song).
it also covers podcasts etc that have theme musics and background music etc
so all peoples weekly updates etc, including any videos with tunes playing in the background or with introduction music also fall foul of this law.
you tube is hosting it youtube is making it available you tube should be paying for that.
like I either said, either pay properly.
or pull content.
half heartedly pulling content won't do either,
do you think it'd be right if I offered a hundred tunes for download/streaming then the PRS said buy a license and I said no I'll pull the tunes and only offer 50 instead?
would I still be wrong? -yes,
would I still be breaking the law? -yes.
and until either you tube, pay for the right to stream these style of videos, or pull all content that includes these type of 'violations' then they are still wrong, and they are still breaking the law...
so far as the argument that they aren't devaluing music,
do you think that'd work for me? if I start an internet radio station showing ads, and say i get such low revenue that I can only afford to pay one hundredth of the license fee's. and considered that fair.
If it wasn't for youtube, gems like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOmEBdQlOFk would be lost forever. Recorded in 1982 by the BBC who did a deal with Google to allow their copyright to be publicly viewed. The Miller man even acknowledges the author at the start. So thanks to Chrissie Stewart, Ed Dean, he with the upside down guitar, watch it closely and malcolm mortimer for this classic. Preserved forever by Google. The music industry has been promoting garbage for years and they wonder why nobody wants to pay for it.
Last timw I checked YouTube has a procedure so that if you complain about a viode it is taken down.
Youtube as pulled all those videos that have been licensed from the PRS.
As for background music, then it is up to tge PRS to find those videos that have music belonging to artists that they covers, and notify youtube and they will be pulled.
This is an establised procedure, and takes into account that no one at the moment has come up with
software to tell is someones badly performed redition of "I should be so lucky" is infringing copyright.
So if it bothers you so much, then get clicking :P
Screw the music corps!
It's amusing to watch old and new monopolies duking it out and I know who my money is on.
A quick straw poll of responses on here suggests that the consumers are on the side of the noobs. Shouldn't a 'socialist' like Billy Bragg be listening to the people and trying to organise the musical 'workers' against the tyranical capitalist overlords of the major labels? Or is it more leftwing to be a capitalist lickspittle these days? He needs to look at his 'comrades' on the 'barricades', Pete Waterman & one of the Bee Gees!?!
The sooner musos realise that they can access the channels of distribution without the helping hand of frankly sinister multinationals the better. (I have heard it said that one of the A&R persons jobs was to spend the artistes money on drugs, often without the artiste quite realising whose money was disappearing until after the hits had dried up. I don't know how true this is.)
It seems to be the washed up old has beens or the talentless manufactured types who have to rely on old models, vibrant new acts seem to tend to use the new digital reality to their advantage.
As for saying whether Google-tube is looking to start its own 'label', well, what's to stop them but why would they need to? That whole major label model is DEAD.
It needs someone with the leverage of Google-tube to stand up to the labels' legal bullying; that's why all us 'little people' are instinctively backing them.
Wake up Billy, unless you've designs on a support slot for Sir Cliff Richard's next tour!
yup.... still working
Irony? yes , we've heard of it
It seems to me
It seems to me that youtube has a totally unsustainable business model - There is no way that the volume of storage and bandwidth they require could be supported by advertising, so they play hardball to try to make out like they are negotiating, but really they can't afford any more per track, because the money just isn't there (except at google...). The basic upshot is that youtube cry that the rights owners want too much money, dispite the fact that the problem is their broken business model and the unwillingness of the parent company to subsidese.
Youtube should admit they can't afford to be in business of anything except copyright free material, rather than trying to make artists look like the bad guys merely for wanting a fair payment.
...and another thing
Presumably the BBC pay a chunk of my licence fee to the music industry to put music on my telebox and radio?
And for this I get U flipping 2 on evey single BBC radio station AND bonus coverage on Johnathan Ross, all in the name of promoting their new album? (even radio four had a documentary if I recall correctly)
A de-facto content tax being paid to the music industry... no wonder they don't like anything that threatens to upset the status quo (or any other geriatric rock bands). The sooner this 'business' model dies the better.
It's a government-supported con!
In some ways you are right about the remaining content possibly breaking the law. but how are google going to police this?
IIRC a previous article mentioned that the PRS were unwilling to share a list of it's members/material with Google so that they could confirm they were being billed the correct amount. So how exactly are Google supposed to know what to pull?
I believe I'm right in saying that if the music is incidental, then that's ok. I.e if some tard is jabbering at the camera, and happens to have the radio on, then that's not a violation.
On the other hand, lip Syncing et al is a violation. But I figure most people would happily live without anything with Lip Sync in the title.
Some would say that the law goes too far in some respects, but regardless of that you are quite right in that it's probably illegal.
Your example is a bit flawed in that Google haven't removed half the videos, they have removed them all. Short of sifting through every single video that is uploaded and listening for any 'violation' - they don't stand a hope in hell.
I've no sympathy for the PRS having been on the receiving end of their B*ll*cks, we had a radio on in the staff room, and it had to go. I also know a mechanic who's business was fined because customers could hear the radio in the workshop. Performers Rights is fair enough, but it's the Music Companies who get the lions share.
You can't force Google to sign into this deal, and I'd imagine if needs be they probably would look at some method of filtering the rest of the content that you believe counts as a violation.
Frankly, I'd have told the PRS where to shove it as well
Hey guys, break out of the digital ghetto! Take the fight to the enemy, there're hardly any comments on the Times letter and most of those are missing the point:
(and they get 'em up quicker than vulture central)
Stop preaching to the converted, you can write back to Billy & co. directly.
"so all peoples weekly updates etc, including any videos with tunes playing in the background or with introduction music also fall foul of this law."
"you tube is hosting it youtube is making it available you tube should be paying for that."
Nah, if you do a SEARCH on a particular track, then YouTube have been careful not to allow the video to be played. It's a bit much to ask them to police every single user-uploaded video on the off-chance that there's a PRS-member's music somewhere on the soundtrack which hasn't been mentioned in the keywords. I'm sure they'll flag it as unplayable if they're alerted to it.
In any Web 2.0 situation, you can't stop users uploading copyright-infringing videos but you CAN react promptly if you're told about it. For instance, I've seen Beatles karaoke videos uploaded to YouTube which are removed within a day.
And if you can't SEARCH for a track on YouTube, then it becomes useless as an on-demand source of music. Spotify is searchable, it's legal, it's more responsive and it's better quality.
And before you ask, yes I have released proper pressed silver-disc CD's (seven to date), so as well as being a YouTube punter and software geek by day, I'm also a 'music artist' (rolleyes). I'm personally delighted when someone uploads my band's music as a soundtrack to their visuals or uploads live footage from gigs. Fortunately, we're small enough that YouTube haven't seen fit to block us in the UK.
PRS are a f*****g nightmare.
As someone that has had many dealings with them about radio music licensing I can confirm that they are indeed a complete and utter shower of cocks.
Shame on Google though, they could have done a deal and this would all be settled by now - PRS will be pushing for even tighter rules now on the distribution of music rights.
Do no evil you bunch of charlatans.
Again, you show your ignorance!
What is the title of this story? "you tube YANKS music video content" they ARE pulling! Everything! Pay attention!
In return to your other comments, the PRS is doing this to itself. You tube is famous for being bought with no revenue stream... They're clearly happy to pay something, but they have a business to run too - are they seriously expected to run a business that loses money because a few greedy artists demand?
No industry has declared it's own death as many times as the music industry... Radio was supposed to kill it of you listen to their early 20th century executives, and they survived! I'm sick of all this crying wolf!!!
Just tried that. A pop up appears stating that they can not guarantee to publish all contributions, something about volume of submission, but most likely pre-moderated to ensure that only the views they want are published.
"Again, you show your ignorance!
What is the title of this story? "you tube YANKS music video content" they ARE pulling! Everything! Pay attention!"
I think it's you that's showing your ignorance here,
if youtubes business model is unsustainable because people want to upload tracks by artists, or they want to upload their cover version then it's you tubes problem,
if youtube can't or won't vet videos for violations for a license model that they are signed up for then again it's youtubes business model that is flawed.
As I said. the PRS license includes original recordings, and cover recordings.
Now.. how about you pay attention?
a quick search of youtube for "cover" shows lots of people who have covered music, even put that in the name, so no, you tube haven't pulled all the music, and have likely not even pulled half of the music. -not even performed a basic search of video titles to try to identify offending material.
lets take this video. -which comes near the top of the search results.
Vanilla Sky - Umbrella (Rihanna Cover)
Vanilla Sky performing Umbrella by Rihanna. ...
video lang: getattr(, 'lang', '')
1 year ago 12,044,570 views
twelve million views.
I believe that this license covers it
it costs £53+VAT per 45,000 streams
that video therefore should have gathered royalties paid to the PRS of, ~£14,133+VAT
now if google can't support that kind of cash which is by law owed to the rights holder through the PRS then they shouldn't be publishing the video at all.
but at the moment the fact is that they've offered that video for download, they owe that money and probably other money, for breaking the law regards music and copyright licensing.
don't tell me that they've pulled the music that they were offering when a simple search shows me results "1-20 of millions", with some of those results owing that much on their own...
AS I SAID.
you tube haven't pulled all music, ignorance is no defence, their business model allows for people upload copyrighted content which goes unchecked. their business model is flawed.
"You tube is famous for being bought with no revenue stream..." that's their problem, not the artists...
you tube have a flawed business model, they allow people to upload copyrighted works in their own videos,
they ignore the fact that they should pay for the right to do that.
their business model seems to revolve around the fact that they ignore the fact that they should, (by law) be paying for something.
Apart from you coming across as shill for the PRS, I thought it was the copyright owner (note - hardly ever the actual creator/performer) that was responsible for protecting its copyright. Unless YouTube refuses to pull properly identified material (ie by the copyright holder or their agent) then they are doing nothing wrong.
That simple fact is that such poor quality content is only useful as an advert for the decent quality original. Anyone who watches a YouTube vid and doesn't buy the original is highly unlikely to be a lost purchase. It would also appear that the 'artists' think the same as they are complaining that the content should be reinstated (at their preference of course).
And, as has already been mentioned, Mr Waterman has done far more damage to the music industry. A low quality of talent does far more damage to sales than low quality 'advertising'.